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M x It Up Fresh New Flavors for Your Menu


The New Flavor Advantage  In this highly competitive economic environment, staying up to date with current food and flavor trends will help keep your customers interested and coming back for more. • What is your local competition offering? • What are the chains offering? • Are you giving your customers the variety they want? Here’s a flavor survey of what’s being offered on menus right now and some additional tips to stay on top of trends. What is your menu missing? Do you see something here that would be a great fit for your restaurant? Your next best-seller is waiting to be discovered!

FLAVOR TIP Ask your Sysco sales representative for these two great fliers that will bring you up to speed on current food trends and award-winning food blogs! It’s the info you need, ready to read!


APPETIZERS Appetizer sales were hit by the recession, but they should still be a profit center for your restaurant. It’s more important than ever to find the right mix of offerings to satisfy your customer base. Experiment with nightly appetizer specials, offering something different than your standard menu fare. If they’re priced lower than your entrées, they won’t be seen as a huge investment. Diners may feel more comfortable trying something unfamiliar or more exotic, even while they lean on comfort foods for entrées.

• Seafood Dip Creamy fondue filled with shrimp, crawfish, spinach and sautéed mushrooms topped with bread crumbs. Served with garlic bread for dipping, this fondue is fun to do! From www.joescrabshack.com

• Crab Nachos Tortilla chips piled high and topped with loads of crab dip, pico de gallo, cheese and black bean corn relish. From www.joescrabshack.com

Shared desserts may be on the way out, but appetizers are still perfect for groups of 2, 3 or more! If you have a big, shareable appetizer, make sure it LOOKS FUN. Ideally, your plating should look so cool when it passes a table that other customers’ heads spin. Soon, the whole room will want one! And never underestimate the power of your staff. Make sure they understand how quickly apps can increase a check average and their tips. Train them in selling and suggesting appetizers.

• Chips n Dip Classique All natural rosemary-romano potato chips with chunky roasted garlic, onion and bacon dip. From www.lunchboxlaboratory.com

• Buff Chips Crispy house-fried chips sprinkled with blue cheese crumbles and southwest ranch for dipping. From www.wildwingcafe.com

• Shrimp “Fondue” • Pancake Puppies Puppies are cute. Pancake Puppies are irresistable! Six bite-sized round pancakes rolled in a delicious blend of cinnamon and sugar, served with warm syrup. From www.dennys.com

• Catfish Fingers Farm raised Mississippi catfish served with fries and our home made tartar sauce. From www.poboys.com

• Triple Dipper Sample three of our famous dips with plenty of warm tortilla chips. Choose from: Super Spinach Dip, Hot Spinach Dip, Queso, Guacamole, Salsa, or our chilled Shrimply Delicious Dip. From www.wildwingcafe.com

• Seafood Hush Pups Not quite Hush Puppies – we make ’em better! Tasty Shrimp and Fish with golden Corn, deep fried and served with a Remoulade Dippin’ Sauce. From www.bubbagump.com

• Just-In-Quesadilla Flour tortillas filled with sliced chicken breast, mushrooms, applewood smoked bacon, Pepper-Jack and Cheddar cheeses, fresh cilantro and tomatoes, chipotle black beans, our freshly prepared guacamole and salsa and sour cream on the side. From www.redrobin.com

A blend of spicy shrimp, creamy cheese, and fresh pico de gallo. Served with unlimited tortilla chips. From www.rubytuesday.com

• Mexican Tortizza Six inch tortilla crust with ranchero sauce, taco beef, mixed cheese and pico de gallo. From www.wildwingcafe.com

• Chicken Chili Nachos Crisp tortilla chips piled high and smothered in chile con queso and topped with cheddar-jack cheese, jalapeños, tomatoes, red and green onions, shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa and hot beef and chicken chili. Deliciousness on every chip. From www.smokeybones.com

• Spinach Florentine Flatbread Oven-baked crispy flatbread topped with our creamy spinach & artichoke heart spread and bruschetta mix of diced tomatoes, garlic and freshly chopped basil. From www.tgifridays.com

• Angry Lobster Rolls Fresh vegetables and succulent Maine lobster wrapped and lightly fried, served with our Sriracha aioli. From www.warrenchophouse.com

• Crab, Shrimp and Artichoke Dip Served with fried pita chips. From www.mccormickandschmicks.com

• Shrimp, Cannellini Bean & Avocado Crostini From our new “Italian Tapas” menu. From www.macaronigrill.com

• Mediterranean Chicken Flatbread Crispy flatbread topped with grilled chicken, creamy goat cheese, red and yellow peppers and flavorful roasted garlic. From www.outbacksteakhouse.com


SALADS America wants to eat healthier. But “healthy” doesn’t have to mean “boring.” Salads can be prepared low-calorie, vegetarian, vegan, or even gluten-free, and STILL taste great! Fill them with fresh and flavorful seasonal produce or top them with signature proteins or house-made dressings. They’re a blank canvas, so get creative!

