Soup is one of the most versatile flavor platforms you can add to the menu. It can be hot or cold, healthful or indulgent, sweet or savory—the possibilities are endless. In addition to its multifaceted nature, soup is typically very cost effective and presents a great way for chefs to put leftover ingredients to use.
Soup is a comfort-food favorite—65% of consumers say they’re looking for soups that make them feel good. Customize your soup offerings to help diners achieve that perfect level of comfort. Typical soup-of-the-day rotations give chefs room to experiment and find out which soups diners like best. If you’re serving a traditional vegetable soup one day, try pureeing it the next day and adding Greek yogurt for richer flavor and thicker texture.
Consumers are also seeking innovative flavors in all kinds of dishes—soup included. Classics such as tomato and chicken noodle will always be popular, but there are lots of ways to refresh your soups for even greater patron appeal. Try adding a dash of global flavor to a soup by swapping ingredients. For example, instead of ground beef in a thick and indulgent cheeseburger soup, spice it up with Chorizo Ground Turkey. Also consider serving authentic ethnic soups for adventurous diners. Try this Mayan Turkey Stew with Cacao and Chilies for a unique soup menu addition.
You can also take advantage of consumers’ increased interest in snacking and sharables by offering various soup portion sizes. Mini soups make great combo options or bar bite menu additions. Larger sizes can be served for family-style dining.
No matter how you’re serving soup, it’s important to remember that it’s usually the lowest-costing item on the menu. Simple upgrades such as distinctive plating (or bowling) techniques can create a higher perceived value, allowing for an even greater profit margin.
Thorn, Bret. Soup steps into a starring role, Nation’s Restaurant News, February 2017.
Tamarkin, David. Take On Soup, Food Fanatics, 2017.
Left Side of the Menu: Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report, Technomic, 2016.
Lang, Joan. 10 Soup Upgrades, Flavor & The Menu, September 2016.
Moon, Sean. Great reasons to add more soup to your menu, RestoBiz, June 2016.