What comes to mind when you think of bowls – soup and salad? Customers are getting “bowled over” with all the modern bowl menu options throughout the foodservice industry. Whether in the fast casual market or not, bowls are the answer to having menu items with unlimited versatility and potential.
Modern food bowls are seeing an uptrend. In the fast-casual market, Chipotle, Jamba Juice, Panera and KFC all have popular bowl items, and Taco Bell is testing its new Famous Burrito Bowls.
Today’s bowl dish can be anything, but the core elements are a balanced combination of flavors and textures:
Bowls appeal to customers because they offer more flavor and satisfaction than soups or salads, but are lighter than entrees. Because of their versatility, bowls are adaptable to a variety of food trends from healthy eating to ethnic flavors. Latin flavored bowls are extremely popular, following the success of Chipotle’s burrito bowl. Restaurants from Panera to ultra-modern concepts like Boloco in Boston are also enjoying success with Asian flavors.
These are just examples. Embracing the bowl as a fundamental concept for your menu gives you the opportunity to take new chances, but also to repurpose favorite items in an exciting new way. Bowls are a great way to build something new from leftover food items.
Derek Sarno, senior global executive chef of R&D and product development at Whole Foods, says, “bowls offer all the potential in the world, they offer super fresh flavors with a focus on each singular component of the bowl.”
You can create anything from a grain bowl to a braised beef bowl. This is the universal trend; it can work for nearly anything that comes to mind. So whether you want a new spin on an old favorite, or just want to explore flavor combinations – put it in a bowl.