• Crab Cake Chipotle Caesar Romaine lettuce topped with one of our made-from-scratch lump meat crab cakes, black bean corn relish, tortilla strips and chipotle Caesar dressing. From www.joescrabshack.com

• Baja Cobb A mix of fresh greens, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions, guacamole and fresh jalapeños topped with spicy chipotle dressing. From www.smashburger.com

• Pear & Berry Salad Fresh Greens with charbroiled Chicken, Strawberries, Pears, and glazed Pecans. We toss it all together with Raspberry Vinaigrette, and top it with Feta Cheese. From www.bubbagump.com

• Southern Fried Rock Shrimp Salad Corn & okra slaw, rémoulade, mache, bacon vinaigrette From www.umamiburger.com

• Ultimate Buffalo Chicken Salad Crispy or grilled buffalo chicken, field greens, bleu cheese, carrots, tomatoes, celery and pico de gallo tossed in ranch dressing. Served inside a spicy, crispy tortilla shell. From www.bennigans.com

• Southern Fried Seafood Salad Crawfish, shrimp, fish, oysters or catfish lightly fried and served over a garden salad with your choice of dressing. From www.poboys.com

• Apple Harvest Chicken Salad A juicy grilled chicken breast on top of fresh mixed greens, candied walnuts and crumbled blue cheese. Finished with sliced apples and dijon vinaigrette. Served with warm garlic focaccia. From www.redrobin.com

Consider a Salad Toppers section, where guests can customize any salad with a protein topping of their choice. • blackened, grilled or jerked chicken or shrimp • crab cake or lump crab meat • piece of fresh fish • kabob skewer • filet medallions • portobello mushroom

• Apple Pecan Grilled Chicken Salad Our crispy lettuce blend topped with gala apples, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, candied pecans, and a warm grilled chicken breast. Served with Reduced Fat Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette. From www.steaknshake.com

• Caribbean Passion Tossed Salad Mixed greens and a colorful splash of fresh pineapple pico, mango, avocado, red pepper, cucumber, cilantro and crispy wontons. Served with your choice of ginger-lime marinated chicken or blackened ahi tuna and tossed with tangy Passion Fruit Vinaigrette. From www.tgifridays.com

• Gazpacho Spinach Salad Fresh spinach with cucumbers, avocado, roma tomatoes & roasted red onions. Served with our Lime Chipotle Vinaigrette & Jalapeño Cornbread. From www.thebeehivegrill.com

• Pesto Shrimp Salad2 Double salad = double delicious! A generous scoop of our house made pesto/jumbo shrimp salad served bold and cold atop a bed of mixed field greens.

• Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad With fresh strawberries, ripe blueberries and fresh pineapple. From www.panerabread.com

• Asian Edamame Salad Edamame, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, carrots, green onions, fresh basil, and cilantro in a ginger citrus dressing. From www.cornerbakery.com

FREE FLAVOR INFO Visit http://www.technomic.com/Resources/ to sign up for their excellent complimentary newsletters and e-mail updates on restaurant industry trends. All are excellent sources of information boiled down to just what you need.


PIZZA America LOVES pizza – breakfast pizza, dessert pizza, bagel pizza, flatbread pizza, crazy gourmet pizza... Pick a pizza and jump in!

You don’t have to own an Italian restaurant to serve a good pizza, and the toppings and flavor combinations are only limited by your imagination.

• Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza

• California Club Pizza

Jerk chicken, spicy sweet Caribbean sauce, Mozzarella, applewood smoked bacon, onions, bell peppers and scallions. From www.californiapizzakitchen.com

Applewood smoked bacon, chicken and Mozzarella, hearthbaked then topped with tomatoes, avocado and chilled lettuce tossed in mayonnaise. From www.californiapizzakitchen.com

• Buffalo Chicken Pizza Chicken, Two Cheese, Hot Sauce, Ranch Dressing From www.pizzaranch.com

• Pesto Chicken Pizza Grilled chicken breast marinated in a basil pesto sauce with mild onions, Mozzarella cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, more pesto sauce and toasted pine nuts. From www.californiapizzakitchen.com

• Pescatore Pizza White pizza, lobster, scallops, shrimps, broccoli di rabe shredded mozzarella From www.pescatoreseafood.com

• BBQ Chicken Pizza Smoked gouda, red onion & cilantro From www.cheesecakefactory.com

• Habaneros Carnitas Pizza Slow-roasted pulled pork, red onions, cilantro pesto, Mozzarella and Quesadilla cheese with SPICY habanero salsa. From www.californiapizzakitchen.com

• Stampede Canadian Bacon, Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Beef, Mushrooms, Green & Black Olives, Onions, Green Peppers From www.pizzaranch.com

• Scampi Pizza White pizza, scampi sauce, shrimp, basil goat cheese & shredded mozzarella From www.pescatoreseafood.com

• Crab Flatbread Pizza What would happen if your favorite crab house met your favorite pizza parlor? You’d get a load of creamy, crabby goodness, with melted mozzarella and a shot of Old Bay. From www.greeneturtle.com

• John’s Favorite Papa John’s founder John Schnatter’s favorite pizza, loaded with pepperoni, sausage and a six-cheese blend of mozzarella, parmesan, romano, asiago, provolone and fontina. Sprinkled with our special blend of Italian herb seasonings. From www.papajohns.com

• White Pizza Mozzarella, Fontina, Parmesan and Ricotta Cheeses with Spinach and Garlic. From www.cheesecakefactory.com

• Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza Chicken, Broccoli, Two Cheeses, Zesty Alfredo Sauce From www.pizzaranch.com

• Fiery Hawaiian Pizza Sliced ham, bacon, pineapple, roasted red peppers, hot sauce, and jalapeños with provolone cheese on a parmesan asiago crust. From www.dominos.com

• Spinoccoli TM Spinach, broccoli, chunky tomatoes, feta, Cheddar, mozzarella & grated Romano. From www.unos.com

• Smoky Shrimp Flatbread Seared shrimp, smoked mozzarella, pancetta, saporita. From www.macaronigrill.com

NAME CALLING Choose your item names carefully. They should be clear, but appetizing. Don’t bore your customer with the same item name they’ve seen on so many other menus: Grilled Chicken, Surf and Turf... BORING. Combine interesting item names with colorful descriptions and your dishes are as good as sold!


