Adding Flavor to Your Menu

Last week I told restaurateurs about how ethnic foods are going to be a big trend for 2012. You may be wondering how your restaurant can add new flavors without completely changing your menu. Sauces. Plain and simple. Sauces can add a whole new dynamic to your menu items with minimal effort by kitchen staff. Not to mention, sauces can be easy on the pocketbook. With rising commodity costs, it can be tricky adding new items to the menu.

Here’s an interesting article from Prepared Foods – Adding Flavors: Trends in Sauces and Seasonings. And below I have a basic overview of what the article says.

Staple sauces like mayonnaise, bbq, and marinara are always popular, but many customers are looking for something new and unique. New ingredients in sauces are popping up, such as chipotle, ancho, lemongrass, wasabi, and cardamom. Actually incorporating the more unusual ingredients can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re not wanting to make major changes to your menu. However, creating signature sauces that are unique to your establishment can create a new reason for customers to come back. The article mentioned above actually has the top 10 fastest growing sauces in fine dining. It’s a great place to start if you want to incorporate more sauces:

1. Eel sauce

2. Mojo sauce

3. Thai chile sauce

4. Bleu cheese sauce

5. Yuzu sauce

6. Romesco sauce

7. Roasted garlic sauce

8. Miso sauce

9. Creole mustard

10. Sweet chili sauce

Check out the Prepared Foods article to get all the details on these sauces! If you are planning to incorporate menu labeling, keep in mind that some sauces (especially mayonnaise or cream based) can significantly increase your calories.