In other instances, there’s evidence of operators looking for the next big thing in food. While the growth of the gourmet burger continues, with burgers the most frequently-listed main course on menus and having seen 13% growth over the past year, hot dogs seem set to follow the burger’s path from ‘cheap and cheerful’ to ‘gourmet treat’.
While I’m not suggesting that pubs should replace their classic British bangers and mash, there’s no harm in adapting to trends. There are occasions, especially trading periods when the bar is busy, when a hot dog is an easy food option, keeping customers happy and boosting sales. It can also be easily ‘Britified’ by serving speciality sausages from the local butcher.
- Pulled pork: slow cooked pork, served shredded and a way to use cheaper cuts profitably. Pulled pork is ideal for sandwiches and barbecues;
- Black & blue steak – steak cooked quickly to seal in the flavour, served charred on the outside and pink on the inside;
- Cobb salad – salad with bacon, chicken and boiled eggs, a great alternative to a Caesar salad;
- Gourmet fries – chips served with ‘extras’ such as chilli, cheese, gravy and macaroni cheese, relatively cheap to make and offering high margins.