MAC & CHEESE Several Mac & Cheese restaurant concepts have sprung up over the past few years. Their menus show how one of America’s favorite comfort foods can be enhanced with a wide variety of add-ins.

Mac & Cheese has HUGE flavor potential, pasta is profitable, and you don’t have to work to sell the concept - people already love Mac and Cheese! It’s very easy to make this menu addition work for you! Popularly served in individual skillets or bread bowls.

• FROM CHEESE-OLOGY http://www.cheese-ology.com

• FROM JB MACK http://www.jbmack.com

• 4-Cheese Mac and Cheese

• Chicken & Broccoli

Four cheeses, Provolone, Gruyere, Muenster, and Goat, blended to create this tangy mac

• Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Mozzarella and Blue Cheese, Chicken and Buffalo Hot Sauce

• Black and Bleu A Cajun nod with American and Bleu cheese, Steak and a little heat from Cajun Spices

• Bacon! Bacon! Mac and Cheese For Bacon lovers!! Mozzarella and Gruyere cheese, and a generous amount of thick cut Bacon

• Chicken or Shrimp Scampi Mac and Cheese Mozzarella, Provolone and Parmesan cheese, Chicken or Shrimp, Lemon and Garlic

• Santa Fe Mac and Cheese Chihuahua and Monterey Jack cheese, Chicken, Corn and Black Bean Salsa, and Southwest Spices

• The Hill Provel cheese and Salsiccia (sausage) with a top layer of Marinara

• Philly Cheese East Coast style with American and Provolone cheese, Steak, Onions, and Peppers

• Creamy Pesto Mozzarella and Provolone cheese with loads of Basil Pesto

Grilled chicken & fresh broccoli

• Steak n Cheese Mac Shaved steak, mushrooms, peppers & American cheese

• Very Veggie Roasted red peppers, mushrooms & broccoli

• Meat Trio Sausage, pepperoni, & bacon

• Bacon Burger Mac Hamburger, bacon & American cheese with a side of ketchup

• Kickin’ Chicken Grilled chicken, bacon & hot peppers

• Chicken Buffalo Mac Buffalo cheddar sauce tossed w/ chicken & peppers

• Build-A-Mac Pick & choose your fillings and cheese sauce Veggies: Broccoli - Mushrooms - Peppers - Tomatoes - Hot Peppers - Peas Meats: Ham - Hot Dog - Hamburger - Sausage - Pepperoni Specialty: Chicken - Bacon - Sun Dried Tomatoes - Steak Cheese Sauces: Golden Classic - Spicy Jalapeño - White Cheddar Buffalo Cheddar - Marinara


• FROM MACBAR http://www.macbar.net • The Classic Elbow macaroni, American, Cheddar

• 4-Cheese Queso blanco, fontina, emmental, gouda

• Mayan Chipotle Mac Chicken diablo, chihuahua cheese, green onions

• Primavera Mac Spinach, artichoke, feta, parmigiano, fresh tomato & herbs

• Carbonara

• OTHER MAC & CHEESE IDEAS • Bacon Blue Crab Mac and Cheese Applewood Bacon, Parmigiano, Provolone & Mozzarella Cheeses, Herbed Panko Crust From anastasiseafood.com

• Chili Mac Chili piled on hot steaming spaghetti topped with cheese, onions and beans and even jalapenos or sour cream! From www.hardtimes.com

• Pork Belly Mac and Cheese With caramelized onions and pulled pork with chipotle lime BBQ sauce, served on grilled Texas toast with fries. From www.whiskeycreek.com

Pancetta, green peas, parmigiano

• Margarita Mac Fresh tomatoes, parmigiano, mozzarella, fresh basil

• Mac Stroganoff Braised beef, stewed mushrooms, sour cream sauce

• Mac Reuben Braised corned beef, pickled sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, rye bread crumbs

• Cheeseburger Mac Ground angus beef, Cheddar, American

• Mac Lobsta Tender chunks of fresh lobster, cognac, tarragon, mascarpone

• Classic Creamy Mac and Cheese Swirly cavatappi pasta tossed in a creamy four-cheese sauce, topped with more gooey cheese and baked to golden brown. Served with focaccia bread and a side salad. From www.redrobin.com


PASTA Looking beyond Mac & Cheese, there’s still great profit in pasta entrées. A huge variety of pasta shapes are available to be topped with an even wider variety of sauces, signature meats and veggies. Tired of plain old spaghetti? Pasta has extensive international flavor possibilities: Thai Curry, Vietnamese Pad Thai, Russian Stroganoff and all the traditional Italian favorites!

• Pasta Jambalaya Shrimp and andouille sausage cooked in a garlic butter sauce full of mushrooms, bell peppers and onions served over penne pasta. It’s like a pasta jambalaya! From www.joescrabshack.com

• Lobster Carbonara Spaghetti, lobster, smoked bacon, snap peas, garlic cream sauce From www.maggianos.com

• Pasta Weesie Fettuccine alfredo with shrimp sautéed in a garlic, lemon butter, white wine sauce with sautéed mushrooms and scallions From www.carrabbas.com

• Eggplant Quadratini Roasted eggplant, basil, tomato, ricotta salata, red chile From www.macaronigrill.com

• Shrimp Alfredo Shrimp tossed with penne pasta in our own creamy Alfredo sauce. From www.joescrabshack.com

• Shrimp Oreganata Spaghettini with a Cream Sauce and Lemon, Fresh Oregano Leaves, Roasted Red Peppers and Grana Padano From www.timpanochophouse.net

• Pad Thai Rice noodle stir-fry with scrambled egg, carrots, cabbage, sweet chile, citrus, peanuts, Asian sprouts and cilantro From www.noodles.com

• Taylor Street Baked Ziti Italian sausage, pomodoro sauce and ziti topped with a layer of melted Provolone and Parmesan From www.maggianos.com

The most common mistake with pasta is overcooking it. It’s easy to overlook this critical step, so work with your kitchen staff to make sure you’re serving al dente, perfect pasta, not a bunch of limp, wet noodles.

