The National Restaurant Association did its annual survey of its members on “What’s Hot in 2013.” 32% percent say that entree salads are trending in 2013 with the hottest trends involving locally sourced ingredients. However, restaurant chefs are not limited to traditional salads of leafy greens and raw vegetables. Creativity in the use of local ingredients is what captures the stomachs and pocketbooks of patrons. On cold days in New York winter climates, a soup and salad combination is a top selling item.
Entrée salads are using warm and grilled vegetables, tempura, pasta and rice, beans and legumes, dried and fresh fruits, nuts, herbs and edible flowers. They are also using a larger variety of green vegetables and “greens” to develop sophisticated taste profiles that incorporate seasonal and locally available produce. It is not uncommon these days to find roasted potatoes, asparagus or yellow squash on a salad, or a combination or raw and cooked greens.
The artisan cheese, oil and vinegar industries have also added a variety of tasty options for chefs to incorporate and experiment with in salads and marinades. Creative artisan food suppliers will reach out to restaurants to use, sell and feature their craft products. It is a “win-win” for everyone, especially with a carefully crafted co-branding program. Each business is simultaneously promoting the other, a great way to stretch a shoe-string budget.
It is prudent to have a branding attorney assist with the co-branding agreements for such arrangements. There are some pitfalls that could cause a trademark owner to unknowingly lose or lessen it rights in its proprietary trade names and logos. Done well, this is a great opportunity for small businesses to support one another and increase respective sales for both.