Soup is a common menu item with potential to drive traffic to your operation, so it’s important to make it more than an afterthought. Today, diners are looking for options that go beyond the typical soup du jour. To attract more customers, try to create a balance of new soup offerings, healthy soups and classics with a twist.
In a recent Technomic study, 50% of consumers said they’re seeking unique soups, and 35% said their desire for new varieties is why they order soup. You can appeal to these adventurous diners by offering soups that meet dining trends, like spicy flavors and ethnic-inspired cuisine.
Unlike sandwiches and wraps, soup lacks a carbohydrate-laden carrier. This makes it a better-for-you offering for your health-conscious diners. You can make any soup healthier by using turkey as a substitute protein. Put a twist on the classics, and try turkey noodle or turkey vegetable soup. You can even replace ground beef with ground turkey in cheeseburger soup or Italian Wedding soup for a more decadent meal idea.
You don’t have to overhaul your whole soup menu to make it more appealing. Try these simple ideas to take your current offerings to a new level, as well as a higher price point:
- Include a sampler plate of artisan breads with every bowl of soup you serve.
- Top soups with a blend of popular cheeses.
- Upgrade your grains—use quinoa, brown rice and other on-trend grains for a healthier, more upscale feel.
- Experiment with other soup add-ins, like grilled cheese croutons or crispy turkey bacon bits.
The New Healthy, Datassential, 2011
Soup & Salad Consumer: Left Side of the Menu Report, Technomic, 2014
Soups Heat Up Restaurant Sales, Nation’s Restaurant News, 2014