• Shrimp Portofino Jumbo shrimp, capellini, spinach, mushrooms, pine nuts, lemon butter From www.macaronigrill.com

• Shrimp Fra Diablo Fettuccini, Asparagus, Goat Cheese, Pine Nuts and Spinach Tossed in Spicy Rosa Sauce. From www.timpanochophouse.net

• Cajun Shrimp & Chicken Pasta Al dente fettuccine ribbons in our creamy Alfredo sauce under delicious chicken and shrimp sautéed with red bell peppers in a special Cajun butter. All topped with Parmesan shavings. From www.tgifridays.com

• Chicken & Truffle Tortellacci Tortellacci stuffed with chicken, baked in a garlic and white wine cream sauce with smoked ham, Asiago cheese and fresh spinach From www.maggianos.com

• Blackened Chicken Linguine Mushrooms, Peppers, Cajun Cream From www.mccormickandschmicks.com

• Blackened Chicken Alfredo Dirty bird on penne pasta swimmin’ in our delicious Alfredo sauce From www.poboys.com

• Pesto Spaghetti Rosemary ham, pesto, peas, ricotta salata, crispy prosciutto From www.macaronigrill.com

• Pesto Cavatappi Curly pasta, basil pesto, garlic, mushrooms, tomato, wine, cream, parmesan and Italian parsley From www.noodles.com

FRES H FLAVORS Find a good food magazine that covers the style of items your restaurant offers. Subscribe for the longest term available. Have it sent to the place you’re most likely to have 20 minutes to browse through it: home, restaurant or office. Bonus Tip: Amazon.com offers many magazine subscriptions with an auto-renewal feature, so you’ll never have to deal with all that renewal notice junk mail again!


SANDWICH Nearly anything can be made into a winning sandwich, wrap, press or panini. There’s even been a few instances of PASTA SANDWICHES popping up on chain menus and in food mags lately. This category needs a little creativity to help your offerings stand out from the rest, but you can feature local flavors and

• Grilled Mac N Cheese Pulled Pork Panini Or substitute any slow-simmered meat, short ribs, or meatloaf. Recipe from www.foodnetwork.com - great photos at http://paninihappy.com/grilled-mac-cheese-with-bbq-pulled-pork

• Meatloaf Sandwich Thick sliced meatloaf, melted Monterey Jack, grilled onions. From www.tedsmontanagrill.com

• Tuscan Savory Flatbread Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions, Tomato-Garlic Sauce, Parmesan, Chili Flakes and Sage From www.timpanoschophouse.net

• Seafood Trio Roll Freshly shucked lobster, crabmeat, shrimp cocktail, celery and mayonnaise on a toasted roll From www.legalseafoods.com

• Capt. John’s Flyin’ Hawaiian Quarter pound lamb patty, honey-cured bacon, fried onions, colby jack cheese and polynesian pineapple mayo. From www.lunchboxlaboratory.com

• Oyster Po’Boy Freshly ground tuna, chili paste, crumbs and spices From www.legalseafoods.com

• Slow Simmered Beef Sandwich Taste the tenderness of beef that has been slow simmered for hours and piled high on a buttery bun from Applebee's collection of bakery breads. Layered with jalapeño coleslaw, crispy onion strings and our sweet and hot signature sauce. From www.applebees.com

• Portabella A Portabella Mushroom 7” to 8” across marinated in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Comfort Zone Spice Rub then grilled and topped with fire roasted red bell peppers, smoked gouda cheese and served on a bun. From www.comfortzonebbq.com

• The Plantation Sliced rotisserie chicken, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, spicy mayo From www.louisianabethesda.com

• Strip Cheese Sandwich Chicken strips shaken in wing sauce topped with provolone and cheddar cheese, served on a toasted ciabatta roll. From www.hooters.com

ingredients to make your menu more memorable. House-made spreads and flavored mayos are an easy way to create interest around signature sandwiches and burgers. Basil Pesto Mayo, jalapeño ranch, smoked pepper mayo, pineapple mayo, truffle mayo, roasted garlic aioli, etc.

• Utopia Chicken Perfection? Pretty close. All natural chicken infused with aromatic flavors of Thailand. A burst of mint and lime and the adventure begins. Follow it up with just enough heat for an explosion of flavor. Your ticket to paradise. From www.builtburger.com

• Magnificent Chorizo Because it's so tasty. House made Mexican chorizo, roasted poblano peppers, crumbled cotija cheese and fresh cilantro. Add all natural beef to create a perfect balance of cool and a kick. Score this one a 10. 6 oz. From www.builtburger.com

• Avocado Chicken Club Fresh avocado, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing and mayo on a multi-grain bun. From www.smashburger.com

• The Ultimate Sicilian Chicken Sandwich It has a flavor you can't refuse. Tender chicken breast, pepperoni and ham piled high and smothered in melted Provolone. Served open-faced with fresh lettuce, Bruschetta mix, shaved Parmesan and drizzled with Caesar Vinaigrette. From www.tgifridays.com

• Fried Bologna Sandwich Fried bologna, Russian dressing, American cheese, hot peppers, and fried egg. From www.warrenchophouse.com

• Grilled Fish Ciabatta Wood-grilled tilapia topped with tomato basil vinaigrette and arugula, served open-faced on grilled ciabatta, with housemade chips. From www.carrabbas.com _____________________________________________________

• Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for Grown Ups It’s easy to jump on this hot trend! Just take a bunch of high-quality ingredients and grill them up!

