Food trends and recipes to keep menus fresh


Lighter wings soar

Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar sell several tons of chicken wings, however, the bar staple wasn't as popular with female customers—about half of its clientele. To develop a lighter version, R&D started with unbreaded chicken-breast chunks which it bakes instead of fries. Guests ordering the wings can have them tossed with one of the same 30 sauces available on all the wings.


Why the kale trend isn't going away

While the food media searches for the next “kale,” usage of the ingredient has quadrupled at the 62-unit Brio Tuscan Grille, due to its Kale Caesar.

A new school of fast-casual concepts is bringing regional seafood favorites into the mainstream, offering the sort of selections that consumers formerly found in their areas at higher-end restaurants.

David Farmer has the mission of addressing new consumer sensibilities without alienating longtime fans of milkshakes, waffle fries and boneless fried chicken. And as he learned from a coleslaw controversy, that balancing act isn't always easy.

In a bid for consumers' attention, restaurants are trying to determine how many ways they can skin a chicken.

Pizza may be a national staple, but its different styles vary based on regions, from the Quad Cities to New Haven. With regional menu items such as Nashville chicken popping up on menus, could pizza be the next regional hit?

Here are the ingredients getting increasing play throughout the restaurant segments.

Restaurants take sampling beyond beer and wine to waffles, pies, sauces and more.

Consumers' expectations are higher than ever and constantly evolving, forcing operators to take a second look at traditional menu items.

In these six recipes, plant foods such as vegetables, grains and nuts are complemented with flavorful ingredients and, in some cases, small amounts of protein.

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