Creating satisfying salads for big appetites isn’t as hard as it sounds. In this article, you’ll learn the five best ways to build salads that leave even your hungriest customers happy and satisfied. We have included some of our very own recipes as well as ideas that could be included in your restaurant.
While customers crave nutritious, healthy salad options to support lifestyle and fitness goals, it can be challenging to stick to these ideals when appetites kick in. The “salads that satisfy” approach is a great way to solidify a devoted customer base and positively impact your bottom line. With little-to-no cooking required, minimal preparation time, and inexpensive ingredients you can purchase in bulk, hearty salads can effectively grow those razor-thin restaurant margins.
We’ve covered the basics of how to build salads that surprise and delight.
Think outside the lettuce box
Who said salads had to be all green? The green gelatinous salads of previous generations aside, consider assembling a base other than leafy greens while building your bowls. Take extra roasted veggies, filling grains such as farro or quinoa, or heartier green vegetables like raw cabbage or chopped zucchini to bolster bowls and add extra fiber and crunch. Customers love the extra crunch in their salads verses something that is very bland, try to spice it up by adding these features.
Don’t forget the superfoods
Peppering in superfoods such as avocado, kale, and turmeric increases the nutrient density of a dish and visual appeal when ordering. Many of these known superfoods have devoted followers from those looking to adhere to a healthy food regimen. They can quickly become a favorite lunch or dinner item for customers looking for an everyday, delicious meal they know will fill them up and support their food goals.
Fats are fads
A crucial component of any salad, fats help with nutrient absorption from greens and also slow down digestion, keeping customers feeling full longer. With so many ingredient options for adding fats, creating salads with various flavor profiles ensures your menu stays fresh and varied all year. Consider different types of fatty fish, nuts, seeds, oils, or avocados as a starting point. These will transform the salad and leave a lasting impression to your customers.
Pickle it up
38% of consumers like or love pickled items, and it’s hard to blame them. The versatility and tang of this ingredient are an excellent topping to almost any salad, adding depth and flavor to dishes. With the added benefit of being a low-cost menu item that can easily use extra produce and scraps in the kitchen, pickles, and fermented products are an excellent choice for padding your menu without adding another food expense.
Don’t forget the protein
Whether someone is vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or paleo, high-protein ingredients are the most effective at bulking up any salad and filling your customers for a more prolonged period. Regardless of what diet restriction someone follows, your salads must boast loads of protein to entice hungry humans. Consider adding lentils, beans, hard-boiled eggs, fish, grilled chicken, or meat to ensure bowls that leave customers satiated and returning for more. This is an area that is important to a lot of these customers. They want a high protein meal that will allow them to reach goals and not make them hungry an hour later.
Remember: when building salads for hungry humans, fiber, protein, and fat are your friends. Use any combination of ingredients heavy in these three things, and you’re well on your way to a salad that satisfies and is guaranteed to fill up even the most ravenous among us. A few salad ideas are below that would be great options to add to your summer menu.
Potato and Roasted Cauliflower Salad
See SGC’s Recipe
Modern Chef’s Salad
We’ve taken the classic chef’s salad and added a bit of zest. Loaded with the crunch of broccoli pieces, squeaky cheese curds, pickled peppers, and onions, it’s a textural wonderland. Topped off with bacon and a soft-boiled egg, let customers add their own protein choice for even more personalization.
Street Corn and Avocado Salad
This is a perfect example of building a hearty salad with no hint of lettuce or kale. Roasted corn forms the base, bringing all the favorite Mexican street food flavors into one bowl. The salad is heaped with fresh jalapeño, avocado, grape tomatoes, and queso fresco.
Spinach and Smoked Salmon Salad
Freshness is showcased in this salad. The protein heavy salmon is light and airy as it is mixed with the spinach. The perfect addition to your summer menu and is so versatile as many different toppings can be added.
Source Simplot Company