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What You Should Be Serving This Fall

Avocado and kale salad.

Corporate Chef Ron Warner tells us about the key restaurant trends emerging for fall 2014
Super Foods

Super foods are continuing to gain popularity on menus across the country. The push for a healthy lifestyle is stronger than it has ever been. Restaurants should find a way to work in such things as fresh salmon, kale, pine nuts and avocado on their menus. Don’t be afraid to try and serve something that you have never put on the menu before. Keep in mind today’s successful feature is tomorrow’s menu staple.

Smokey Flavors

The smokehouse concept has been popular in the south for decades. Now smoky flavors have spilled onto menus of all concept types. Whether you have the capability to smoke meat on-site or not is really irrelevant. Diners are looking for anything that carries that inimitable flavor of smoke. Try menu items seasoned with cumin, chipotle, bacon fat, Cajun seasoning or smoked paprika. Use whatever you like to give people that smoke flavor profile they are looking for.

Upscaled Fast Food

Consumers are expecting more from quick-service restaurants. We are seeing terms such as “artisan”, “aioli”, “craft” and “gluten free” appearing on fast casual menus. The fast casual consumer is still looking for an experience with a lot of perceived value.


Americans are eating less at every meal, which is leading to a snack renaissance. However candy bars and chips are on the decline. People are looking for healthy snacks like fresh juices, smoothies, vegetable crudités, low fat or Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, nuts and dried fruit. Think about adding a lighter “snack” section to your menu, or even about selling homemade granola bars, fruit parfaits and other healthy snack packs to-go.


Contributed By:

Chef Ron Warner
Corporate Chef/Brands Manager
PERFORMANCE Foodservice - Lester