• The Meltdown Grilled cheese on steroids. Freshly baked bread with your choice of Fresh Mozzarella, Aged White Cheddar, Havarti, Brie, Smoked Gouda, Provolone, Pepper Jack, or Swiss. From www.www.meltdowngrilleandbar.com

• Grilled Crab & Cheese Melt • Grilled Black Forest Ham, Gruyere Cheese & Egg • 4-Cheese Blend Grilled Cheese • Brie, Smoked Ham, Dijon Mustard, Red Peppers


BURGERS In recent years, the upscale burger boom has been one of the few bright spots in the restaurant industry. Americans can’t get enough, and we don’t mind paying $11, $12 or $13 for a burger experience we can’t get at home. Are you getting your share of that burger business?

If you’re tired of beef, consider turkey, tuna, black bean, chickpea, or the exotic options on the menu at Fuddruckers: Buffalo Burger, Elk Burger, and Wild Boar Burger.

• Chili Cheddar Burger

• Brilliant Prosciutto

Topped with chili, shredded cheddar and onions. Jalapeños optional. From www.hardtimes.com

• Montana Breakfast American cheese, grilled ham, spicy tomato jam and a fried egg over easy. From www.tedsmontanagrill.com

• The Avalon Burger Smothered in melted Gruyere, just a hint of blue cheese, smokey bacon, sweet caramelized onions, roasted garlic aioli and fresh baby arugula, all on a toasted onion bun. From www.tedsmontanagrill.com

• The Canyon Creek Burger Piled high with melted cheddar cheese, smokey bacon, diced fresh jalapeños, blackberry jam and a fried egg over easy, served on a corn-dusted kaiser roll, this hearty burger is truly one-of-a-kind. From www.tedsmontanagrill.com

• The Peppercorn Burger Seasoned and seared with peppercorns and topped with melted Gruyere cheese, herb Dijon mustard and fresh baby arugula, on a toasted onion bun. From www.tedsmontanagrill.com

• Chesapeake Flavored with Old Bay and topped with crab dip, bacon and American cheese. From www.greeneturtle.com

• Santa Fe Slammer Kobe beef patty, honey cured bacon, green chilis, colby jack cheese, fried onions and housemade bbq sauce. From www.lunchboxlaboratory.com

• Quesadilla Burger Take your taste buds for a Southwest joyride. A juicy burger with our signature Mexi-ranch sauce with pico de gallo and shredded lettuce. Served in a mouth-watering pepper-Jack and cheddar quesadilla (contains bacon). From www.applebees.com

• Burger of the Gods Kobe beef patty, bleu cheese crumbles, balsamic onions and creamy gorgonzola sauce. From www.lunchboxlaboratory.com

Undeniably excellent. Begin with all natural beef and be amazed by Italian prosciutto, onions reduced in balsamic, roasted red peppers and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. An excellent balance of salty and sweet. Trust us, you'll be the leader of the grill. 6 oz. From www.builtburger.com

• Blazin BBQ Loaded Burger It's a heat stroke of genius. A 100% pure beef patty topped with crispy jalapeño strips plus sliced jalapenos, bacon, Pepper Jack cheese, sweet and spicy habanero and hickory BBQ sauces, lettuce, and ripe tomato on a toasty bakery bun. That ought to melt heartstrings. From www.sonicdrivein.com

• Hatch Chile Cheeseburger Our signature Big Mouth® Burger with mild roasted Hatch green chile sauce, jalapeño Jack cheese, cilantro-lime mayo and housemade pico de gallo. From www.chilis.com

• Colorado Grilled, fresh mild green chilies, melted cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a spicy chipotle bun. From www.smashburger.com

• Spicy Baja Pepper jack cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, spicy chipotle mayo and fresh jalapeños on a spicy chipotle bun. From www.smashburger.com

• Grilled Portobello & Swiss A Double Steakburger with fresh Portobello mushrooms, seasoned on our fiery hot grill and topped with melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and garlic mayo. Served with fries. From www.steaknshake.com

• Buffalo Burger A tender and flavorful classic burger served on our wheat bun. Leaner than most traditional beef burgers, it has 0 g. of artificial trans fats and is just as juicy when grilled to medium. Try it with cheddar cheese and your fair share of our free market fresh produce. From www.fuddruckers.com

• Philly Burger This burger is piled high with grilled onions, sautéed peppers & mushrooms, and smothered in creamy cheese sauce and aged white cheddar. Served on a toasted hoagie roll. From www.applebees.com


• Tuna Burger

• Guinness Glazed Bacon Cheeseburger

Freshly ground tuna, chili paste, crumbs and spices From www.legalseafoods.com

Guinness stout glaze, bacon, cheddar, crispy fried onions From www.bennigans.com

• Triple Pork Burger

• Farmhouse Cheeseburger

fresh ground pork, chorizo and bacon with manchego cheese & pimento aioli From www.umamiburger.com

• Jalapeno Turkey Burger Turkey jalapeño blend, pepperjack, cranberry sauce, arugula From www.burgerkitchenla.com

• Jamaican Jerk Burger Angus beef jerk seasoned and served with all the trimmings. From www.myjamaicahouse.com

Topped with Grilled Smoked Pork Belly, Cheddar Cheese, Onions, Lettuce, Tomato, Mayo and a Fried Egg. From www.cheesecakefactory.com

