Street food is delicious and quick, so it is no wonder that the trend – once seen as merely a fad – has grown dramatically over the past two years.
This is great news for the eating out market – especially at Christmas when operators are faced with a higher turnover of customers and want good, fast-food alternatives. “Wetherspoon decided that it wasn’t going to do a traditional Christmas meal and instead decided to offer its customers some Christmas alternatives with a twist,” said Wetherspoon spokesman, Eddie Gershon. “Burgers are extremely popular all year round, so we believe that a Christmas burger will appeal to customers too. Our festive menus over the years have always proven popular and we are confident this will be the case this year too.”
What to serve?
Burritos and tacos are the number one street food sellers, followed by burgers and then rice or noodle pots. Burritos – favourites like chicken, steak and black bean are big sellers, add pumpkin or butternut squash for a seasonal twist.
Tacos – ideal for sharing or eating solo, ‘Taco Tuesday’ is a quirky way to attract customers and the range of fillings is endless!
Burger success – burgers remain the number one item on menus, according to Horizons Menu Trends Report. Easy, tasty and quick to prepare, burgers are a consistently good bet.
Tortas – traditional hand-held bread, that can be grilled or served cold with a variety of fillings; notably pulled pork. Perfect for diners eating in, or for those wanting a delicious snack to eat on the go – click here for the Torta de Adobada recipe.
Hot dogs – clearly, the dog has not had its day! Now a popular dish on most menus, there are even meat-free varieties. Newly opened Holmes Mill in Clitheroe, Lancashire has a whole section dedicated to hotdogs. It includes the traditional sausage with mustard and onions however, also offers a grilled halloumi with BBQ beans and a chilli brisket with French fries.
Asian cuisine – rice or noodle pots are a winner! The rice noodles dish Pad Thai is gaining momentum. Healthy and delicious, it can be served with prawn, chicken or vegetables. Take inspiration from Dabbawal, in Newcastleupon- Tyne and think outside the box from a standard Indian curry. The award-winning restaurant has a selection of street food classics which include lamb chops marinated in ginger, garlic, peppercorns and basil, and king prawns with chilli, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
Spice up your sarnie
Sandwiches are a popular lunch choice, however, why not to ring the changes, take inspiration from the streets and introduce wraps, brioche buns, and sourdough bread served with a festive filling, which will bring excitement to the eating experience? Offer a lunch deal complete with drink and sweet treat, and create pairing suggestions too.
There is nothing nicer than the aroma of warming spices to lure in customers, so why not offer your customers some traditional winter beverages? “Mulled cider in particular is experiencing phenomenal levels of growth,” said David Cantle, brand manager for Schwartz. “CGA statistics show that in 2015, sales reached 45 serves per outlet per week during cold periods – matching that of mulled wine in some venues.” Schwartz mulled wine and cider sachet mix provides vendors with the opportunity to differentiate from the ‘at-home drinking’ occasion by serving warming drinks and adding some theatre to the experience. Eggnog screams Christmas. An unusual drink, Eggnog is a popular choice during the festive season and should feature on your drinks menu. And don’t forget about alternative hot chocolate recipes for children and non-drinkers.
Don’t forget breakfast!
Inspire your customers – offer a breakfast burrito wrap with spiced scrambled eggs, bacon, salsa and seasoning. Serve your food in a pot, wrap or box so customers have the option of eating their breakfast on the go.