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Side dishes make the meal

Imagine fried chicken without mashed potatoes and corn; or ordering a burger, hold the fries; or how about fish on a plate, no rice.

Meal time would be pretty boring and bland. Center-of-the-plate items are delicious but it's often the side dishes that add the excitement and variety. With a few variations to the preparation and ingredients of side dishes, your menu can seem entirely new without really changing.

And the side dishes can be presented as the main attraction. With signatures like jalapeño polenta; sautéed zucchini with lemongrass; curry sweet potatoes; and roasted garlic with warmed goat cheese, customers may opt for a sampling of sides in lieu of a center-of-the-plate item. Sides should be an integral part of any restaurant's fare. And offering a wide variety of side dishes will entice customers and help boost sales.

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