Soup has long been a favorite menu item for consumers across the country, and it’s easy to see why. Comforting, flavorful and often a healthy menu option, soup is a natural fit for current restaurant trends and has wide consumer appeal.
Operators, however, sometimes relegate soup to a list of side items on their menus, which can result in missed opportunities—especially during the lunch daypart. In fact, lunch is a key daypart for soup, according to a recent report from Chicago research firm Technomic.
In order to capitalize on the business-boosting power of soup, operators should focus on menuing soups as entrées—not just as side items—and offering soups that are innovative and craveable. According to Technomic, 35 percent of customers purchase soup in order to try new flavors, and soups with ethnic-inspired flavor profiles are particularly attractive for younger consumers.
Operators also can offer twists on classic soups, such as tomato or chicken noodle, by using unique garnishes and unexpected ingredients. Here’s a sample of creative soup offerings from menus across the country.
White Sweet Potato Soup: caramelized onions, bacon, maple; $12
Earl’s Beer and Cheese
New York City
World-Class Tomato Soup: Sriracha, ginger and cream; $7
Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder: Sweet corn, cashews, garlic, fresh cilantro, lime; $4-$8
The Old Fashioned
No. 16: Wisconsin beer-cheese soup, popcorn garnish; $3-$4
This post is sponsored by Campbell’s® Foodservice