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Menus Explore Uncharted Territory

04/04/2016

Menus Explore Uncharted Territory

There are seemingly innumerable choices for casual, affordable meals these days. With such a deep pool of competition, how do bar and grill operators rise to the top of guests' minds? Sometimes the most obvious answer is also true: if operators want to stand out, they have to offer something different.

Though bar & grill menu items have changed some over the years, the structure of menus has managed to stay largely the same for decades. It’s tempting to declare, “that’s because it works,” because for many years, it has. But as the consumer base shifts, menus will have to do the same to gain attention and loyalty.

A new generation of Millennial eaters make up 32% of the population, and the way they eat is different from the generation before them.1 According to the Future of FSR Consumer Report Millennials prefer appetizers over sides and desserts, and more are choosing appetizers for late night meals and snacks.2 Not only are Millennials looking for small, time-flexible dishes, they are looking for a unique take on the menu, with flavor combinations they won’t find elsewhere.3 When operators look at the shift in preference toward snacking and originality over more traditional three square meals, it makes sense to create unique, anytime dishes.

Take a look at some menu ideas featuring on-trend McCain® Seasoned Sea Salt, Garlic and Black Pepper Fries that are as good over lunch hour as they are at midnight:

Top Tater

Loaded-up fries are on the rise. In fact, from 2011-2015, poutine has grown in popularity by over 400%.4 Offer this loaded fry recipe as a potential small plate or appetizer:

Baja Loaded Fries - Crispy seasoned fries loaded with diced grilled chicken, queso fresco, Cheddar-Jack cheese, diced roasted jalapeños. Served with guacamole, salsa and sour cream - McCain® Seasoned Sea Salt, Garlic & Black Pepper Fries

Small Servings

Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in trying new flavors and styles of foods.6 Small plates help take the risk out of the trial. Take a look at some unique small plate ideas your operators will love.

Sharing is Daring

Shareables are not only a unique way to bring something new to your menu, they also promote group dining. Bring shareable menu ideas to your operators today.

Seaside Dipping Fries - Crispy thick-cut fries dusted with garlic, ground black peppercorns and sea salt served with sriracha ketchup, applewood smoked bacon ranch and Thai chili mayo - McCain® Seasoned Sea Salt, Garlic & Black Pepper Fries

The important thing for operators to remember when they are trying a new menu arrangement: maintaining quality is essential. By providing innovative and profitable McCain® products to operators, you can ensure that even the highest standards of quality are met.

1Restaurant Hospitality, “What Millennials crave from restaurants: The latest word.” March 10, 2014.

2Future of FSR Consumer Report, Technomic 2014.

3“Generational Flavors,” Flavor & the Menu, 2012.

4”Consumers Load Up on Topped Fries,” Nation’s Restaurant News 2015.

5“Innovative, shareable appetizers drive sales,” Nation’s Restaurant News, 2013.

6The Hartman Group, Eating Out Trends 2015.

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