As the eternal debate of fresh vs. frozen rages on, three simple letters are often the topic of conversation: IQF. Do you know what this acronym stands for and how it can make an unbelievable impact on your menu and operation? Read on for the lowdown on Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) patties and how they can give your burger business a boost.
What is IQF?
Individually quick frozen technology is a means to rapidly chill foods—from fruits and veggies, to waffle fries and burger patties—into an unchanging state. No preservatives needed here—just the subzero temperatures naturally created by cryogenic CO2 or liquid nitrogen. This icy blast of cold “locks patties in time,” setting up operators with the following business—enhancing benefits:
The genius of IQF technology is in its ability to capture must-have burger attributes. What goes in is brought back to life at your cooking convenience: beefy juiciness, tempting textures, and mouthwatering flavors provided by seasonings, sauces, glazes, marinades and ingredient add-ins. You can find IQF patties in “hand-formed” shapes, too, which you can leverage for premium, “fresh-made” appeal.
The simpler your processes, the more successful and efficient your kitchen staff will be. Beyond being pre-formed, pre-sized and pre-seasoned, many IQF patties can be cooked up from their frozen state—on a flattop, charbroil or open-flame grill. With less prep, dishes move from kitchen to table faster, which keeps your customers happier. What’s more, IQF opens doors for year-round availability of products you can’t get fresh or don’t have the expertise to craft in-house.
Count on IQF patties for burger goodness every time, so you can deliver memorable burger experiences, even with rookies manning the grill. Plus, IQF patties dominate fresh patties on hold times—TNT™ Burgers hold for 3+ hours, for example—and offer reduced shrinkage, to minimize costly throwaways and preserve your reputation for burger excellence.
As much as 10% of food purchased in foodservice environments is tossed before it makes it to the plate, according to recent studies. To kick waste to the curb and protect their profits, many operators are turning to IQF patties. No excess product, gristle or bone here, just the good stuff—and it holds for up to 12 months in a properly regulated commercial freezer. Some frozen varieties, such as TNT™ Burgers, have a price-stable structure, too, helping you to minimize your exposure to the up-and-down volatility of beef markets.
Harmful bacteria thrive in the warmth and moisture of commercial kitchens, so proper meat handling procedures are a must. IQF technology makes food safety a little easier. Pre-formed and ready-to-grill direct from the freezer, frozen patties reduce handling and chances of cross-contamination.
Between managing food quality and safety, and balancing budgets and inventory, running a restaurant can be a lot to handle. IQF technology is playing its part to help operators not just keep up but get ahead in the fast-paced restaurant world.