How to Introduce Mediterranean Food Concepts
Nobody knows your guests better than you. You know what they want and what they like to order. If you entertain a trendy crowd, introducing Mediterranean food concepts to your menu is a natural fit. However, if your guests are more traditional, it may still be easier than you think to add healthy Mediterranean options to your menu.
Mediterranean Menu Ideas
- Expand your vegetable selection. Build your Mediterranean menu with plenty of heart-healthy vegetables cooked in interesting ways. Instead of treating vegetables like garnish, make them the center of the plate.
- The best veggies to include: onions, garlic, tomatoes, fennel, artichokes, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, and rapini
- Skip the salt. Replace salt with the vibrant flavors of fresh herbs, spices, and citrus juice.
- Common Mediterranean spices and herbs include: basil, garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, saffron, za'atar (a Middle Eastern spice blend), and dukkah (an Egyptian spice blend)
- Add fruit and go nuts. Create salads with fruit, sprinkle with almonds, walnuts, or pecans, and drizzle with a light olive oil based vinaigrette. You can also add fruit and nuts to savory couscous or risotto.
- Grill it. You probably already feature grilled chicken and fish options on the menu, so making it Mediterranean may simply involve adding herbs, using olive oil, and selling it.
- Offer appealing appetizers. Your appetizer menu is a great place to add easy Mediterranean flair. Try whole grain bread rounds with olive oil based pesto, tapenade, or bruschetta, or try toasted pita points with savory hummus combined with creamy spinach dip made with greek yogurt.
- Get creative with salads. Greek salad is an obvious option, but not the only one. Our Farmer’s Fattoush Salad features an assortment of greens, topped with oranges, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta-cheese crumbles, pieces of char-grilled pita bread, and an almond vinaigrette dressing.
- Update old favorites. If you’ve got a sports crowd that loves sliders, try adding turkey sliders on whole grain na’an bread, or try trendy flatbreads for your pizza crowd.
Fusion is a hot food trend, and it’s likely to continue. Depending on your crowd, your guests might be reluctant to give up meatloaf and potatoes, or hungry for new and exotic meals. The beauty of fusion is that you - and your guests - don’t have to compromise.
The next big thing could be Mediterranean fusion, and it could start with you. Experiment. Keep the best concepts of each food and throw them together for a new sensation. Over the years, you’ve seen it work...otherwise we wouldn’t be selling fish tacos, fried chicken sandwiches on a waffle with gravy, and you’d never see a burger topped with egg, bacon, hashbrowns, and syrup, like BurgerFi’s Breakfast All Day Burger .
To make it work, stick to what your customers like most and add a little pizazz with some new spices, make it healthy with smaller portions of lower fat meats and lots of vegetables, and try new dishes with a familiar ring.
Start small. Use what you have on hand to create something new. Top a greek salad with grilled chicken and add fruit, like figs, apricots, or raisins, and serve with a creamy tzatziki dressing . A few new ingredients, and you could have a signature dish with a good profit margin.
Don’t Keep it a Secret
You’ll need to make sure the customers understand the value of Mediterranean food, and that means spreading the word through advertising and on-site promotions, such as limited time offers and menu boards.
Mediterranean food has a lot to offer. Well-documented health benefits makes it easy to sell, but you have to get the word out. Emphasize the variety, the unique flavors, the healthy eating aspect, and of course, don’t forget the taste. Ask your customers for their opinion.