• Jack Daniels Burger Our signature Jack Daniel's® sauce, crispy bacon and melted Provolone cheese. Served with extra Jack Daniel's® sauce on the side. From www.tgifridays.com

• Ultimate BBQ Burger

• Umami Burger House ground beef, oven roasted tomatoes, carmelized onions, parmesan frico, sautéed shiitake mushrooms and house made ketchup. From www.umamiburger.com

• Californication Beef patty, blue cheese, special sauce, crispy shallots, avocado From www.burgerkitchenla.com

• Monterey Cheeseburger Avocado, melted Jack cheese, arugula, and red onion with Honey-Mustard Mayo. From www.cheesecakefactory.com

A juicy ground beef patty beneath a pile of Georgia Chopped Pork with two strips of jalapeño bacon, melted sharp American cheese and our signature Beam & Cola BBQ sauce. From www.famousdaves.com

• Avocado Turkey Burger Lightly seasoned all-white-meat turkey patty, fire-grilled to perfection. Served on a fresh toasted bun topped with garlic mayonnaise, crisp lettuce, fresh Haas avocado slices and sliced tomato. From www.smokeybones.com

• Boston Blue Burger

• The Vermonter Melted Vermont White Cheddar cheese, maple pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a toasted Ciabatta roll. From www.friendlys.com

Topped with blue cheese crumbles, crisp onion rings, and our house-made Boston barbecue sauce. From www.rubytuesday.com

a selection of Gourmet Burgers from Ted’s Montana Grill


SEAFOOD Today, there are smart phone apps (like Monterey Bay Aquarium’s popular Seafood Watch) advising diners about healthy and sustainable seafood options. Make sure your servers can answer questions if they come up.

• Shrimp & Grits A whole mess o’ Shrimp, Ham, Onions, Andouille Sausage, Garlic and Cajun Spices served over Carolina Grits. From www.bubbagump.com

• Dragonfire Salmon A hearty Norwegian salmon fillet grilled to perfection and glazed in a Kung Pao sauce. Served with pineapple Pico de Gallo, Mandarin oranges, ginger-lime slaw and fresh steamed broccoli. From www.tgifridays.com

• Sizzle Salmon Mushroom Truffle or Asian Black Pepper Sauce From www.mccormickandschmicks.com

• Potato Crusted Flounder A mild whitefish fillet grilled to perfection in a delicious potato crust. Served with a baked Russet potato, fresh steamed broccoli and your choice of freshly baked rolls or buttermilk biscuits. From www.bobevans.com

• Tuscan Crab Tilapia A mild filet of tilapia is broiled, then topped with our Tuscan inspired sauce made with jumbo lump crab meat, Parmesan cream sauce, roasted peppers, spinach, and a hint of bacon. Served with your choice of two sides. From www.rubytuesday.com

• Shrimp Key West Two skewers of shrimp are dusted with Cajun spices, grilled over an open fire and splashed with a tangy ginger-lime dressing. Served with fresh steamed broccoli. From www.tgifridays.com

• Jamaican Black Pepper Shrimp Sautéed Shrimp with a Very Spicy Jamaican Black Pepper Sauce. Served with Rice, Black Beans, Plantains and Cool Mango Salsa. Available with Chicken or Chicken and Shrimp. From www.thecheesecakefactory.com

• Branzino con pesto Trapanese Roasted Mediterranean sea bass, tomato and almond pesto From www.pizzeriaortica.com

• Rainbow Trout New Orleans Fresh rainbow trout blackened with Cajun spices and topped with shrimp and a spicy Tabasco beurre blanc. Side of pico. From www.redlobster.com

• Cedar Plank Salmon Oven roasted on a cedar plank with garlic mashed potatoes, country style green beans and fresh horseradish sauce. From www.tedsmontanagrill.com

• Mahi Mahi Pan Seared with Crab Potato Hash Sweet Corn Bisque & Balsamic Glaze From www.mccormickandschmicks.com

• Louisiana Catfish Matrimony Sautéed with shrimp and andouille sausage, jasmine rice and seasonal vegetables From www.legalseafoods.com

• Shrimp Pot Pie When it’s cold outside, this one’s warm inside. Creamy, spicy Seafood Newburg baked with a flaky crust.

• Langostino Lobster Bites From www.ljsilvers.com

• Crab Stuffed Shrimp Plump shrimp stuffed with Joe’s famous crabmeat recipe! Served with dirty rice and seasonal vegetables. From www.joescrabshack.com

• Swordfish Served with Sweet Potato Crab Hash, a Jumbo Grilled Shrimp, and Savory BBQ Butter Sauce. From www.mccormickandschmicks.com

• Roasted Salmon Marinated with Dill and Shallots, Served on Sauteed Artichokes and Spinach with a Mustard Cream Sauce From www.timpanochophouse.net

KNOW THE NEWS Nation’s Restaurant News is an invaluable source of up-to-the-minute industry information, including features on hot flavor trends. Visit http://www.nrn.com to read the news every day, subscribe to their twice-monthly print edition or their free (and frequent) e-mail newsletters.


SOUP+ SIDES Winter is coming, and warm, wholesome, hearty soups will be in demand once again. Pair the perennial favorite with a half sandwich or salad for an unbeatable lunch combo.

