French fries may just be America’s favorite comfort food. They have been around for years and you will find it hard to meet someone who despises the fried potato. Even with recent efforts and trends to increase healthy eating, French fries are still on the rise and are even known to increase profits in restaurants. Why the continuous increase? No one can know for sure, but their variations and allergy-friendliness make them a go-to for many consumers.
In recent years, the loaded French fry; fries with toppings; has seen a recent surge on menus. In fact, according to Technomic, loaded fries have increased 23.6% since 2012! This increase is only expected to continue. The most common toppings on loaded fries include bacon, cheese and ranch dressing. Similar to loaded fries, seasoned fries have increased in popularity. Frequent seasonings, besides salt, include hot sauce powder, cinnamon sugar and garlic. Customers are also craving different types of fries like sweet potato fries or tater tots. In fact 57% of consumers would order sweet potato fries if they were an option.
French fries are also very friendly in many food-specific diets. Although potatoes are considered a carb, they do not contain grains or gluten and can be consumed by the gluten-free or celiac diet followers. Potatoes are also dairy free and nut free, making them very allergen friendly. Be aware that different toppings and coatings can change the allergens of the French fry so always label the menu appropriately.
As you plan your menu, consider adding French fries as both a side and an appetizer. Customers are increasingly ordering fries and love seeing them on a menu. Try a variety of French fries, including loaded fries, seasonings and sweet potatoes. Your customers will love ordering French fries at your restaurant.