Appetizers, Appetizers, Appetizers

Chef Bryan’s Chicken Wings from Around the World
December 23, 2009
Center of the Plate
January 27, 2011

What is the restaurant industry showing?  
Sometimes knowing who wants appetizers, can be the key to making the most of the left side of your menu.  The following suggestions may give insight to your serving strategy.

– Most appetizers are ordered during the dinner time.
– Adult-only tables order twice the appetizers as tables with kids.
– 35% of appetizer sales are on weekends.
– 18-49 year olds order about 60% of all appetizers sold.
– Older diners prefer shrimp. 
– Younger diners go for fried cheeses, chicken strips, wings, and nachos.

Now that you know the front-of-the-house desires, how about some ideas to spice up your appetizer menu.
– Samplers are unique – they`re a low-risk way to experience a new taste, and also a good opportunity for you to try new ideas before placing them on the main menu.
– Pizzas, bread and bruschetta are on most menus, and non-Italian styles of these appetizers are exploding with diverse toppings, from Asian flavors to dried fruit and nuts.
– The fried cheese favorite can be made even more appealing by adding some exoctic dressings and dips or frying treatments.
– Our old friend the nacho platter still seems to be a strong favorite.  Some platters are now served with a little more exotic flair, for example an additional of wasabi cream.  You might want to try substituting fried wontons for the tortilla chips.

Even with the appetizer arena changing so fast, your menu can keep up with the best – and with a touch of your special creativity and inspiration, your appetizers could be the talk of the town!


Photo by Bill Longshaw

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