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Food trends and recipes to keep menus fresh


1,131 restaurant dishes, 17 days: Meatless sandwiches

With meatless items among the top 10 center-of-the-plate trends for 2014, according to the National Restaurant Association, even operators who might not have done meatless are making room on the menu.


Raising the cheesesteak

Steak performs well for Cousins Subs, because core customers see it as a point of differentiation for a sandwich QSR, says Justin McCoy, VP of marketing at the 122-unit chain based in Menamonee Falls, Wis. So in the last quarter of 2014, R&D developed a cheesesteak that layers a more generous portion of steak with premium ingredients.

When hunger hits, being on the exhibit floor at the NRA Show is not the worst place to be. The sprawl is packed with places to grab food samples. One Restaurant Business editor set out to find booths serving the most generous portions.

Meaning “sausage kitchen” in German, fast-casual Wurstküche serves a variety of encased meats and imported German brews to customers in Denver and L.A.

Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill messed with a good thing when it reformatted its top-selling Wild Salmon Lite Burrito, and placed its bets on a bowl.

In our latest roundup of offbeat offerings, french fries gain ground as a garnish, the Whopperito is born, and we dive into the mystery that is the McFloat.

New menu items prove that operators are still going after the next tasty flavor pairing to be discovered.

As we head into mid-January, healthy eating may still be top of mind for many diners. Nevertheless, a majority of consumers veer toward indulgence when at restaurants.

To get your customers into the spirit, offer a variety of savory and sweet pies—not all taking on the usual circular shape that links them to the mathematical pi.

You can’t go wrong with classic beef patties and cheeseburgers, but this month’s marketing tie-in provides an opportunity to try something a little different.

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