Loaded potato tots and loaded fries are the new go-to appetizers or entrées for restaurant menus across America. According to foodservice research firm Datassential, loaded tots are up by an amazing +58% in the last year and loaded fries grew by 20% in just the last year.
It is an opportunity double down on a low food cost item by up-selling tots or fries with some creative toppings and condiments for extraordinary margins. Here are five fresh ideas on driving cravability and loading up on profit:
- Go Big Time Bacon – Let’s face it. Add bacon to any appetizer or entrée, and you’ll get the attention of your customers. In fact, lead the description of your new loaded item with the word bacon (e.g. Double Bacon & Cheese Loaded Tots) and you’ll improve your chances of success. A great trending recipe is flavored jams and we happen to have a great Red Gold Ketchup Bacon Jam recipe for you to try.
- Picking the Right Cheese – Cheddar (47%) and Monterey Jack (15%) are the most frequently mentioned cheeses in loaded tot menu descriptions. Crafting a trending cheese can draw even more attention to your creation. Consider White Cheddar, Gouda, Queso or Bleu Cheese to set your creation apart from the rest. Gourmet Cheeses or Truffle Seasoned, or even Pizza inspired fries pair great with Redpack fully prepared sauces as your flavored dip… and LOOK!! We offer it in portion cups.
- Don’t Forget the Ketchup – Flavored ketchups are ideal for loaded tots and fries either as a topping or dippable condiment. Red Gold’s Huy Fong Sriracha Ketchup is a good choice. Sriracha ketchup on menus is up +128% since 2016. It saves you the time of mixing it yourself and sriracha still remains a growing menu term. Another unique flavored ketchup is Red Gold’s Jalapeno Ketchup. And, if you want more Straight-UP sauces, try our Plus One Recipes.
- Speaking of Plus one… also, consider “fry sauce”. It’s really a ketchup aioli that is great as a burger or sandwich condiment as well as for tots and fries. Easy to prep back-of-house, use 4-parts mayo to 1-part Red Gold Ketchup and then load the fry sauce into squeeze bottles. Fry sauce is up on U.S. menus by +14% in just the last year.
- Take Loaded to A New Daypart or Cuisine – Loaded breakfast hash browns with diced ham or bacon with some shredded cheddar and a fried egg (in a bowl for drive-thru or takeout) comes easy. Or, add a Mexican flare with totchos (tot nachos) are easy when promoted as a bar appetizer with margaritas or micheladas. Totchos can bring excitement to a happy hour or LTO promotion. Top it all off with Red Gold Salsa for the perfect bite.
- Take Loaded? To the Next Level – If you are looking to leapfrog everyone, start looking at the next generation of loaded items. House-cut and loaded potato thins/chips, sweet potato tots and waffle fries instantly come to mind. Loaded potato skins topped with bacon, salsa and broccoli. Better yet, loaded fried or braised cauliflower can be your next item that is loaded with craveability.
With the pressure on margins, it’s smart to look toward your fries and tots for new ways to generate customer excitement. There are plenty of options when you load your opportunity with a proven favorite. Red Gold offers a broad line of condiments that can help you load up for future for success.