Fast food is changing and so is its clientele: a growing foodie crowd is in search of high quality food in a casual dining scene. Read our tips and advice on how to be on top of the game.
Be fusion and home-made
New fast food concepts pop up everywhere. What’s the secret to a good formula?
Increasingly more chefs operating in the fine dining scene turn to fast food concepts. Not only as an outlet of creativity, but as it’s a proven business model. The new fast food is gourmet and fusion.
Fast food has become more sophisticated. A hamburger is made of quality meat, served with condiments such as cured egg yolk or shaved truffle. There are pizzerias offering different doughs to choose from, like soy or kamut. Also, unlikely food pairings are getting popular. Think of Indian parantha bread filled with Mediterranean chicken and tzatziki, a Chinese congee with smoked egg yolk and truffle.
This new fast food attracts a foodie crowd. They demand quick, creative and tasty meals with quality ingredients. People want to enjoy a delicious fast meal.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Go green. Always offer at least one vegetarian option on your menu. Nowadays vegetables are regarded as hip, luxury products. From charred broccoli to creamy Jerusalem artichoke puree or crispy root vegetables.
- Offer home-made. It is ok to work with good quality store bought produce, but balance it with home-made ingredients. Home-made is more healthy than processed, fresh and allows you to leave your signature.
- Cook slow and serve fast. Gourmet fast food may be served quickly, however, a lot of time and attention goes into the mise-en-place and choosing high quality products.
- Think global. Today’s fast food is really one big melting pot of flavours. Mexican tacos can be filled with Korean ingredients, an Alsatian Flammkuchen topped with spicy Italian ‘nduja.
Lift your dog from ‘hot’ to ‘haute’
The traditional hot dog had a make-over. The sausage is often home-made, or the dog is served with fresh and creative condiments. Some topping suggestions to get you started:
Restaurants like Bubbledogs in London, The Fat Dog in Amsterdam or Allium in Chicago make an art of hotdog making. The dog in question can be beef or pork, but also rabbit, smoked duck, blood sausage or lobster. Apart from the filling, you can pimp a traditional hotdog with fresh and creative toppings. Although originally American, the hot dog has gone global. Here are some international topping suggestions to get you started:
- Japanese dog - Give your hotdog a Japanese twist with a dab of spicy wasabi mayonnaise, tangy ginger pickle and a sprinkle of crunchy nori.
- Chinese dog - Take a strong mustard, stir in some hoisin sauce and freshly grated ginger and serve on a dog with pickled cucumber and crispy bean sprouts.
- Spicy dog - Make a sweet and sour mango-chutney and a spicy mint and coriander sauce with green chillies. Put both on your hotdog and finish off with roasted peanuts.
- Middle-eastern dog - A nutty tahini-yoghurt dressing, a red cabbage pickle with cumin seeds and some crunchy fried chickpeas make for a delicious Middle-eastern dog.
- Frenchy - For a sophisticated French dog, crumble fresh goat cheese on it, top with red onion confit. Cover with thinly cut and crunchy fried Brussels sprouts.
- Italian dog - Serve an Italian dog with melting mozzarella, a spicy compote of tomatoes and crispy fried coppa di Parma.