AS CONSUMER EATING PREFERENCES move toward more of a casual and social dining experience, lodging
operations are beginning to create new, smaller concepts that are both approachable and upscale. This helps deal with the wide range of guests with different taste preferences such as those on business, leisure travelers, and all of the others who choose to visit. Creating this welcoming, all-encompassing environment can keep guests on-site for a larger portion of their dining needs.
"Approachable dining concepts incorporate small plates and shareable offerings to appeal to a wider variety of guests and enhance overall dining experience."
—Technomic Lodging Study 2018
Because small plates are becoming more and more popular as entrees, they have increasingly driven incremental traffic during the more traditional dining dayparts. This allows you to give guests a more robust experience with a variety of dishes and flavors making your menu appeal to a wider audience than with traditional offerings. It also gives guests more control over their meal (appealing to their desire for custom portion size and healthfulness) by allowing them to add their own sides and bundle different small plates and starters together.
"Sriracha is the fastest-growing sauce on burgers and the second fastest-growing sauce on sandwiches at Top 500 chains."
—Technomic Flavor Trends Consumer Report 2017
When it comes to differentiating your menu, ethnic sauces are proving to be one of the more effective and convenient options. While you might default to popular Asian and Mexican sauces, such as the popular Sriracha, when you think of ethnic sauces, things like red and green curry, kabayaki, sambal and adobo are growing in popularity and are thought of as “introduction” sauces for those looking to begin expanding their menu flavor offering. This is a great way to test the waters while appealing to younger, more adventurous guests as well as those looking for more familiar options.
Some trends we’ve seen have quite a bit of success include hotter sauces with a cool base for a more balanced taste, spice infused cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks and more unique combinations of global flavors to appeal to a wider audience. This helps you to expand your menu choices exponentially and promotes your value as a dining destination.
Pomegranate Molasses Harissa Sauce Tossed Chicken with Moroccan Spiced Yogurt Sauce