Although diners have their own favorite dishes they always seek out on menus, many dine out to try something new from time to time. That means that restaurant operators are always seeking new dishes that consumers will crave and return for week after week. By menuing new formats and flavors with familiar and well-loved proteins such as chicken, operators can stay ahead of the curve and offer craveable new dishes that may dethrone customers’ current favorites. Here are three ideas to try.
Interesting, new formats
One way to create a new, craveable taste is to incorporate chicken in new formats on menus. Take, for instance, Tyson® Chicken Chips. This baked or fried protein-forward option can be featured in handhelds, on top of salads or as an appetizer. Best of all, Tyson® Chicken Chips are offered in smoky barbeque and ranch flavors and are shipped pre-cooked and frozen, making them a speed-scratch option perfect for putting together fast meals and other dishes.
Adding flavors and sauces
According to Technomic’s 2019 Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report, 44% of consumers say they would be interested in trying chicken entrees made with new or unique flavors and sauces. And when it comes to what types of flavors they’re interested in, diners say they are likely to order dishes at restaurants at least occasionally if the dishes are savory (44%), tangy (42%), spicy (41%), ethnic, (39%) or smoky (39%).
Diners want a variety of flavors with chicken, and working with these, restaurants can come up with enticing entrees and dippable sauces that enliven their menu. Tyson® Chicken Chips are a versatile fit here as well, as they can pair with dippable sauces that feature those favorite flavors. Try offering them with tangy ranch, smoky barbecue sauce, spicy sriracha mayo or a globally inspired chimichurri aioli.
Glazes and marinades are another way to bring in additional flavor to chicken dishes. Technomic’s 2019 Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report reported that popular glazes or marinades consumers would like to have on their chicken include barbecue (56%), teriyaki (44%), lemon (37%), honey (36%) and bourbon (27%).
In addition, when asked what herbs and spices they prefer for chicken flavoring, diners listed black pepper, garlic, onion powder, basil, paprika, oregano, parsley, red pepper, rosemary and cayenne pepper.
Building unique shareables
Another way to add intrigue to the menu is to use those unique formats of chicken in familiar dishes to create shareable appetizers such as nachos. Use Tyson® Chicken Chips in place of tortilla chips to build a shareable nacho appetizer, for instance. Layering crispy Tyson® Chicken Chips, chili, cheese, salsa, chopped onions, tomatoes, sour cream and other toppings makes for a protein-pumped appetizer that is still full of crunch. Nachos also fit the bill when diners are looking for spicy, ethnic-inspired foods.
This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc.