No longer relegated to the bottom of the menu, today’s side dishes are grabbing their share of the spotlight. Though the most frequently menued side dishes are salad, fries and rice, operators are rethinking these dishes to be flavor-forward and on trend. Kale salads and Brussels sprouts salads, for example, are popping up in place of the traditional side Caesar. Crispy smashed marble potatoes make for a colorful alternative to french fries. Ancient grains such as bulgur and quinoa have experienced tremendous growth as sides, too. Interest in plant-based cuisine and root-to-stem techniques has inspired innovation in the vegetable side dish category. Think roasted sunchokes, warm cauliflower salad and nori (seaweed) chips. Small portions of comfort dishes such as casserole or mac and cheese can be offered as premium sides for an upcharge or served family-style for sharing. Sides have the star power to drive traffic, boost check averages and add a signature touch to any menu!
Start with nutritious grains, seasonal produce or classic starches and add ready-to-use products from Custom Culinary® to enliven the flavor of any side dish.
Datassential, “Side: The SNAP™ Food Profile,” August 2017.
Joan Lang, “Veg on the Edge,” Flavor & The Menu, July 1, 2017.
Katie Ayoub, “Small Potatoes Go Big,” Flavor & The Menu, January 5, 2017.