Fried food is constantly getting a nouveau approach. Not long ago, it was favorite childhood snacks like Twinkies and Oreos getting the deep fried treatment and now menu items such as kale and pizza are taking the oily plunge. However, with each trend one thing is consistent: people love fried food. And nothing satisfies a table full of hungry customers faster than a fried appetizer.
Fried appetizers are a win-win for customers and restaurant owners, as they can provide instant gratification while driving up profits through multi-course ordering. Combine happiness for customers and operators alike and offer promotional deals on your fried appetizer items.
You Pick 3 (or 4 or 5…)
Choose a selection of customer favorites or try out a couple of new recipes with a “you pick” menu for your customers. Be sure to use items with low cost margins and shrink the usual portion size down to accommodate the variety of food on the platter.
Dip In For Fun
Create new twists on favorite dipping sauces for your fried foods. For example, spice up your mozzarella stick’s regular marinara for an arrabiata dipping sauce or offer a variety of mustards, barbecue sauces or ketchups with any other regular fried fare.
Advertise your sauce selection on the menu or on a table top display, and allow customers to select three or more choices with their order. Present the sauces in a compartment sauce dish, so guests can share their selections with friends at their table. Keep costs down and consider using herbs and spices you already order before creating new sauce recipes.
Fry For Each Mealtime
Instant food on the table is welcome any time of the day. Offer fried appetizers for breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. When possible, create bite-sized variations of main course dishes you already offer.
Breakfast: Consider adding sweet and breaded snack options such as:
- Donut Holes
- French Toast Sticks
- Corn Fritters
Lunch and Dinner: Keep costs down and offer the same appetizer for lunch and dinner, just vary the portion sizes. For added profitability, note two sizes on the appetizer menu, such as “large” and “small.” This way, customers can order larger sized appetizers anytime of the day if desired.
Using Comfort Foods
Fried macaroni and cheese, fried ravioli and tater tots are all comforting delights that many customers enjoy. Add to this idea and offer weekly comfort food specials that follow some of the deep fried trends that are cropping up around the country. Keep food costs down by introducing new menu items one at a time. Track the success of each item before adding it as a permanent addition to your menu.
Here are some deep fried ideas to get your going:
- Corn on the cob
- Sliced vegetables
Dress Up Your Fries
For years Canadians in Quebec have enjoyed Poutine without the rest of North America taking too much notice. But that time is over and the States are on to the gooey gravy and cheesy topped fried potatoes that make up this coveted late night favorite.
Add to your fry basket and create “Frites” with toppings such as:
- Pulled Pork
- Sautéed Veggies
- Truffle Oil and Parmesan
- Rosemary and Sea-salt
As always, take stock of what ingredients you already have on hand and let your imagination be the only limit to this creation.
Increase profits while keeping food cost down by catering to the fried food vices of your customers. Use your commercial fryer, to its full advantage by using select ingredients you already have with new ideas on how to prepare and present your menu’s appetizer to your customers.