Appetisers. An idea for burger topping?
Usually consumed as a side order, appetisers are getting a new reputation for themselves. They're also a great way to improve your burger menu and stand out with your customers. Appetisers can be used to create a "dirty burger" effect, providing new flavours, variety and acting as a great way to boost your revenue streams.
Cheese is an expected ingredient for burgers, whether cheddar, stilton, halloumi or, most popular, American cheese, but standing out among the rest are the fried cream cheese balls. These funky appetisers can be prepared almost instantly and suit chicken and beef burgers.
Fast food chain KFC have jumped on the appetiser trend and recently released their 'Fall in Cream Cheese Zinger Burger', a spicy chicken burger filled with fried cream cheese, topped with spicy sauce and lettuce. The appetiser not only complements the spicy burger with its soft creamy texture, but it also gives the burger a unique appearance, offering a new experience for their customers. This particular burger is available in South Korea, but we could see the falvour combination fitting in well in the UK market.
Sticking to cheesy appetisers, Mac & Cheese Triangles are an awesome way to pimp out your burger. An on trend addition, your customers will spend more time deciding which angle looks best for a picture rather than eating it! Also, Mac N Cheese appetisers are an effective way to boost your revenue as they offer a great mark up if priced correctly.
Nanny Bills is a popular street food burger restaurant based in London, they serve Mac & Cheese appetisers as a side, 3 for £6 or 6 for £9, and on top of their burgers for an extra £2. The appetiser additions are a talking point, they may not be everyone's choice, but who's to say you can't put a Mac and Cheese appetiser on top of a burger? People are willing to experiment with different flavours and combinations; this American classic provides the basis for this.
There are lots of appetisers available to use as burger toppings and it's a good idea to experiment and try a few different combinations. Take a look around at the competition to see what they are doing and see if you can read some food trend reports to get an idea of the latest trends. A great idea is to look at different countries and do some themed style burgers, McDonald's had their Great Taste of America Burger, even smaller chains are doing it, for example, Chickano's do a number of themed burgers, the Manhattan Melt combines chicken with chili cheese nuggets and the Mexicano has chicken, nachos, jalapenos mixed with cheese and Mexican spices and sauce. It all sounds delicious.
Take a look at the appetisers that Aviko sells to get a feel for the type of options available to you, from Habanero Nuggets for that spicy Latin American feel, to Tomato & Mozzarella Fingers to bring the taste of Italy to your burger, there's lots of ideas to innovate your burger toppings
The breakfast/brunch burger
With more and more people eating out through the day, the way in which we eat breakfast has now changed. Your establishment could massively thrive if it were to offer a breakfast menu. Breakfast continues to be a strong growth area within foodservice and there are restaurants taking advantage of people's morning hunger.
Breakfast is where hash browns comes into play, the triangular (or oval) shaped potato snack are a great addition to any breakfast burger.
Of course, we all know how the major fast food chains have included hash browns within their breakfast menus, independents are using them too. Biff's Jack Shack burger restaurant in Dalston offers vegan friendly food and drink. Their Lumberjack Burger is a breakfast loaded stack filled with a fried jackfruit patty, vegan bacon, hash brown, smoked truffle mushrooms, vegan cheese, spinach and chipotle mayo on a fried brioche bun. A plant-based stack whereby the hash brown stands out among the rest.
Getting stuck in with the sauce
Having topped your burger with all the necessary toppings, it's essential that you now cover it in sauce for the ultimate tasting experience. Nowadays, everyone offers ketchup, mayonnaise or mustard so why not try and stand out and offer something a bit different?
McDonald's created a real buzz recently by announcing they were going to sell their famous Big Mac Sauce in 50ml pots for 50p. The dipping pots are only available for a select amount of time and will sell out fast. Creating a sauce and naming it after your brand is a great way to promote brand identity and lure new customers to try your burgers.
Alternatively, going for something out of the ordinary can be a hit with your customers. Recently, we have seen gravy as a popular side (or smothered dip!) to have with burgers. Yard + Coop have three restaurants based in the North of England. Their famous 'Massive Cock' stacks at 12 inches tall and contains gravy, among many other things. But it's not just a northern thing! Nanny Bills have taken it to the next level dipping entire burgers in gravy. As appealing as it looks, it's certainly a messy job, but it gets people excited and creates a hot topic of conversation.
Altogether, underestimating the possibilities of sauces can be costly. It's another opportunity to make yourself known within a competitive industry. Of course, the sauce needs to complement the burger so try and get creative and test out some new flavours to see what works and what doesn't, also be open to feedback from your customers.
Watch this space, writing this article has given us an idea to look into easy to make and brilliant sauces & dips, for burgers and other foods. Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you get notified when we've finished in the kitchen.
There's so much you can do with burgers to make them stand out. From simply focusing on quality and keeping it simple, to jazzing up your burger toppings, the ideas are endless. You've also got lots of options when it comes to bread, or you can even use potato skins instead of bread to create a whole new dimension.
What's the most interesting burger topping idea you've come across? Have you ever considered new ways to upgrade your burger menu? What do you think about some of these toppings and sauces? Let us know your opinion on this topic.