On-trend ways to build on unique dishes with classic flavors

Most consumers are willing to try an item as a small plate or a side, rather than diving in with a full serving. This provides full-service restaurants an opportunity for trial occasions and can help them learn which dishes are hits and which might be misses. Best of all, they allow operators the chance to menu new things—either new formats or flavors—without worrying about the cost of investment.

Items with some degree of menu flexibility can lend themselves to experimentation as an appetizer or a small plate. Full-service restaurants can explore different ways to fully capitalize on a potential dish with diners.

Unique formats

Products such as Tyson®Chicken Chipsare a great example of a new item that has menu flexibility and fits into several emerging trends. Available in Ranch and Smoky Barbeque flavors, Tyson® Chicken Chips can pique the interest of patrons and keep them coming back for more. The chip style is unique for chicken but familiar as a snack style. With their fun shape and unique chip-flavored breading, Tyson® Chicken Chips can create menu excitement as an entree but are also perfect for appetizer options.

Small plates getting bigger

It’s a great time to try out new menu items as an appetizer or shareable snack size portion as the popularity of such items continues to rise. Technomic’s 2017 Starters, Small Plates and Sides Consumer Trend Report notes a 7% increase over two years in the number of Top 500 full-service restaurants offering small plates on the menu. Because some of these items actually end up being consumed as the main meal, it’s not surprising that protein-rich sides are also on the rise. According to Technomic’s Starters, Small Plates and Sides report, from 2015 to 2017, the number of protein sides available on Top 500 lunch and dinner menus increased by 5%.

Tyson® Chicken Chips align well with these trends. They are shareable and high in protein. They can be added to menus in a variety of ways either on their own, as part of a group of sides, or loaded up as a potential meal.

Flexibility on the menu

Menu options that work great as a shareable side but can easily be adapted to multiple recipe applications can become back of house workhorses. For instance, serve up Tyson® Chicken Chips with a dip for sharing, load them up like nachos or send them out as an on-the-go snack like you would chicken tenders. No matter how options like these are offered, they present a unique variety that’s still recognizable to consumers.

By choosing products and dishes that feature a unique format, such as Tyson® Chicken Chips, and ensuring they’re paired with classic flavors such as barbecue or ranch, operators are setting themselves up for success. Dishes like these are craveably delicious, offer menu flexibility and are shareable and portable. What more could a restaurant ask for?                   

This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc.