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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 24th Feb 2015 - Burnt ends and French dip sandwiches among hot new eating out trends
Burnt ends and French dip sandwiches among hot new eating out trends says Horizon: Burnt ends – charred meat cut from a barbecued brisket – is one of the emerging trends in the UK’s high street restaurants, according to the foodservice expert Horizon. Its latest Menu Trends survey, which tracks the menu changes of high street restaurants, pubs, quick service outlets and hotels, found burnt ends, made with either beef or pork and traditional in Kansas City barbecue cooking, are starting to go mainstream in the UK, having previously been limited to specialist barbecue restaurants. O’Neill’s, the Mitchells & Butlers-owned Irish pub chain with nearly 40 outlets, had burnt end chilli and melted cheddar on its menu over the past quarter, while the Revolution cocktail bar chain featured pinto beans with pork burnt ends. Another US innovation, "French dip" sandwiches, is also making an appearance on mainstream British menus for the first time, the Menu Trends survey found. These are made with thinly sliced roast beef on a baguette served with beef juice from the cooking process. TGI Friday’s and OK Diner were among the high street restaurants which had French dip sandwiches on their menus, with the burger restaurant Dip & Flip, based in Clapham, South West London, specialising in them. The survey also revealed the emergence of meat in sauces, baconnaise, and bacon jam being two examples. Gourmet Burger Kitchen, All Bar One and Castle Pubs have all sold dishes featuring meat jams and mayonnaises. Other menu trends the survey found were the Egyptian herb and spice condiment dukkah, the Italian spreadable pork sausage n’duja and the reappearance of the spicy noodle soup laksa. Lobster and crab continue to feature more on UK menus, up 28% and 14% year-on-year respectively, prompted by a slump in wholesale prices. Café Rouge’s menu featured bisque de homard, the London-based restaurant chain Ping Pong had lobster dumpling and Jamie’s Italian sold crab bruschetta. The appearance of salmon is also up, partly because of the growth of sushi as well as its use in new ways such as on pizzas. The Thai hot chilli sauce sriracha, increasingly popular in the United States, saw 400% growth year-on-year in the UK, according to Horizon, while super-hot ghost chillis are now being used by at least three pub brands to add fire to their menu. Beetroot, with its superfood credentials, has shown a 24% increase in appearance on menus over the winter period, with in-season butternut squash, sweet potato and cauliflower also featuring significantly more. Some of the latest trends for breakfast the survey found include hash, either as a hash brown, corned beef hash or cheese & onion hash. The health-conscious Bircher muesli made five times as many menu appearances as it did last year, though while common in coffee shops and sandwich bars, it has yet to reach other outlets. Nicola Knight, Horizons’ director of services, said: “Tastes are becoming ever more cosmopolitan, with British dishes declining on menus in favour of food from the Mediterranean, Asia and Latin America. At the same time operators are keen to improve their margins, prompting a rise in dishes made with cheaper cuts of meat and more use of seasonal vegetables.”

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