Move over, platters. Step aside, plates. Customers are increasingly “bowled over” by all the bowl menu options throughout the foodservice industry. Beginning in the fast-casual sector but now seen throughout many different concepts, bowls offer unlimited versatility and variety. In the fast-casual market, Chipotle, Jamba Juice, Panera and KFC all have popular bowl items, and Taco Bell is testing Famous Burrito Bowls.
What’s in your bowl?
While millennials have turned away from breakfast cereal in a bowl, they’re snapping up other bowled choices served at their favorite eateries. Today’s bowl can contain just about anything, but the core elements are a balanced combination of flavors and textures:
- Grains or Pasta
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.
Putting bowls on your menu
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 also a great way to build something new from leftover food items. Whether you want a new spin on an old favorite, or just want to explore flavor combinations – put it in a bowl.
Many cookbooks are getting on the bowl bandwagon. Great Bowls of Food: Grain Bowls, Buddha Bowls, Broth Bowls, and More by Robin Asbell offers insight into the many variations possible with just one bowl and your culinary creativity
Looking for more recipe ideas and menu inspiration? Make sure to check out our website.