Kitchen Stories

No More Soggy Fries at New Orleans Landmark Restaurant

Jul 13, 2023

No More Soggy Fries at New Orleans Landmark Restaurant

No More Soggy Fries at New Orleans Landmark Restaurant

When you’ve been an iconic restaurant for as long as Parkway Bakery & Tavern, soggy fries have no place on your menu.

Opened in 1911, Parkway Bakery & Tavern began serving Po’Boy sandwiches filled with french fries to support striking (and hungry) union streetcar conductors in 1929.

Almost 100 years later, you can find Po’Boys of all kinds on their menu, including their signature roast beef and gravy option.

Parkway manager Mike Lina has seen the restaurant’s takeout business snowball over the years, and that’s when soggy fries became an issue.

“Delivery and online are about 55% to 60% of our business,” says Lina. “Having a fry that holds up is essential because when you’re taking a to-go order, some people live 15 to 20 minutes away. It was hard to push a fry for to-go because you knew it wasn’t going to live up to our standards.”

Goodbye, soggy fries: The Switch to Simplot Conquest®Delivery+®

“Before we switched over to Conquest® Delivery+®, we had an issue as far as fries not holding up, the soggy aspect,” Lina explains. “And you don’t want to over-fry a fry because you get no potato flavor.”

According to Lina, the soggy fries were giving customers the wrong impression.

“They think soggy fries are old fries. They think they sat in the grease too long. It was a real challenge before we switched,” he says.

One day, a Simplot sales representative convinced him to give Conquest® Delivery+® Fries a shot. What piqued his interest? Their industry-leading hold time.

“The first thing I noticed was that it said, ‘40-minute hold time.’ Now, you look in the restaurant industry and you think of something that can hold for 40 minutes—at first, you are kind of skeptical,” Lina remembers. “But we tested it and tested it and it held true.”

A delivery fry you can use for dine-in and appetizers, too

Another thing that impressed Lina about his Conquest® Delivery+® Fries was their versatility. He also uses them for his dine-in customers, eliminating the need to stock a fry just for takeout orders. This helps eliminate confusion and streamline kitchen operations.

“You can absolutely use it all day long, which is wonderful,” says Lina. “It’s easy for everyone all around. It’s easy from my fry guys to the expediters and out to the customers.”

He also likes that the fries’ clear-coating doesn’t interfere with their rich potato flavor.

“The thickness [of the clear coating] is good. It’s not over-thick—just a good blend of the potato and the coating,” he says.

And they stay crisp even under the gravy and melted cheese of his profitable loaded-fry appetizers.

If you care about repeat business, don’t settle for soggy fries

Everyone loves crispy fries. But, industry-wide, soggy fries are one of the biggest sources of customer complaints on delivery and takeout orders. After trying Simplot Conquest® Delivery+® Fries, Lina didn’t hesitate to switch.

“The main thing I would tell anybody who wants to try the fry is just do it. Try it yourself because when I first started with it, I didn’t want to believe anybody else,” he says.

“We get people from all over the New Orleans metro region. We’ve had customers that come in on the weekend from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi,” Lina continues. “You want them to have that nice, crisp fry just like it came out of the fryer—and that’s the advantage of having Conquest® Delivery+® Fries. We get no complaints on fries turning soggy.