Menu launches ramped up this month, as restaurants try to coax customers back with new items and promotions. Some chains are tying into St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA basketball tournament, both happening in March. But others are working spring ingredients into the menu, spotlighting asparagus, pineapple and berries. And burgers and pizza continue to be platforms for innovation, as these LTOs and new items demonstrate.
Pie Five Pizza
Pie Five “reinvented” its pan pizza crust and is offering it as an option on its pies. The new Panzano crust starts with housemade dough that is baked and fried until it’s crispy on the outside with a fluffy center. The artisan-style crust is finished with a buttery garlic blend that includes Parmesan and Romano cheeses and Italian seasoning It is crafted to be a sturdier base for Pie Five’s robust Tuscan marinara sauce. The chain also revamped its High Five-Meat pizza, adding more meat to complement the new pan crust.
Bacon and mesquite are elevating the flavor of burgers at Sonic. The Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger features a quarter-pound beef patty embellished with smoky mesquite butter and glazed with barbecue sauce. It’s finished off with bacon, melted American cheese, lettuce, grilled onions and pickles on a toasted brioche bun. The buttery burger is available until March 28 when a second burger LTO takes its place—the Bacon Jam Cheeseburger. This one is also layered with bacon and American cheese on a toasted brioche bun, but it’s differentiated with a dollop of bacon jam, a sweet-and-savory condiment created by Sonic VP of Product Innovation and Development Scott Uehlein.
Modern Market Eatery
Asparagus star in several new items at Modern Market Eatery. The fast casual is menuing a Prosciutto Asparagus Pizza, featuring a white cheddar sauce base topped with asparagus and ribbons of prosciutto. The spring vegetable is used raw in a Market Cobb Salad tossed with dill-scallion ranch dressing, pureed into an Asparagus Split Pea Soup and slightly charred in the Fire Roasted Vegetable Medley. Also new on the menu are two indulgent items: Strawverry Nutella Pearl Waffle and a Salted Nutella Marshmallow Treat resembling those nostalgic Rice Krispy treats.
Seafood is the route to spring flavors at Logan’s Roadhouse. Four new limited-time offers highlight fish and shellfish. An appetizer of Peel ‘N Eat Shrimp is a half-pound of shrimp served with creamy Cajun sauce, while Shrimp Stacked Salmon pairs mesquite-grilled shrimp with a lightly blackened salmon filet served topped with a creamy spinach sauce. The Bayside Burger and Surf & Turf Trio combine meat and seafood. The former is composed of a steak burger topped with popcorn shrimp, while the latter partners sirloin steak with crab cakes and a skewer of mesquite-grilled shrimp.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
March Madness was canceled in 2020, but the event is happening this year and Dickey’s is luring basketball fans with a themed promotion. Through April 4, customers who order $25 or more can get $5 off with a code—5OFFMarch—for online and app orders. Tournament specials include Dickey’s Big Yellow Box Ribs & Wings party to feed a crowd, pit-smoked wings and fall-off-the-bone ribs.
Hard Rock Cafe
St. Patrick’s Day is Wednesday, but Hard Rock Cafe is celebrating until Sunday with its holiday menu. All U.S. locations are offering a three-course meal for $55 for two, which includes a shareable starter of baby back ribs, a Guinness cheeseburger with Guinness fries and an “End of the Rainbow Pot of Gold Milkshake” that can be ordered with or without alcohol. Dine-in customers will also be treated to a live streaming of The Flogging Molly’s Dublin concert.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
Red Robin is leaning into cauliflower to motivate customers to eat more vegetables. The casual-dining chain conducted a consumer survey, which revealed that 13% feel there aren’t enough veggie options at restaurants and 12% believe that veggie-based menu options do not sound tasty. But 69% are more likely to eat a veggie that can be menued in a variety of ways and 20% said that cauliflower is a newfound versatile vegetable. Red Robin is trying to tempt diners with Cauliflower Wings and Cauliflower Crust, both available for a limited time.
Six Fan Favorite meals are returning to Friendly’s through June 6. These include the Heinz 57 Burger, the Vermonter Burger topped with white cheddar cheese and maple pepper bacon, Hot Honey SuperMelt filled with chicken tenders glazed with hot honey and the Maple Pepper Bacon SuperMelt. Two salads are also on offer: a Buffalo Chicken Entree Salad and Asian Chicken Entree Salad. Guests can also choose to bundle a meal with an ice cream sundae, starting at $11.99.
Claim Jumper is also going the comfort route with a new trio of overstuffed grilled cheese sandwiches. The three options include Nashville Hot Chicken Grilled Cheese, Double Burger Grilled Cheese and Lobster Mac n Cheese Grilled Cheese, all layered on thick-sliced bread and oozing with cheese. The gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches are available all day long at select locations.
Nekter Juice Bar
A nondairy Pineapple Matcha Smoothie debuted on the menu at Nekter Juice Bar. The antioxidant-rich blend is a combo of cashew nut milk, matcha powder, vanilla whey protein, pineapple and agave. Matcha is thought to promote heart health, aid weight loss and boost immunity.
The latest LTO from Jamba is the Electric Berry Lemonade smoothie. The neon purple color of the drink reflects its main ingredient, a plant protein called blue spirulina. Some research reveals that the ingredient may have antioxidant, pain-relief, anti-inflammatory and brain-protective properties. Strawberries and lemon add to the flavor profile.