Conventional wisdom would say not to mess with a good thing. But Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill did just that when it reformatted its top-selling Wild Salmon Lite Burrito, and placed its bets on a bowl. Not that it was too big a risk—mentions of entrees in bowls grew 3.5 percent on chain menus in the past year, according to Technomic. And Sharky’s already had success with its chicken fajita bowl. It took the biggest chance, perhaps, on pricing. “The salmon, sourced from two sustainable fisheries, costs $4 more per pound than the chicken, but we charge only $2 more for the salmon bowl—$10.99 compared to $8.99,” says David Goldstein, COO of the 24-unit fast casual. Strong customer demand for salmon makes up for the slimmer profit, he says.
Naked Wild Salmon Fajita Bowl
The salmon bowl debuted in March on Sharky’s Get It Naked menu—a roster of six “lower-fat and lower- calorie” burritos, salads and bowls—currently accounting for 9 percent of sales. The salmon bowl clocks in at 580 calories, under the burrito’s 651. The 4-ounce fish portion is cooked to order on special grates made for the wood-fired grill. Instead of sauteing the vegetables fajita-style, the kitchen steams them, a more healthful technique. Guacamole and a housemade tamari dressing add flavor without excess fat, as does the salsa bar, where guests can customize their bowls.
|Instead of...||Try this...|
|Sauteed vegetables||Steamed vegetables|
|Sour cream||Low-fat sour cream|
Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.