4 ways to take seafood beyond center of plate

seafood salad
Thinkstock

From High Liner Foods.

Seafood—whether it’s in the form of fish and chips or tuna salad—is a menu staple for many foodservice locations. But seafood doesn’t have to be limited to just the center of the plate—it shines on other parts of the menu as well, from soups and salads to sides and snacks.

Here are four ways that seafood and fish are moving outside of the main course.

Soups

Starting the meal with soup is common for many diners, and in noncommercial settings, there’s usually an array of soups available each day. According to Technomic’s 2017 Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian report, 43% of consumers say they would eat a soup or seafood stew. Offered in a smaller portion than entree sized bowls, clam chowder can be a hit, as can lobster bisque.

At Indiana’s Purdue University, in the Hillenbrand Hall dining center, students can enjoy asparagus crab soup, and at The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Cambridge Hall, diners can order Cajun shrimp soup.

Salads

Salads with seafood in them can be a great meal—they have craveable seafood in a lightened-up format. But despite being a bit lighter than, say, fried seafood, seafood salads don’t have to be lifeless or dull—The Plaza Hotel Food Hall in New York City offers a lobster cobb salad, topped with cucumber, avocado, tomato, bacon, bleu cheese, egg and red wine vinaigrette. And at the Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe’s Echo restaurant, diners can tuck into the Ahi tuna spinach salad, which features sweet peppers, onion and celery with an Indonesian sweet soy raspberry vinaigrette.

Sides

Seafood and fish aren’t commonly known as a side dish, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be one. In fact, seafood sides have increased by almost 3% on noncommercial menus in the last five years, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor. Want some inspiration? Try offering up tuna pasta salad, like the University of Texas – Jersey City Limits does, or a seafood pasta salad like the one at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Sandburg Residence Hall.

Snacks

As consumers shift toward eating more snacks throughout the day (in addition to their meals), operators stand to benefit from offering protein-rich snacks including seafood and fish options. Smaller portions of entrees as well as appetizer-style options are the perfect snack to offer hungry diners. Best of all, they can be prepared in delicious and familiar ways—for instance, at the University of California Los Angeles’ Feast at Rieber dining hall, diners can order a lunch appetizer of fried pollock fish balls. At Scottsdale, Ariz.’s Troon N. Golf Club, the Dynamite Grille restaurant features the Ahi Tuna Tataki appetizer, which includes mango, cucumber, fennel, red pepper, sweet chili Thai sauce and wasabi, for a flavor explosion.

Whether treating themselves to an indulgent dish or trying to keep things lighter, seafood is a great option for diners. From bold flavors like Thai chili to approachable formats like pasta salad and fried fish, seafood is easily adaptable to fit on any part of the menu, from starters to sides, soups to salads and beyond.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
woman in the kitchen alone

The #MeToo movement has turned sexual harassment into the top labor-related regulatory issue for all employers, triggering action from three out of four companies, according to a new survey on workforce concerns.

About two-thirds (66%) of employers rank the issue among their top two employment-related legal worries, even without a change in the pertinent laws and regulations, the canvass found.

What has changed, concluded surveyor Littler Mendelson, one of the nation’s largest labor-focused legal firms, are employee expectations and the social climate.

“No company...

Managing Your Business
Starbucks college campus

Noncommercial dining centers are often filled with their own Starbucks, Burger Kings, Panera Breads and dozens of other nationally recognized brands. Branded concepts, whether corporate brands or self-operated, offer diners familiar names, menu items, and a sense of place. This translates into more money spent and more diner loyalty for foodservice operators.

However, the success of branded concepts vary greatly. There can be significantly different results depending on whether noncommercial operators decide to franchise, lease or develop their own branded concepts. There’s no one-...

Menu Development
pizza oven

Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Industry News & Opinion
polystyrene takeout

New York City will immediately start phasing out foodservice operations’ use of polystyrene takeout containers after a judge ruled on Friday against an operator coalition that had sued to overturn such a regulation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said over the weekend.

Unless the measure is blocked again on appeal, the city will commence a public education campaign to smooth the way for the change to other sorts of containers. Operators will be given a six-month grace period to find alternatives before they’ll be subject to sanctions.

The measure was scheduled to take effect last...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code