How to Soup up Your Menu
Posted on March 28, 2012
Looking for a way to get your customers to spend a little bit more cash when they visit? A new study by Technomic leads me to suggest adding soup to your menu, or, if you already have it on your menu, making more varieties and promoting it more. According to the study, the percentage of respondents who occasionally order soup is up to 62% from 43% just two years ago.
Need more convincing? Here are four more reasons to add soup to your menu:
1. Consumers also report that they will be looking for healthier options in 2012, so providing soup as a possible substitute for a side can be very profitable and also satisfy their demands.
2. Soup is cheap to produce and a good way to reuse ingredients that you already stock in your kitchen.
3. Soup is a versatile dish that can range in flavor from the more traditional and comforting to new, exotic and daring.
4. Soup can increase guest checks by up to 15%, according to another study by Technomic.
But winter is over! You say. No one wants soup anymore. Soup is out. Well, I say au contraire mon frères. Warmer weather just means it is time to innovate and try to cater to customers’ tastes even more. In yet another Technomic study (I swear I’m not working for them) 75% of respondents report that they are dissatisfied with the variety of different soups offered at the restaurants which they regularly patronage. Innovate!
Wondering how to sell soup in the summer? Here are some tips:
Go local. Mintel reports that the top-selling descriptive word this coming year will be “fresh.” Making your soups from local, in-season vegetables will not only make them taste better, it will be better for the environment AND force you to get creative. Sourcing your meat products from local, humane farmers will also suit the tastes of 2012’s consumers.
Make it from scratch. Mintel reports that the next top-selling words will be “made from scratch.” Self-explanatory, I think, but making your soups without the help of bouillon or boxed broth or a can o’ chicken dumpling mix will ensure that it has a depth of flavor as well as your restaurant’s own unique taste.
Try unique garnishes. Garnishes can be an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade your soup from a traditional staple to that unusual dish your customer has been craving. Making tomato soup? There’s no law that says you have to stick with parsley and cilantro. Why not try using pesto creme fraiche with crispy capers, like in this recipe?
Need soup equipment and supplies to get started?
If you’re making more soup, you’ll need more stock pots! Click here to check out our collection of high-quality aluminum stock pots.
Catering? Don’t have enough room for soup pots in your kitchen or bar? Soup chafers are the perfect solution.