Technomic Ignite Menu / USA

Operators bet on chicken sandwiches

In the U.S., chicken sandwiches feature on menus in all segments.
imago images / Cavan Images
In the U.S., chicken sandwiches feature on menus in all segments.

Comfort has been a buzzword for the past few months, as operators continue to find ways to provide a sense of familiarity and solace in people’s homes. In some cases, this means they’re going back to the basics, which, in the U.S. means chicken sandwiches, say the researchers at Technomic.

Chicken sandwiches are the most common dish found at Technomic’s Top 500 chain restaurants, they are prominent on menus in all segments. 

How are operators making these basic offerings stand out to drive traffic? Some are menuing these items at a discount to attract value-seeking consumers. Others are using quality cues such as ‘signature’ or ‘housemade’ in their marketing to make their offerings seem more premium. IHOP, for example, took both approaches with its $5 Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich, featuring standard toppings plus its signature IHOP sauce. 

„57.8% of Technomic’s Top 500 operators have chicken sandwiches on their menu “
Technomic Ignite menu data

Whatever the approach, operators need to understand both their consumer (i.e., their needs and preferences, etc.) and the environment (and how it’s changing). Betting on menu staples such as chicken sandwiches is sounder at this time, as operators look to core offerings and safer LTOs and consumers opt for comfort fare amid the pandemic.
About Technomic
Technomic is a research and consulting firm producing in-depth research focused on the foodservice industry. The company provides insights into consumer, industry and menu trends in the U.S., Canada and 23 countries around the world.