Food Trends | Full Service Restaurant

4 Reasons to Add Soups to Your Menu This Winter

Nov 08, 2021

4 Reasons to Add Soups to Your Menu This Winter

It’s that time of year when temperatures dip and customers want to be warm and cozy. Most of us affectionately know this as soup season.

Since the pandemic began, consumer eating behaviors have consistently trended toward comfort foods when choosing where to eat out. And restaurants are responding by adding dishes like soups, stews, and curries to their menus.1

Besides being popular comfort food, soups appeal to current food trends and deliver healthy margins to your bottom line. So as we head into winter, here are four reasons to add soups to your menu (and some recipes for you to try out, too).

  1. Soups meet the demand for plant-based and reducetarianism items
    According to Whole Foods, one of the top 10 consumer trends for 2022 is eating less meat and shifting toward more vegetarian and vegan diets.2 In addition, one of the top vegan and plant-based dishes in the first half of 2021 was a mushroom and tofu broth ramen, which was up by 300%.3 Soups are one of the easiest, most delicious ways to incorporate plant-based fare into your menu and appeal to an ever-widening customer base.

    Try these recipes:
    Hearty Grains and Mushroom Vegetable Ragout
    Miso Spinach Noodles from Good Housekeeping featuring Simplot
      Simple Goodness™ Chopped Spinach

  2. Soups are well suited for takeout, delivery and grab-n-go
    People are still ordering items to-go despite restaurant dining rooms reopening. Heading into the fall and winter, this trend shows no signs of slowing. So consider offering hearty comfort soups that hold well on your takeout menu to appeal to customers during these chilly months. As an added bonus, they’re easy for your staff to package ahead of time to provide a grab n’ go option for customers during the busy holidays.

    Try these recipes:
    Multi-Grain Orzo Garbanzo & Kale Tuscan Soup
    Green Curry Chicken and Vegetables

  3. Soups are profitable
    Soups are still one of the most profitable items you can menu, with margins up to 60%. Why? They require relatively less labor and they’re a smart way to repurpose trim and leftovers that might otherwise get tossed. With labor costs rising, soups can help your bottom line and simplify things for your prep and line cooks.

    Incorporating frozen vegetables into your recipes is another way to keep the food cost of soup low by reducing the inevitable spoilage and trim that come with fresh produce.

    Try these recipes:
    Best Red Pepper and Tomato Soup from Good Housekeeping featuring Simplot
      Simple Goodness™ ® Diced Red Peppers (Simply roast peppers before adding to soup.)
    Creamy Broccoli and Spinach Soup from Real Simple Recipes featuring Simplot
      Simple Goodness™ Broccoli Cuts and Chopped Spinach

  4. Soups let you get creative
    One of the top trends for winter 2022, according to Simplot Corporate Executive Chef Michael Zeller, is innovative takes on heritage recipes.

    “There are recipes from the past with a genius that transcends generations and geographies,” says Chef Zeller. “With so many new flavors and ingredients available to us today, the door is open to reinterpret these classics and create something equally timeless.”

    Grubhub is projecting that two such classic soups will have a resurgence this winter. In the winter of ‘20-’21, Butternut squash orders jumped up by 154%. And in the first half of 2021, corn chowder was up an incredible 600%.3 Why not capitalize on these trendy classics and put your spin on them?

    Try these recipes:
    Roasted Corn and Jalapeño Cauliflower Chowder
    Red Curry Squash Soup With Tofu Croutons from Real Simple Recipes featuring Simplot
      RoastWorks® Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Soups have always been a mainstay on restaurant menus, with good reason. They are a canvas for all sorts of fun flavor combinations that can appeal to various tastes and diets. And with 49% of diners saying they order soup at restaurants more than once per month, having great soups on your menu will continue to drive revenue and satisfy customers.4

1 National Restaurant Association, 2021 Top Restaurant Trends