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Appetizers or Small Plates? Can't it be both?

appetizersDon’t underestimate the appeal of smaller portions

Starters, whether they are appetizers that can be shared amongst a whole table, or small plates that consist of just a bite or two of perfectly mixed flavors, are a great way to get your patrons off to a great meal that they’ll remember. The trend towards controlling portion sizes has made the appeal of these smaller fares skyrocket – so make sure you’re giving your health conscious customers plenty of options, and keep the options delicious enough to entice any avid menu reader as well. And with other trends such as around-the-clock grazing and on-the-go eating, your customers are always looking for something new and exciting to add to their best “food memories.” Small plates, samplers, appetizers, bar foods, and other variations of these modular menu ideas are changing the way Americans eat, so make sure you’re on trend to fulfill their needs!

Entice™, our new brand of hors d'oeuvres and appetizers, has options for every style and budget. The tiered selection has been designed to please a variety of customer preferences. Choose Entice™ Culinary for impressive, upscale, show-stopping hors d'oeuvres. Looking for something delicious to please a more mainstream palate? Try Entice™. And. if you're looking for simpler appetizers to round out your budget, Entice™ Basics has you covered. These hand crafted small bites feature a chef made appearance and offer classics such as cheese sticks and onion rights as well as on-trend new items such as breaded cheesy cauliflower and breaded dill pickle spears.

Consider the following when coming up with appetizer or small plate options:

  • Fun dipping sauces appeal to almost every customer. Consider making your own unique dipping sauces, or trying one of our Village Garden® or Piancone® dressings as a dipping sauce.
  • Create a “flight” of dipping sauces for one appetizer (such as fries).
  • Add in interesting on-trend flavors and spices to traditional appetizers to make unique creations foodies everywhere will love
  • Consider offering different sized appetizer or small plate portions based on the number of people sharing the portion. Doing sliders? Don’t just offer two or four, pro-rate them so that everyone can have their own!
  • Make your small plates upscale with a combination of beautiful plate presentation and the addition of “upscale” menu items. Fries dusted with truffle salt, fried shallot rings as a garnish, pickled ginger as a pairing, the opportunities are endless!

Lastly, try displaying your appetizers in eye-catching ways that will get other tables saying "I'll have what they're having." Make every dish a masterpiece that your guests won't be able to resists taking a picture of and sharing. Who knows, maybe it'll be come your new signature dish. Just make sure you're giving your customers as many options as possible to up their check averages. You never know when someone won't be able to resist that one extra appetizer.