Consumers have long enjoyed global cuisines—from Italian and Chinese, to Indian and Mexican, diners turn to global foods on a regular basis. In fact, according to Technomic’s recent Global Food and Beverage Consumer Trend Report, consumers anticipate ordering mainstream global foods and unique/emerging global foods more going forward than they did before the pandemic, and 27% say they are eating more unique types of global foods and beverages now than they were two years ago.
For restaurant operators, the opportunity here is huge. For existing restaurants, updating the menu to include both new and well-known dishes from global cuisines can boost the bottom line, and for new restaurants, the chance to attract a new type of customer has never been bigger. So how can offering global cuisines boost sales—and what should operators do to leverage this trend?
Offer a mix of familiar and unfamiliar options
When it comes to consumers seeking out global cuisines, two big motivations stand out: exploring new flavors and satisfying a craving. According to Technomic’s Global Food and Beverage report, 41% say they choose global foods because they’re looking for something different, and 37% say they want to discover new flavors—but 35% say they are craving a particular food item.
This indicates that when consumers choose global foods, some are returning to dishes they already know and love while others want to try something new. For this reason, it’s important for operators to incorporate new and unfamiliar items as well as crowd-pleasing familiar favorites on the menu. One way operators can do this is by taking a familiar dish, such as fried chicken, and adding a global twist. For instance, at Bonchon, a Korean fried chicken restaurant concept, diners can order fried chicken—a familiar dish—with signature sauces including Soy Garlic or Spicy. Those looking for something new can try dishes such as tteokbokki (rice cake simmered in spicy broth with fish cakes, onions and topped with mozzarella cheese and kimari) or japchae, a dish made with glass noodles, assorted vegetables and sliced ribeye.
Don’t forget sides
Some operators think global sides may not be as popular as traditional American-style side dishes, but many diners may be more likely to choose something unfamiliar to them if it’s not the main portion of their meal. Consumers who are unsure if they’ll like something may be more adventurous with sides than entrees, in other words. Try offering both traditional sides, such as french fries and onion rings, as well as global sides—at Bonchon, for instance, sides include kimchi and pickled radish as well as a fusion side of kimchi coleslaw.
Take advantage of trending cuisines
As consumers increasingly gravitate toward global cuisines, there’s big opportunity for aspiring restaurateurs, but building a restaurant from scratch can be overwhelming—and that’s why many investors turn to franchising. By opening a franchise of an established brand, operators can bank on current and future consumer trends without having to start at square one. What’s more, choosing a brand that’s experiencing exponential growth is a win-win when it comes to offering trending global dishes. Bonchon has a reported average unit volume of $1.57 million and is poised for future growth, too—to learn more about becoming a Bonchon franchise partner, click here.
This post is sponsored by BonChon