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menu trends


Plants keep growing on menus in sandwiches, salads and more

Taste Tracker: Nathan’s and Buona go meatless; spring salads from Cava, Mod Pizza and more; Silver Diner adds a dozen seasonal specials; and tacos trend for Cinco de Mayo.


Nathan’s Famous opts for thighs in two new chicken sandwiches

The chain’s Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich and Sticky, Spicy Grilled Chicken Sandwich feature dark meat instead of the more popular breast.

Family-dining chain IHOP debuts an upgraded bacon comparable to a steakhouse item. The new steakhouse premium bacon is showcased in several new items on IHOP's Bacon Obsession menu.

Chains in international locations are offering riffs on the trendy fried chicken sandwich.

Taste tracker: Del Taco is sweet on chipotle; steak and shrimp partner up at Panda Express; new spins on pizza at Pizza Inn, Round Table and Cosi; and a no-joke cocktail for April Fool’s Day.

White meat is the star in trendy fried chicken sandwiches. Why not use more flavorful dark meat? The answer is complicated by the size of today’s chickens, the export market, ease of execution and consumer preferences.

Chef-driven ghost kitchens are breaking into the chain-dominated market. Independent restaurants are seeing virtual concepts as an additional revenue stream that can evolve into brick-and-mortar locations.

Taste Tracker: Seafood makes waves at Newk’s and O’Charley’s; Mooyah and Hurricane Grill are all about burgers; and pizzas take on new twists.

Consumers rate the french fries they find most craveable.

The competition continues with the next sandwich in the smackdown.

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