How to Keep Your Menu Fresh Amid Inflation Woes

As operators continue to face industry challenges

Like labor shortages and rising food costs, there’s one solution that offers help with both, frozen french fries. This high-margin, low-labor menu staple has long been helping operators boost check averages by being featured as a favorite appetizer or side. But there are some ways restaurants can utilize this popular item to help boost sales and consumer interest in the menu.

Use trending flavors

The demand for regular fries isn't going anywhere, so operators can take their fries to the next level by offering seasoning blends and dips to go along with them to garner interest.

According to Technomic’s recent Global Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report, 33% of consumers say they enjoy traditional dishes that have a global flavor twist, so offering a globally inspired dipping sauce for classic fries can be the perfect way to appeal to these diners.

For instance, try topping fries with exotic ingredients like furikake, a trending Japanese spice blend traditionally used on rice. Develop interesting sauces like mango habanero or mix trending ingredients into mayo, barbecue sauce, or ketchup. Something like gochujang-spiked ketchup can be a unique yet familiar option for guests!

Offer topped & loaded options as a value-added side, appetizer, or entrée

A really great way to help boost interest and sales is to offer fries in loaded form, especially since 75% of consumers are interested in ordering a topped & loaded french fry dish.1

Topped with an array of customizable ingredients—such as green onions, cheese sauce, pulled pork, kimchi and so many other options—fries can go from a basic side to a shareable appetizer or an indulgent entrée. Topped and loaded recipes can add a lot of variety and value to your menu—a $2 side of fries can become a $5 side of fries when topped with three or more toppings, and that same recipe can become a $10-15 entree when topped with a protein such as crispy chickensteak, or even fried fish.

Using readily available ingredients in your kitchen is a great way to make fries more appealing to help operators boost their bottom line. Cross-utilization on the menu helps limit food waste, and because staff are already familiar with the ingredients, restaurants don’t need to worry about adding too much labor to create new fry dishes. Cross-utilization also helps keep food costs down, since fewer ingredients will be needed to create each dish on the menu.

This will take some careful planning by operators to ensure the most efficiency, but with frozen fries, the versatility is virtually unmatched—top them with just about anything for a new twist on a classic.


1. Lamb Weston AmpliFRY Study 2021

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