Articles byPage 108
Topping off pizza
U.S. pizza restaurant sales are expected to reach $44 billion by 2017, according to Mintel’s latest research. Traditional pizza options remain popular, but consumers’ pizza tastes are broadening when it comes to topping off their pies.
Courting diners with local flavors
The Columbus, Ohio-based Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern has 15 locations, but only the Indianapolis store serves up a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. The reason? Consumer demand for this regional Hoosier specialty could not be ignored.
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.
Menus are pushing past traditional meat choices. Chefs are thinking outside the beef-pork-poultry box and putting more goat, rabbit and pigeon or squab in the center of the plate. Kazia Jankowski of the Sterling-Rice Group in Denver predicts that this will be a leading trend in 2014, as foodies increasingly seek alternative proteins, especially from small-scale producers.