Hot dogs muscling in as American staples dominate chain menus

19 August 2013 by
Hot dogs muscling in as American staples dominate chain menus

American menu staples such as hot dogs, pulled pork and chicken wings are nudging traditional favourites such as mixed grills and lasagne from chain menus as diners increasingly opt for indulgent choices.

According to Horizons' Menurama survey of 115 chain pub and restaurants, hot dogs have moved into the top 20 ranking at the expense of scampi and chips.

It found that hot dogs are featured in 85% more menus that they were last year. Pulled pork, chicken wings and ribs are also being offered more frequently than last year.

Beef burgers remain the most frequently listed, up 13% on last year.

Horizons director of services Nicola Knight said: "We have been surprised by these Menurama results, which show a significant growth of meat-based, American-style dishes across the menus of a broad selection of eating out establishments.

"Since last year we have also seen a decline in the use of healthy eating descriptions, perhaps as operators steer their menus towards indulgence."

She added that dishes such as mixed grills, beef lasagne, Sunday lunch and chicken curry showed the greatest decline.

Steak is as popular as ever, with rib eye, rump and sirloin showing year on year growth. However, they are being served in smaller weights than last year.

Beef burgers are also lighter, at 6.35 oz. compared to 7.69 oz. in 2010. The average price of a main course burger is now £9.27, while a hot dog averages £6.12.

Knight added: "Against a backdrop of rising food costs and squeezed consumer spend, the reduction in weight of key meat dishes demonstrates that operators are having to become more savvy with regard to menu and price engineering.

The top 10 main course dishes listed on menus:

•Beef burger
•Chicken burger
•Fish & chips
•Rump steak
•Roast chicken
•Rib eye steak
•Chicken curry
•Sirloin steak
•Sunday lunch

The Big Question: why are burgers fashionable again and why now? >>

Menu prices rise 6% as food costs continue to climb >>

High street restaurants and pubs becoming more creative with their menus >>

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