• King Crawfish Soup Louisiana crawfish, creole seasonings and tomatoes simmered together in a rich cream sauce. Served with buckwheat bread (jalapeno corn bread) or a half loaf of pressed French bread. From www.poboys.com

• Chicken & Green Chile Soup With rice, green chiles and tomatoes. Topped with cilantro, avocado and a lime wedge. From www.chilis.com

• Seafood Stew Cod, Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, Snow Crab, Squid, in a Hearty Tomato Sauce, served with Grilled Rustic Italian Bread From www.mccormickandschmicks.com

• Zuppa Toscana Spicy sausage, russet potatoes and cavolo greens in a creamy broth. From www.olivegarden.com

• Chicken Enchilada Soup Topped with tortilla strips, cheese and house-made pico de gallo. From www.chilis.com

• Three Lentil Vegetable Soup From www.cornerbakery.com

• Shrimp & Lobster Chowder Creamy corn chowder simmered with shrimp, lobster, potatoes and red bell peppers. From www.longhornsteakhouse.com

• Sausage Chili

Soups are an easy way to feature fresh seasonal produce like squash, pumpkins, carrots, collard greens and corn.

• Low-Fat Lemon Chicken Orzo A Mediterranean-inspired soup with chicken, orzo, spinach, carrots, oregano and basil simmered in a lemon infused chicken broth and topped with a lemon wheel. From www.panerabread.com

• Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto A low-fat vegetarian soup with diced tomatoes, sliced zucchini, yellow beans, fresh Swiss chard, cauliflower, bell peppers and pearled barley in a tomato broth. Garnished with a dollop of nut-free basil pesto. From www.panerabread.com

• Loaded Potato & Bacon Soup Creamy potato and bacon soup topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream. From www.ihop.com

• Shrimp & Crab Bisque An Alabama twist to a low-country favorite. From www.bubbagump.com

• Bayou Gumbo Chicken and andouille sausage simmered for hours with the flavors of the Cajun “trinity” (onions, peppers, and celery). Duh-licious! Served with buckwheat bread (jalapeno corn bread) or a half loaf of pressed French bread. From www.poboys.com

• Tuscan Sausage & Orzo Italian sausage, fennel, white beans and fresh tomatoes From www.maggianos.com

Our signature sausage and plump kidney beans in a hearty tomato base From www.bobevans.com

• Roasted Spaghetti Squash • White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes From www.rubytuesday.com

• Cheese Tots Pop some of these crispy little potato pieces in your mouth and you'll never think of a spud the same way again. Top them with chili and cheese, or get them plain. From www.sonicdrivein.com

• Chili Cheese Fries Crispy, golden brown sticks of potato goodness. Get 'em with your combo, or on their own smothered with warm, chili and cheese. From www.sonicdrivein.com

• Creamy Langostino Lobster Mashed Potatoes From www.redlobster.com

• Steakhouse Mac & Cheese Corkscrew pasta, four cheeses & hickory smoked bacon From www.longhornsteakhouse.com

• Seafood Smashed Potatoes Smashed potatoes with garlic, butter, lump crab meat, Old Bay seasoning and melted Cheddar cheese.

• Crispy Red Potatoes Potatoes roasted with herbs then fried, served with garlic butter, rosemary, parsley and basil. From www.maggianos.com

• Cheesy Andouille Fries From www.louisianabethesda.com

• Green Beans with Bacon & Crispy Onions Fresh green beans served with bacon and crispy onions From www.maggianos.com

• Legendary Loaded Sweet Potato Topped with marshmallow and caramel sauce. From www.texasroadhouse.com

• Pumpkin Bread Order as a side, with your meal or a loaf to go! From www.bobevans.com


ENTREES You know your kitchen’s capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. When selecting new entrées and specials, choose items they can make well and that taste so good, people will post about them on Facebook!

• Pork Chop Adobada With your choice of sauces: Spicy Ancho, smoked corn pico de gallo, or green papaya vinegar. Served with drunken black beans, pickled watermelon salad, crème fraiche. From vestagrill.com

• Bison Meatloaf Two hearty slices with brown gravy, garlic mashed potatoes and Aunt Fannie’s squash casserole. From www.tedsmontanagrill.com

• Bison Pot Roast Braised and slow-roasted, served with brown gravy, garlic mashed potatoes and country style green beans From www.tedsmontanagrill.com

• Fiesta Lime Chicken A little zest, a little Southwest. Grilled chicken done fiesta-style with a zesty lime sauce. Then we top it with Jack-cheddar and Mexi-ranch, and serve it up with crisp tortilla strips, seasoned rice and fresh pico de gallo. From www.applebees.com

• Dragonfire Chicken A juicy fire-grilled chicken breast glazed in Kung Pao sauce and served over jasmine rice pilaf with pineapple pico de gallo, Mandarin oranges and fresh steamed broccoli. From www.tgifridays.com

• 16 oz. Organic Grain Fed Veal Chop From www.timpanochophouse.net

• Mediterranean Skewers Marinated and fire-grilled with a lemon-garlic sauce. Served with a tasty tzatziki cucumber yogurt sauce, jasmine rice pilaf, vegetable medley and grilled pita. Served with your choice of Grilled Chicken or Black Angus Sirloin. From www.tgifridays.com

• Sicilian Skirt Steak Wood-grilled skirt steak served with sautéed tomatoes and spinach over grilled bruschetta bread with our balsamic glaze From www.carrabbas.com

• Asian Sesame Glazed Baby Back Ribs A half-rack slow-cooked then covered with our peanut-barbecue sauce to give it a sweet and tangy kick. Garnished with sesame seeds. From www.rubytuesday.com

• Apple Cider-Glazed Chicken Limited Time Only! Two bone-in chicken breasts are flash-fried to seal in the flavor, then topped with an apple cider glaze. Served with a baked sweet potato, fresh steamed broccoli and freshly baked bread. From www.bobevans.com

Plating is important! It’s something you can do for FREE that adds perceived value to your customer’s order! And these days, they might be snapping pictures with their cell phones to post online. So make sure your food is always looking its best!

