Big-up your Chips
From chunky chips to skinny fries, crinkle cut to waffle, serving a good variety of ‘chips’ will please all of your customers, help boost sales and fry up some well-needed profit.
The chip revolution
The humble chip is finally having its day. Once just a bit on the side, the chip has now become the star of the plate. Big-up your chips and serve as a premium side, stand-alone or sharing dish.
Stealth fries are the secret weapon on any menu. Thinly coated with a transparent batter it makes them crunchier than standard fries, so gives customers the best of both worlds – the appetising taste and appearance of traditional French fries and the profitability and performance of coated fries. The coating also retains heat for longer – perfect during busy periods – and makes the cooking process quicker. Available from Lamb Weston, Stealth Fries are gluten free.
Salt and pepper, masala and piri piri fries are all now appearing on menus -with fries even having their own section of the menu. Take inspiration from high street food chains. Knowing what they are serving is a great way to keep on-trend with your chips. Offer a combo of skin-on and sweet potato fries with a mixture of toppings such as bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce, load up your chips with chip shop curry sauce, or go large with beef chilli, cheese and sour cream. Waffle fries are the new kid on the block. Serve with nacho cheese and bacon, pulled pork and BBQ sauce, or fried chicken, cheese and gravy, served with coleslaw. Cajun spiced fries are a menu must and loaded fries with chicken steak, Tex Mex and chilli cheese work well too. Ellis’s burger joint in Burnley has created 11 different versions of fries alongside the favourites of skin-on fries, sweet potato and cheese fries. They include Big Mac Fries (fries, beef patty, lettuce, their special sauce and sesame seeds) and Pizza Fries (fries with pizza sauce, melted mozzarella and pepperoni).
Tomato ketchup may be the king of condiments, but there is more than one way to dip a chip! An accompanying sauce not only brings extra taste to a plate of chips but is an easy way to add a premium price. Award-winning BeFries in Brighton has built their business around chips and sauce. Taking inspiration from Belgian fries, their biggest selling accompaniment for chips are in-house garlic mayo and imported satay sauce, with black truffle and award-winning vegan basil mayo also very popular. Other sauces include BBQ mayo, sweet chilli, beetroot and horseradish, dill and gherkin and spicy tofu. “We trained with one of the best fry shops in Amsterdam and high quality fries have always been our driving force. We believe this has been a key factor in our success,” says Chan Beevers, director. “We also make over half our sauces ourselves and I feel this is really what sets us apart from the rest.”
There is no getting away from the fact that kids love chips, so make sure your chip offering is family friendly for the school holidays. Chip butties at lunch (to eat in or to go) are an easy and quick lunch option. Offer gluten-free bread alongside white and brown. Cater for different appetites by offering kids and adults sized portions like Safari MK, a children’s soft play and party venue based in Milton Keynes. The menu there includes a bowl of plain chips, chips and melted cheese, chips and beans, curly fries and chips and homemade beef chilli which are all available in both sizes. However, keep portion control in mind: Steven Cross, head chef at Park Community School in Havant, Hampshire and LACA School Chef of the Year 2019 measures chip portions with a Kraft scoop and only gives the children a 35ml sauce sachet.
The ‘healthy’ chip
For those customers who want a treat without the guilt, it is possible to serve a healthier version of chips.
• Bake instead of fry
• Use or make thick cut chips
• Skip the salt – let customers season them
• Sweet potato fries are higher in fibre and vitamin A, and lower in calories
• Rustic chips have the skin left on for goodness. Cut them big and chunky, and bake