Summertime is snack time. As America’s appetite for snacks grows from sea to shining sea, operators have to be ready to answer their quest for taste, quality and most importantly, variety.
The nation’s snack consumption has reached staggering heights, according to the NPD Group, which reports that American adults noshed on snacks more than 200 billion times in 2015.1 With multiple dayparts in operations—midmorning, late afternoon and late night—snacking makes up 18% of all restaurant dining occasions.1
Riding the wave of the snacking craze, operators are reworking menus to send nosh-needy consumers a message straight out of Uncle Sam’s mouth: “We want YOU!”
Foodservice operators like Chef Brian Landry at Borgne in New Orleans are elevating bar snacks to the status of traditional dinner or lunch courses. The Chef Landrys of the snacking revolution are leading the charge to make bar food the equal of table menu items. The trend is to democratize snacking by making it quick, easy and approachable.1
Of course, flavor is always in favor, so smaller bites require a big impact. Chef Landry is spicing things up with a catfish slider topped with a bold green tomato chow-chow made of vinegar, pickling spices and turmeric over diced green tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and red bell peppers.1
Once you declare your independence from one-dimensional snacks, there’s no telling where the snacking revolution can take you (except maybe the bank).
Crispy Onion RingsSo go forth fearlessly into the snacking revolution. Try adding a midmorning pleaser like these Mini Cake Donuts or this Mini Crab Cake Roll with Spicy Slaw for your midafternoon customers. Crispy onion rings are a perfect option for your late night diners in need of a quick bite before hitting the town.
How do you approach the snack demand? Share your best ideas below.
1 Thorn, Bret, “Menus adapt to appeal to nation of snackers,” Nation’s Restaurant News, Mar. 30, 2016, http://nrn.com/food-trends/menus-adapt-appeal-nation-snackers