• Honey Mustard Pork Loin Whole Grain Mustard and Local Honey Rubbed Coleman Natural Pork Loin, Grilled and Served with Sautéed Sugar Peas, All Natural Local Bacon and Yukon Gold Mashed Potato From www.111chophouse.com

• Fire & Spice Pork Tenderloin Soy and garlic marinated pork tenderloin charbroiled to perfection, sliced and served drizzled with our chipotle BBQ sauce. From www.smokeybones.com

• Ginger Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin Soy and garlic marinated pork tenderloin charbroiled to perfection, then sliced and served brushed with a ginger teriyaki glaze. From www.smokeybones.com

• Pork Chops Marsala Thick cut pork chop, topped with Marsala wine sauce and served with rosemary roasted potatoes and steamed asparagus From www.perrysitaliangrille.com

• Vegetarian Box Asian flavored stir-fried vegetables, Thai red coconut curry sauce, cashews, tofu and brown rice with Shrimp or Scallops From www.legalseafoods.com

• Maui Glazed Pork Chop A center cut chop lightly seasoned and glazed in a sweet and tangy sauce, grilled and served with oven-roasted red potatoes, steamed green beans and grilled sweet red onions. From www.bjsbrewhouse.com

• Bruschetta Chicken Grilled chicken breast seasoned with bruschetta, parsley and a blend of Italian cheeses stacked on top of crispy red potatoes and fried onion and red & green peppers. Topped with a duo of scampi sauce and Bolognese sauce. From www.applebees.com

• Drunken Pot Roast Tender pot roast in a red ale gravy with roasted carrots and red onions. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and choice of Caesar or Garden salad. From bennigans.com

• Grilled “Bricked” Rocket Steak A brick-flattened fire-grilled 4 oz. Choice sirloin steak on top of a rocket arugula salad with tomatoes, garlic and crispy bacon pieces. Drizzled with a balsamic glaze. From bennigans.com

• Blue Cheese Crusted Sirloin Filet Topped with melted gorgonzola From www.warrenchophouse.com


DESSERTS Multiples and minis are still a hot dessert trend and apples are coming into season for fall. Classic comfort items and old reliables cannot be denied, but who would have predicted the recent rise in savory desserts like bacon ice cream?

• Cinnamon Bread Pudding www.bubbagump.com

• Pecan Praline Bread Pudding www.famousdaves.com

• Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Are your desserts good To-Go? Often, your customers are too full to eat dessert at the restaurant, but WISH they could fit it. Focus on offering desserts that package, travel and reheat well. Packaging is important, because a dessert to-go extends the restaurant experience to your customer’s home or office. You don’t want to disappoint them at the finish line!

• Signature Desserts with alcohol component • Kahlua / Bailey’s Irish Cream Brownies • Whiskey Caramel Sauce • Malibu Rum Cake • Grilled Pineapple with Malibu Rum Sauce

www.ruthschris.com

• White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding www.chopsbistroandmartinibar.com

• Nonna’s Toasted Poundcake Toasted poundcake with caramelized bananas, hot fudge and vanilla bean ice cream From www.maggianos.com

• S’Mores Sundae S’Mores brownies on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with a toasted marshmallow skewer and drizzled with chocolate sauce. From www.bennigans.com

• Sweet Adventure Sampler Trio Sample three fabulous desserts, Chocolate Thunder from Down Under® with pecan brownie, Carrot Cake with coconut and pecans and Classic Cheesecake. From www.outbacksteakhouse.com

• Signature Desserts with Peanut Butter • Peanut Butter Creme Brulee • Peanut Butter Brownies / Sundae • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake/Pie • Peanut Butter Pudding Parfait • Peanut Butter Brownie Black Sundae What could be better than peanut butter brownies and ice cream topped with peanut butter, chocolate and peanut butter chips, whipped cream & chocolate sauce. From www.peanutbutterandco.com

• Sogno Di Cioccolata "Chocolate Dream" A rich fudge brownie brushed with Kahlua, with chocolate mousse, fresh whipped cream and homemade chocolate sauce. From www.carrabbas.com

• Mixed Berry Crostata • Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie Chewy bar of chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut. Topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and caramel. From www.chilis.com

• Apple Crostada with Caramel Sauce Granny Smith apples baked in a pastry crust dipped in cream and crystallized sugar. Served with caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. From www.maggianos.com

A light and crispy open-faced berry tart freshly baked in our woodfired oven and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream From www.carrabbas.com

• Apple Dumpling Pie Our Apple Dumpling Pie is a first place Winner of the 2009 National Pie Championship* and features whole, perfect ripe apples combined with a diced-apple filling, nestled in a flaky crust. Drizzled with caramel sauce and served warm. From www.bobevans.com

NO SUBSTITUTE You REALLY want to know what the competition is up to? Just pick a place and dine there! It’s the best way to get real insight into the service, food quality and overall experience of the competition. Go with an open mind. Take notes. Learn from them and use the knowledge to improve your own offerings!


Sysco Online Resources

www.syscotabletop.com Start your tour at SyscoTabletop.com, packed with food trends, exciting recipes and business building tips to keep you ahead of the competition. Exclusive to Sysco customers!

www.sysco.com At Sysco.com, you can learn all about our company and products, stay up to date with recent market reports and even find specialty suppliers.

Special Sysco Edition of Restaurant Growth Digital Magazine For page after page of industry insider news and tips, don’t forget your FREE subscription to Restaurant Growth’s digital magazine. Exclusive to Sysco customers! To subscribe, visit http://www.nxtbook.com/splash/sysco/

MixItUp  

Survey of current restaurant menu offerings, c. Fall 2011

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