Chain kitchens urged to up their game as menu battle commences

Raymond Blanc

New research conducted by Brasserie Blanc, Raymond Blanc’s 17-strong group of French brasseries, has revealed a demand for high street restaurants to up their game when it comes to the dishes on menus.

Respondents deemed food from many high street restaurants far too basic and expressed a want for more adventurous dishes such as game and offal, according to the results.

Brasserie Blanc conducted the survey ahead of a campaign it is launching to encourage diners to try new flavours and broaden their dining horizons, and says the findings unveil key information about UK consumers’ eating habits.

Prompted by its own sales figures revealing that twice as many diners last winter opted for wild venison casserole over roast chicken and a fifth more diners chose snails over goats cheese salad, the restaurant group surveyed 2,000 people across the UK.

It found:

    • Men (55%) are more adventurous than women (43%) when it comes to the dishes they would try, and double the amount of men would try steak tartare than women.

 

  • 62% of total respondents said the food from many high street restaurant chains was far too basic, whilst 74% of 18-34 year olds wished that high street restaurant menus were more inspiring and dishes more daring.
  • 18-24 year olds are most likely to try new and different foods with the desire to experiment peaking at the age of 20, and 65% of 18-24 year olds also stated that they would try game and offal if it was available on a high street menu.
  • Parents are encouraging their children to step out of their comfort zone with 33% of parents surveyed saying that their children have tried liver, 23% have tried sushi, 22% have tried venison and even 3.5% have tried brains.
  • The survey also revealed that people are more adventurous when dining out in restaurants than they would be when dining at home.
  • 85% of respondents indicated that they expected to find the likes of snails, boudin blanc and pigs’ cheeks in fine dining restaurants rather than a chain.

Mark Derry, CEO of Brasserie Bar Co., commented: “Our sales and the findings from this study represent a desire from consumers for more exciting and daring dishes, especially when they eat out. Diners are getting increasingly adventurous, particularly the younger audience and, as an industry, we must react to this demand by ensuring we are making these dishes more accessible and at a reasonable price.”

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