Food trends and recipes to keep menus fresh


Dark meat: Thighs and legs are in

Chicken breast has been the darling of restaurant and home kitchens for a couple of decades, touted for its versatility and health benefits. But lately, operators and consumers are beginning to suffer from white meat fatigue.


10 ways to keep food costs down this year

Economists tend to bicker, but there was at least one source of agreement in their 2013 forecasts: food prices are going to increase 2 to 4 percent this year. With restaurant patrons still pinching pennies, raising menu prices may not be the best solution. So what are the alternatives?

Baked pastas have stood the test of time at the 217-unit Fazoli’s, the Italian quickservice chain based in Lexington, Ky. This fall, Darren Gray, director of culinary innovation, tweaked the formula to create a new LTO: Primo Pizza Baked Sacchetti.

It’s never been more competitive in the burger category. Not only are “better burger” concepts proliferating, QSRs and sports grills are upping the ante and casual and fine-dining chefs are serving inspired signatures. So how do you get consumers to choose your burger?

Reinventing risotto with a non-traditional grain adds a sustainable twist to a classic dish.

Here are five recent concept launches Chef Gerry Ludwig encountered during his journey to conduct research on menu and restaurant trends. Whether they’re within your same segment or not, they’re ones to watch.

McDonald’s plans to customize its menu toward regional preferences and better-for-you items starting in January 2015.

All-day breakfast is building sales for concepts that deliver on trends.

In a 2015 Technomic survey, 72 percent of consumers said they now expect restaurants to allow them to customize meals. But it can be a struggle to execute.

Chefs from more than a dozen countries and many regions of the United States shared their expertise through demos, presentations and tastings at the Culinary Institute of America’s Worlds of Flavor conference last week. Cooking was the medium through which they shared their stories, but as restaurant owners, they included some business lessons in their insights as well.

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