Labor shortages, inflation, supply chain problems: Quick-service operators are faced with multiple challenges in today’s environment. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association’s “State of the Industry” report published in 2022, 90 percent of quick-service operators reported higher food costs, while 74 percent reported higher labor costs, and 60 percent reported higher occupancy costs than the year prior.

This means operators across the industry have to come up with strategies to increase revenue. Many operators have turned to price hikes, with a March 2022 Datassential report finding that the quick-service segment has been forced to increase menu prices more than any other segment due to mounting challenges. But price hikes only help so much and resorting to higher prices may be unpopular with diners also facing inflation on various fronts.

It’s why versatile ingredients that can produce trend-worthy, craveable sauces capable of turning any menu item into a gamechanger are especially valuable right now. This is an area where Texas Pete®, the number one portion-control packet hot sauce in the U.S. according to NPD, sees an opportunity to help operators during these increasingly trying times. The company’s “Simple As” campaign offers operators a new recipe every month that helps display Texas Pete’s importance and versatility in the kitchen. In order to maximize its potential for operators, each recipe the company will post has to meet several parameters. Each sauce:

  1. Includes no more than five ingredients.
  2. Can be quickly prepared with products that are readily available in a kitchen from gallon or half-gallon jugs.
  3. Is trending per market data.
  4. Can be used in multiple applications.

Read on to see a few of the recipes that have already been published as part of the Texas Pete® “Simple As” campaign.

Image credits:Texas Pete

Nashville Hot Sauce

The Nashville Hot craze is a gift that keeps giving for operators. According to Datassential, Nashville Hot is up 367 percent over the past four years and 33 percent in the past year. Noted for its use with chicken, operators have begun to find new and exciting ways to use the Nashville Hot flavor profile on things like fried chicken, chicken sandwiches, wings, and sides (think: loaded fries).

Best of all, a batch of 75 two-ounce servings of Nashville Hot Sauce can be made in five minutes with just four ingredients, including Texas Pete®.

Image credits:Texas Pete

¡SABOR! Secret Sauce

Mexican food has always been a fan favorite in the U.S., but Datassential reports that it is one of the most sought after cuisines in the post-pandemic world. One sauce that has begun to capture the imagination of diners is ¡SABOR! by Texas Pete®, a Mexican-style hot sauce that works on a burger, chicken sandwich, loaded fries, or as a dip for chicken tenders.

The recipe uses a touch of Texas Pete® DUST Dry Seasoning, in addition to minced jalapeños, for a real kick in the pants.

Image credits:Texas Pete

Blazing Honey Mustard Sauce

According to Datassential, Honey Mustard is a sauce that appears on 24 percent of restaurant menus, and only continues to grow. One reason honey mustard is featured on so many menus is both because diners love it and because chefs and operators can showcase it on and with a wide variety of menu items, from sandwiches, to salads, to sides, and appetizers.

One recipe that has been a hit export out of the Texas Pete® Test Kitchen is Blazing Honey Mustard Sauce. A perfect fit for summertime menus, the sauce requires just four ingredients.

Image credits:Texas Pete

Texas Pete® Hot Honey

Few if any sauces have enjoyed a meteoric rise quite like hot honey over the past four years. Datassential reports that the trendy take on a classic combination of sweet and spicy has grown 197 percent during that time span. And yet, there’s more room to grow, with only about 2 percent of all restaurant menus offering hot honey—it’s  sauce that can be a differentiator for brands.

From Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack to Old Chicago Pizza, hot honey continues to find its place on menus as restaurants add it to everything from cocktails to dessert. The best part? Hot honey can be created with just two ingredients: honey and Texas Pete®.

Image credits:Texas Pete

Yum Yum Sauce

Yum Yum Sauce is yet another sauce that can be prepared quickly in the kitchen. In just five minutes, chefs and operators can prep 70 servings of the sauce with just CHA! by Texas Pete® Sriracha Sauce, Texas Pete® DUST Dry Seasoning, Kewpie Mayo and Honey.

Think beyond just shrimp and Asian menu applications when it comes to Yum Yum Sauce—it’s something that can be put on salads, fish, and chicken sandwiches, too.

For more recipes, videos, inspiration, and information on how to get various Texas Pete® products in your kitchen to make signature sauces, visit the company’s “Simple As” website.

Image credits:Texas Pete
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