Snacking Expands

May 2017

Today, there’s more to a menu than breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacks and small plates are becoming increasingly popular restaurant options. In three years, mentions of “small plates” on menus have increased by more than 800%.

Consumers are snacking more than ever. Snacks at restaurants often give diners lower-calorie, lower-priced options, as well as the ability to grab and go or eat in a hurry.

Use these tips to take advantage of the snacking revolution:

  • As of September 2016, the most popular afternoon snack on restaurant menus was a burger. These Three Philosophers Sliders help you offer more variety with three distinctive taste profiles, as well as the health halo of ground turkey.
  • When diners replace a meal with a snack, they’re most often replacing lunch. Keep this in mind when offering lunchtime specials. Consider snack bundles with protein-packed options that keep customers going through the day. Brooklyn-Style Turkey Meatballs make a better-for-you yet filling selection.
  • Don’t underestimate dipping sauces. National chain Pita Pit is reportedly planning to feature packaged pita chips paired with a customer’s selected sauce or spread as a to-go snack. Try offering your operation’s signature sauce with chips, fries or breadsticks to go, or browse our sauce options for inspiration.

Also consider menuing a half-size portion of your most popular dishes for snack seekers or diners with smaller appetites. Browse our Culinary Center to find more recipe ideas.


Janssen, Sarah. Consumer Influence on the Menu, Prepared Foods, August 2016.

Glazer, Fern. Restaurants rethink menu strategy as snacking spreads, Nation’s Restaurant News, February 2017.

Younger Consumers Turn to Snacks for Main Meals, Convenience Store Decisions, March 2017.

Landau, Candice. 6 Ways to Increase Sales for Your Restaurant, Bplans, 2016.

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