The average restaurant menu now contains about 93 items, says Restaurant SmartBrief. That is down from 100 items six years ago. It may not seem like a big deal, but it reflects the growing trends of “less is more” meant to cater to consumer tastes while also reducing costs.
When The Chicken Crosses The Road
Taco Bell is serving fried chicken, thanks to a helping hand from its related chain, KFC. Among the menu items being tested are the Double Crispy Chicken Quesadilla and the Double Crispy Chicken Crunchwrap. The experiment in cross pollinating menus is to increase traffic and profits, reports USA Today. If it works, you will be seeing more cross selling among the big sister chains.
There are more than 9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. employing nearly 8 million people, and generating more than $1.4 trillion in revenue, reports the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. That is the good news. The not-so-promising news is that nearly 40% of those businesses have gross sales of under $100,000. More troubling, only 2% are involved in the food and beverage industry. Time to fire up those entrepreneurial engines, ladies.
How Many Of Us Serve Breakfast?
You no longer need to run a diner to serve breakfast foods, reports SmartBrief. More than 39% of restaurants say they serve breakfast foods all day long. Another 32% serve breakfast foods only in the morning, while 29% of restaurants do not serve breakfast at all. How about breakfast-inspired dishes throughout the day? Nearly 57% of restaurants say no to waffle sandwiches and egg-inspired dishes, while the remaining 43% say they do. Bottom line? It depends on your market, restaurant, and customer base. If you don’t serve these items now, maybe it is time to give it a try to attract a whole new crowd to your restaurant.
Fried Eggs Are On The Rise
According to Foodservice Industry Winsights, fried egg items have grown by nearly 50% on restaurant menus over the past four years. They are now appearing as premium items on hotdogs, burgers, and even pizzas. Always a popular breakfast item, the growth of fried eggs for lunch is up 26% and a whopping 43% for dinner.
Carolina Premium Foods announced that it is opening an antibiotic-free chicken processing plant in Siler City, NC, with eventually 700 employees producing up to two million pounds of chicken a week, the TriadBizBlog reports. The company says that the demand for antibiotic free, non-GMO, and organic chicken is growing exponentially and its location is ready to accommodate fast growth. Carolina Premium Foods hope to sell through the South, East, and Midwest.
Beef Prices Continue To Soar
It seems like there is no end in sight for rising beef prices. Several years of increases are now challenging restaurants to either make menu changes or increase prices, notes SmartBlog on Food. According to NPD Group Food Industry Analyst Bonnie Riggs, “Typically, what does happen is that operators will promote other proteins. Chicken, in particular, is what we see, which is why it was a surprise to me that burgers were one of the top growing sales items in April-to-June reporting period.” Other strategies include combo-ing -- or mixing beef with other items. Still want that steak? “You’re going to pay the price,” Riggs says.
Staying In Compliance
Food safety and alcohol regulations for restaurants can vary widely by county and state, the National Restaurant Association warns. To learn what the rules of the proverbial road are in your neck of the woods, NRA is offering an interactive map that provides the details for food safety managers, food handlers, and alcohol service employees. You can check out the map at the following web address: http://www.servsafe.com/ss/regulatory/default.aspx?aliaspath=/Special-Pages/ssredirect
Making The Most Of Online Advertising
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Time To Revisit French Classics
From New York’s trendiest restaurants to Miami, San Francisco, and major points in between, American chefs are rediscovering French classic cooking, The Wall Street Journa1 reports. The result is a wide variety of French dishes, including “ala American,” which features everything from Rhode Island clams and Maine lobster to Pennsylvania potatoes. Want to spice up your menu? Add a new twist to a French favorite and see how your customers react. You may be pleasantly surprised.