Start the Holiday Season off Right

November 2017

Today, appetizers are more than meal starters. They’re a way for chefs and operators to test new flavors on the menu. They’re a way for diners to try multiple menu items without splurging. And they’re a way to appeal to busy diners during the holiday season.

From a functional standpoint, it’s easier for operators to introduce new appetizer or sharable menu items than entrées. Diners are also more likely to experiment with flavors in appetizers versus entrées. That makes appetizers a great way to introduce limited-time offers and holiday-themed specials.

Turkey is not only a natural choice for holiday flavors, but it’s also a platform for culinary creativity in appetizers and sharable dishes. Use these recipe ideas for inspiration to drive traffic during the winter season and beyond:

  • Brooklyn-Style Turkey Meatballs with Sauce Pizzaiolo: These savory ground turkey meatballs are a filling and flavorful option busy holiday shoppers will be sure to enjoy.
  • Turkey Flatbread Pizetta: Made with turkey medallions or meatballs, this sharable dish can bring diners a little closer together during the holiday season.
  • Turkey Pick-Up Sticks: Bring Thai flavors to the appetizer menu with these protein-packed skewers. They’re a tasty pick for diners on the go. Consider offering them as a Black Friday shopper special.
  • Open-Faced Turkey Pita Sandwich: On-trend ingredients make this open-faced sandwich an instant favorite. Serve a few on a plate for sharing, or add to a pick-two pairings menu with soups and salads—diners love combo deals, especially during the holidays.

Browse our Culinary Center to find appetizer recipe inspiration and more.


Appetizers: The Secret to Keeping Your Menu Fresh, QSR, September 2017.

Prange, Jackie. Why Your Restaurant Menu Should Always Be Changing, TouchBistro, June 2017.

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