Food Trends | Menu Planning

Roasted/Charring Menu Trends

Oct 1, 2018

Roasted/Charring Menu Trends

Why roasting and charring are becoming this fall's hottest techniques

The appeal of roasting is as old as cooking itself. Cooking at high heat with an uncovered pan produces juicy, well-browned food that patrons love. Beyond the additional flavor and color, adding "roasted" to the description of a menu item can help increase the perceived quality of the dish.

  • 81% of diners love or like roasting1

While roasting is most common in fine dining and casual operations, it is expected to grow more common across all segments by 2021.2

Even more compelling, the median price of an entree served with roasted vegetables vs. steamed vegetables is 34% higher.3

  • The median price of roasted dishes is up 17% over 4 years5

Where you'll find roasted applications

Of all proteins, chicken is the most often roasted. But roasted fruits and vegetables are also popular as roasting accentuates their natural sweetness.

Here are the menu items that most commonly include roasted ingredients:

  • Hot sandwiches

  • Combos/multi protein

  • Pizza

  • Cold Sandwiches

  • Salad Entrées4

Roasted brussels sprouts

Just add fire

Fire-roasting, a subset of roasting, is another important prep option to consider for your menu this autumn. The more intense, complex flavors and rich color that vegetables develop when cooked over an open flame are popular with patrons and a great match for the season.

  • 56% of diners love or like fire-roasted items

  • Fire-roasted menu incidence since 2007 +56%

Popular menu items that include fire-roasted ingredients are:

  • Mexican Entrées

  • Combos/multi protein

  • Salad Entrées

  • Pizza

  • Hot sandwiches4

Labor-saving products like Simplot RoastWorks™ Roasted Vegetables and Fruit make it far easier to take advantage of fire-roasting's appeal, with pre-cut, pre-roasted simplicity and quick, heat-and-serve prep.

Charring gets even hotter

As wood-burning stoves and open-flame cooking continue to grow in popularity, so has the technique of charring. It is most commonly used to add smokiness and texture to a wide range of vegetables and seafood. And it's definitely catching on:

  • Charred menu incidence since 2013 +117%1

  • 37% of diners love or like charred items1

Exercised with care, the dark arts of charring can conjure a world of flavor. And this can translate to higher pricing power:

  • The median price of charred dishes is up 33% over 4 years5

The 5 most prevalent charred applications:

  • Fish main entrée

  • Beef main entrée

  • Non-fried protein appetizer

  • Non-fried vegetable side

  • Combos/multi protein 4

Top 10 charred items

  • Tomato

  • Onion

  • Corn

  • Orange

  • Pineapple

  • Lemon

  • Cauliflower

  • Steak

  • Chicken

Some tasty roasted and charred recipes

Charred Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Maple Sweet Potatoes with Chile and Pepitas

Roasted Smashed Baby Bakers

Roasted Jalapeño and Corn Chowder

Turn up the heat this fall

Techniques like roasting and charring add a dimension of homemade authenticity to your menu, perfect as temperature begin to drop and the dining public seeks out more comforting dishes. And with great products available like Simplot RoastWorks Roasted Vegetables and Fruit, it's never been easier—or more profitable—to offer these unique flavors to your customers.

To request a FREE sample of Simplot RoastWorks products, click here 

1 Datassential SNAP™, 2018

2 Datassential Haiku™, 2018

3 Datassential 2018

4 Datassential MenuTrends, 2018

5 Datassential MenuTrends, 2017