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Spring Menu Innovation Trends PowerPoint Presentation
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Spring Menu Innovation Trends

Spring Menu Innovation Trends

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Spring Menu Innovation Trends

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  1. Spring Menu Innovation Trends • The spring season saw many menu additions at the Top 100 U.K. chains. With the rising temperatures, consumers were more likely to leave their homes for a meal, providing restaurants with the opportunity to satisfy hunger cravings. Spring holidays also gave restaurants the opportunity to offer special menus appealing to families and couples alike. The improving weather and the multitude of holidays that accompanied the spring season accounted for huge surges in new menu items at casual-dining, fast-casual and quick-service restaurants from the winter season. Restaurants had a lot of activity during Mother’s Day, St. David’s Day, St. George’s Day and the day of the Royal Wedding. Restaurants, such as Browns Bar & Brasserie, Balls Brothers, Frankie & Benny’s and Zizzi, took advantage of the holidays to roll out limited-time spring menu additions to attract customers both during and after the holidays. • As spring progressed, operators continued to add lighter and more summer-influenced foods and beverages that offered an exciting segue into the coming warmer season. Many chains provided specialty spring or pre-summer menus. Pret A Manger introduced a Summer Light menu, while Pitcher & Piano, Las Iguanas and Brasserie Blanc all rolled out individual spring menus. Lighter offerings included prawn and mango salad, grilled halloumi and vegetable skewers, pork chop with roasted pear, watermelon salad with feta, seared tuna niçoise, and lemon and mandarin tart. Restaurants harnessed the excitement of the changing seasons to provide distinct season-influenced meal alternatives. • Replacing beer from the winter season, specialty cocktails were by far the most added item in the alcoholic-beverage meal part this spring. Skinny cocktails and seasonal offerings were very popular in the specialty drinks category. Specialty drink lines were launched at various chains including Five O’ Cocktails at All Bar One, which include 10 new alcoholic beverages, and the Summer Drinks menu at The Slug and Lettuce. Cocktails provided a lighter, more spring-influenced alternative to the heavy beers that were popular in the winter season.

  2. Spring Report by Segment Note: 697 menu items in March 2011–May 2011 for the Top 100 U.K. chains. The Top 100 U.K. chains rolled out just under 700 new menu items and promotions during the spring period between March 2011 and May 2011. The casual-dining segment was by far the most active, with more than 500 new and returning menu items launched during the period, representing 77% of total activity. Although more active than last season, quick-service restaurants and fast-casual chains were still less active this spring compared to the casual-dining segment; operators in these combined segments added 161 items for 23% of total additions for the period.

  3. Spring Report by Daypart Note: 11 chains with new Breakfast items in Spring. 71 chains with new Lunch/Dinner items in Spring. The lunch and dinner dayparts continued to drive the vast majority of menu innovation at the Top 100 U.K. chain restaurants tracked during the spring period. Seventy-one different chains added 638 new items to their lunch and dinner menus for 92% of all additions during the period. That compares to just 59 items that 11 chains added to their breakfast menus.

  4. Spring Report by Meal Part The entrée meal part accounted for the largest number of menu additions during the 2011 spring season with 369 items. With 89 new items, adult beverages were the second most-active meal part, with seasonal-inspired offerings driving much of the innovation.Rounding out the menu additions were desserts, breakfast items and new appetizers. Spring holidays inspired many limited-edition desserts, adding 63 new offerings during the season. Breakfast was not far behind with 59 new options due to chains’ newfound emphasis on the breakfast meal part. Seasonal spring offerings were emphasized on many appetizer menus, as 48 new items were added during the period.

  5. Add-On Meal Part • The vast majority of the new add-on items were sides as opposed to toppings, with a 14-to-1 ratio. • Add-ons ranged from a wide variety of offerings, from heavier, savory items, such as bacon and sausage from Crown Carveries, to healthier items such as corn on the cob or mushrooms from Sizzling Pub. • Also notable was that 11 of the new add-ons came from the Sizzling Pub chain.The new Load Up add-on menu featured spinach pakora, vegetable samosa, and naan and mango chutney to “load up” on curry dishes; corn on the cob and mushrooms to “load up” on grill dishes; and onion rings, Buffalo chicken wings, Cajun onion rings and stuffed jalapeño peppers to simply “load up” on the side. Note: 71 chains with new Lunch/Dinner items in Spring.

  6. Adult Beverage Meal Part • Specialty drinks were by far the most-added new items within the adult-beverage meal part, replacing beer from the last period. Skinny (lower-calorie) cocktails and seasonal offerings were very popular in the specialty drinks category. • Specialty drink lines were launched at various chains including Five O’ Cocktails at All Bar One, which include 10 new alcoholic beverages, and the Summer Drinks menu at The Slug and Lettuce. • Wine offerings were particularly popular for special events and with other offers. For Mother’s Day, Browns Bar & Brasserie and Café Rouge both offered a free bottle of wine to mothers. In addition, chains like Miller & Carter and Nicholson’s/Classic Pubs offered a free glass of wine with a purchase of a main dish. Note: 71 chains with new Lunch/Dinner items in Spring.

