With operators becoming increasingly strapped for time and labor, it’s a strain to prepare every aspect of a menu item back-of-house or keep the menu populated with a variety of options. While it doesn’t mean they have to cut corners when developing new items, operators can use more versatile items that are simple enough to apply across the menu to save on labor and cost as well as be more efficient.
With versatile proteins, operators can increase menu opportunities without kitchen complexity, and drive new customer traffic or increase the number of regular guests through new, exciting menu items.
Chicken as a versatile protein
Chicken is a neutral protein that can host a variety of flavor profiles, and with fully cooked options, it can be a quick, efficient food item in any operator’s arsenal. Customers also find comfort and security in chicken because they know what it is in every form. Chicken’s neutral, familiar flavor makes it an easy fit for a variety of on-trend or ethnic flavors that consumers crave.
Chicken, in its many forms, can also substitute beef or pork in a variety of dishes to help save on costs and create tasty menu items. There’s now chicken sausage, chicken burgers, chicken meatballs, chicken taco meat, chili made with chicken crumbles and much more. These chicken substitutes are typically priced more favorably than traditional beef or pork options and provide consistent flavor.
Adding finishing touches
It’s crucial that operators have the right mix of pre-made components and fresh ingredients to create delectable dishes to not only save time and money, but also attract consumers. Utilizing a fully cooked, speed-to-plate protein base for a menu item makes the most sense from an efficiency and cost perspective. This also provides the opportunity to add a signature touch by adding customized sauces, dips, spices, garnishes and more. These finishing touches help the operator stand out from the competition and drives consumers to their operation.
Chicken remains a popular protein since it’s simple, familiar to consumers and has a variety of forms for a multitude of menu items. Its versatility—due to its neutral flavor profile—is perfectly enhanced by the use of unique sauces, spices and dips. It can save operators on labor and costs with a fully cooked option that makes speed-to-plate applications seamless, is priced more favorably than other protein options and drives consumers to keep coming back due to the addition of menu options.
This post is sponsored by Tyson Food Service