A Chip off the Old Block
Everyone loves chips. Fat or thin, crinkly or rustic, chips are a national pleasure and a guaranteed menu favourite when eating out or taking away.
Updating your chip offer with a variety of exciting chips and new trends is a great way for operators to tempt customers, boost sales and bring in some much-needed profits.
Why chips work
- As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, customers will be looking for firm favourites alongside indulgent delights – in essence, they’ll be tempted to order those things they have missed.
- As businesses take baby steps back to a new kind of normality quick, easy and simple dishes will work best – chips tick all the boxes.
- Once just something on the side, the humble chip has now become the star of the plate. Big-up your chips and serve as a premium side, stand-alone or sharing dish.
- As one half of the UK’s original takeaway dish, chips are a classic take-out option – so make sure they are on every delivery menu you offer.
Upgrade your chip offering and tap into the latest global trends with ‘loaded’ or ‘dirty’ fries to keep grazers, sharers and snackers happy. This trend, which turns a chip order into a main dish, shows no signs of slowing down.
Channel global trends with Tijuana Fries – rustic fries covered with grilled grated cheese, chilli beef, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and topped with sliced green jalapeños and red peppers. For a more homely feel, try topping skin-on fries with cheddar and grilled lean bacon.
As the rising star of Asian cuisine, Korean food is playing an important part in the fermented foods megatrend. Operators can get involved by loading up their fries with kimchi, strips of sirloin beef and gochujang sauce for a spicy kick.
The love for all things American is here to stay so use classic flavours customers know and love such as the Philly cheesesteak and bring these tastes to loaded fries. Think chips covered in juicy steak, Monterrey Jack cheese and roasted peppers.
For those customers looking for a healthier or vegetarian option ditch the cheese and instead offer sweet potato fries with shredded lettuce, chickpeas and tomatoes. Or for those who still want cheese why not serve a Greek-style offering of oregano fries topped with feta, olives, tomatoes and cucumber?
A plate of loaded or dirty fries is also a ‘one visit to the table dish’ for two sitting opposite each other – perfect for social distancing.
A proper chip
The traditional thick-cut chip will always have a place on the menu. According to a consumer survey by Lamb Weston the most important attributes of a chip are: thick cut, an authentic hand-cut appearance, crispy outside and fluffy inside. The survey also revealed that almost 40% of those asked declared their love of chips as a side, more than 60% said they prefer skin-on chips in a pub, and a whopping 72% said they are willing to pay a bit more in a pub for a British sourced product.
Lamb Weston’s ‘The Dukes’ are real pub chips which tick all the boxes for thick-cut chip fans. Made from 100% British potatoes and irregularly cut to appear homemade and distinctive in character; Dukes are perfect to serve during these times when kitchens are short staffed – saving time and reducing waste. “Operators should give the impression they have cut their chips themselves in the kitchen, even when it’s not the case,” says Andrea Deutschmanek, Lamb Weston’s country marketing manager UK & ROI.
Research from MCA revealed that three-quarters of industry leaders expect healthy eating trends to grow the fastest over the next three to five years. With the trend towards healthy eating, and also for exciting flavours and dishes from around the world, ever-adaptable potatoes – mainly sweet potatoes – are the answer.
This tasty superfood is one potato not going out of fashion. As well as serving the ever-popular sweet potato fries, sweet potato crisscuts give operators the opportunity to upsell their chip offering, by serving them with BBQ pulled pork or for an on-trend vegetarian dish gratinate them with blue cheese.
See recipe: Better For You Loaded Fries