  7. Appetizer Meal Part • In a sign that diners are more health-focused, salads were overwhelmingly the most-added appetizer for the spring period with 19 new offerings, continuing the trend from the winter period. Seafood-based salads were especially trendy this spring, with new offerings such as Devon crab and prawn salad at Balls Brothers; poached Scottish salmon and potato salad, and smoked Scottish mackerel and roasted beetroot at EAT; and blacked prawn salad at Revolution Vodka Bar & Kitchen. • Other new appetizers were relatively spread out in terms of category. Operators added options from crispy goat cheese parcel with tomato chutney and baked pancetta mushrooms, to potato skins and nachos. Note: 71 chains with new Lunch/Dinner items in Spring.

  8. Breakfast Meal Part • Breakfast starches gained popularity with 21 menu additions, eight more than the winter period. Sweet baked goods dominated this category, with muffins, éclairs or donuts comprising the majority of the new starches. • Breakfast sandwiches were the second-most-added menu items with 10 new offerings this period. Heated breakfast sandwiches, like those from Toby Carvery or Starbucks, provide an on-the-go option that is both filling and savory. • Combo platters for the spring season had a wide range of distinct offerings for guests, from two-for-the-price-of-one options to build-your-own plates to special holiday offers. Note: 11 chains with Breakfast items in Spring.

  9. Dessert Meal Part • Baked goods wereoverwhelmingly the most added dessert during the spring season with 41 new offerings, making up just less than half of all the new desserts and almost double the amount of new baked good offerings from winter. Chains rolled out a variety of new offerings ranging from cookies to cakes to tarts. Notable crumble additions included Rhubarb Crumble from Brewers Fayre and Apple, Gooseberry and Elderflower Crumble from Browns Bar & Brasserie. • A few operators introduced limited-edition holiday-inspired desserts—Bakers Oven added Mother’s Day Swirl Cupcake with raspberry frosting and Balls Brothers added Wedding Cake Petit Fours for St. George’s Day. • An interesting dessert menu addition came from Café Rouge, which put out a line of less-than-600-calorie dishes, including twice-baked cheese soufflé, waffle with poached pearl, zest lemon tart with crème fraîche and white chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce. Note: 71 chains with new Lunch/Dinner items in Spring.

  10. Entrée Meal Part • Combo meals were the most popular new entrée with 64 additions this spring season. As with other menu categories, holiday-inspired additions were a popular trend. Operators increasingly turned their attention to limited-edition prix-fixe menus, offering a set number of courses from a condensed menu at a predetermined price. Balls Brothers had this kind of offer for St. George’s Day and St. David’s Day, while Beefeater, along with multiple other chains, had a prix-fixe menu for Mother’s Day. • With 49 new options this spring, sandwiches were also popular entrée additions. Lighter sandwiches were featured on multiple menus in anticipation of the coming warmer months, including a Summer Light Menu at Pret A Manger featuring salad wraps and new sandwiches, the under-600-calorie Tartine à la Grecque sandwich from Café Rouge or the Light Bites from Pitcher & Piano, which include a Piri Piri Chicken Wrap and a Lemon & Coriander Hummus Wrap. Note: 71 chains with new Lunch/Dinner items in Spring.

  11. Kids’ Meal Part • The majority of new kids’ menu items were combo plates. Toby Carvery, Carluccio’s, Hollywood Bowl and La Tasca were among the many chains that launched kids’ combos. • It is important to note that the four pasta/noodles dishes and the three pizza menu items that were added this spring were all from Zizzi’s Mother’s Day menu. The limited-time menu provided a variety of options for children. • Many of the new kids’ meals were customizable—Zizzi offered a make-your-own pizza option and Hollywood Bowl had a Kids’ Drink and Bowl customizable combo option. Note: 71 chains with new Lunch/Dinner items in Spring.

  12. Non-Alcoholic Beverage Meal Part • Smoothies were the most-added non-alcoholic beverage item during the spring months with 10 new items. Garfunkel’s rolled out a line of Summer Smoothies and PAUL Bakery rolled out a line of Frappé Smoothies. • Seasonal non-alcoholic beverages were especially popular during the spring months leading up to summer. Refreshing Summer Mocktails were introduced at Table Table while Summer Soft Drinks were launched at Beefeater. • Coffee, another popular item added during the spring season, was introduced as an accompaniment with special events. Balls Brothers rolled out coffee during St. David’s Day and St. George’s Day and Giraffe introduced coffee for its Wake Up Wednesdays event. Note: 71 chains with new Lunch/Dinner items in Spring.

  13. Side Meal Part • Many of the sides that were introduced during the spring season were at pizza chains. Pizza Hut rolled out two new crusts and a new sauce while Papa John’s promoted a free side with the purchase of an extra-large pizza. • Although sides are typically considered to be unhealthy, some chains rolled out healthier options this season. Pret A Manger introduced seedless grapes as a side option while Gourmet Burger Kitchen rolled out corn on the cob. Note: 71 chains with new Lunch/Dinner items in Spring.