Innovative pairings featuring bold flavors help restaurants generate sales without increasing complexity.

It’s no secret to restaurant operators that side dishes added onto an order are often some of the biggest profit drivers in foodservice. Yet not all sides are created equal. In a time when restaurants are faced with more challenges than ever—particularly in terms of labor—it’s crucial to ensure that new potential sales drivers do not add to the operational burden of the kitchen.

Enter chips: the craveable, satisfying, and simple side American diners already know and love. Not only do chips already have a strong built-in fan base, but they have the power to drive sales without adding operational complexity. Just ask Gerald Drummond, executive chef at Campbell.

“Chips placed near the register can serve as an impulse buy, driving up the check average,” Drummond says. “They also don’t require additional labor from kitchen staff, making them a great revenue generator. This is especially true if you use a recognizable name brand, such as Kettle Brand® Chips, which allow you to charge a premium price.”

Greg Boggs, senior chef at Campbell agrees. “In my experience working in quick-service and high-volume cafes, we would offer build-your-own sandwiches and wraps and would offer premium sides,” he says. “But whenever we ran into labor issues, we backed off our sides for a week and made sure chips were front and center. Chips are ready to go and an easy way to reduce that strain. And there aren’t many things that pair better than chips and sandwiches.”

In fact, Drummond and Boggs both agree that while most restaurant concepts could see the labor and sales benefits from an add-on chip program, sandwich concepts stand to gain the most.

“Chips are a no-brainer for sandwich concepts,” Drummond says. “Chips and sandwiches already go hand-in-hand. In analyzing sales and receipts for our Kettle Brand® Chips, we’ve found that the bulk of our chips are sold as an add-on for soups and sandwiches, largely because consumers crave a crunch component to go with those dishes. But we’ve also found that our individual Kettle Brand® Chip flavors can be matched with specific dishes to offer diners a unique taste experience.”

While the options for sandwich and chip flavor combinations are nearly endless, offering pre-selected match ups can help give diners comfort around their selections while further elevating the dining experience and making it feel unique to a specific restaurant.

To help inspire restaurants, Drummond and Boggs have identified pairings for some of the industry’s most ubiquitous sandwiches with complementary Kettle Brand® Chip offerings.

The first is pairing a Beer Battered Cod Sandwich with Sea Salt & Vinegar Kettle Brand® Chips.

“The Sea Salt & Vinegar chips provide acidity, which pairs naturally with beer battered fish,” Boggs says. “The flavor combination pairs well year-round, but a fish sandwich and chip pairing would be a particularly strong offering for the spring season.

Additionally, the crunch of the chips holds up nicely against the soft fish, Drummond says. “When we did a competitive analysis,” he adds, “We found that the crunch factor was what made Kettle Brand® Chips stand out from other brands. The chips stayed crunchy and didn’t disintegrate and offered true potato flavor too, making the flavor combinations even more powerful. Having flavors like Kettle Brand® Sea Salt & Vinegar chips at your disposal can really give menus versatility.”

This is only one of the many potential pairings featuring Sea Salt & Vinegar Kettle Brand® chips, with even more options abound with the diverse portfolio of Kettle Brand® flavors. Visit again next month when Drummond and Boggs offer up more chip and sandwich pairings featuring more bold Kettle Brand® Chip flavors.

To learn more, visit the Kettle Brand® website.

By Peggy Carouthers

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