5 Low-Cost Ways to Expand Your Menu
Affordable Menu Ideas
What’s holding you back from growing your menu? Costs may seem to be an obstacle, but they don’t have to be. There are a number of affordable ways to create signature items your customers will enjoy. We’ll help you reimagine flavors, bring on seasonal items, and explore packaging options that won’t break the bank.
1. Shake-On Seasonings
If you’re already selling popcorn, fries, or burgers, you can create custom flavors just by adding shake-on seasonings. Signature Shakes™ come in a wide variety of flavors. It includes classics you love like Ranch and Barbecue. Plus, you can try innovative flavors such as Cincinnati Style Chili, Mediterranean Herb, or Guadalajara Hot Sauce. This is one of the easiest and most affordable additions you can make to your menu. Great for restaurants and bars, concession stands, or other locations, you can offer a shake-on bar or make your own recipes. (See our recipes for wings, street corn, and more!)
2. Bring on the Beverages
Making seasonal beverages is a natural addition that is appealing to customers. These are special drinks only available for a limited time, like mocktails for summer or hot chocolate for fall/winter. Signature drinks can be your specialty. They are easy to make, and the bonus is many of the ingredients can be used for multiple purposes. There are Mojito Mocktails made with Lime Sno-Kone® concentrate and Green Mint Flavoring. (Visit our blog for a roundup of our summer drinks.) And for fall, you can’t miss the Pumpkin Spice Coffee, which uses our fudge flavoring. (Check out recipes for hot chocolate, coffees, and ciders here.)
3. Pop Up Flavor
Gourmet popcorn is a widely popular and highly profitable snack. But you may wonder what equipment is necessary. Did you know there are candy-coated flavors of popcorn you can produce right from your kettle? Glaze Pop® makes it possible! Just add the mix to your kettle with your corn and oil and you can pop up flavors like caramel, cherry, and blue raspberry. The higher-perceived value means you can charge more for flavored popcorn, even though your costs are minimal.
4. Add Toppings or Dips
Some concession foods work great as a canvas, meaning you can dress them up any way you like! Don’t sell just hot dogs when you can add chili and cheese. Nachos can be paired with cheese, chili, salsa, or guacamole. Also often overlooked for their potential, soft pretzels have a lot of options for toppings and dips. We explore some (like cinnamon and sugar and even cheese and pepperoni) in our blog. The secret to signature items is in your existing menu. With just a little imagination, you may discover your next moneymaker.
5. Repackage Your Product
Take something your customers already love and give them more options for how they can enjoy it! For example, you can go small and create bite-sized sampler packages of different flavors of fudge. Or think big with jumbo-sized packaging for popcorn or cotton candy. That’s sure to get your customers’ attention. (Check out your options with prepackaged foods.)
Would you like more ideas on how to expand your menu? Get connected with your closest Gold Medal branch or distributor. We are happy to help you determine what options are best for your unique needs.