Plate of foodservice Italian tri-color tortellini in a restaurant setting

Italian Food Reigns King, Restaurants Encouraged to Innovate

Of all the ethnic foods available in the United States ranging from Asian to Mexican, numerous studies have shown that Italian food is by far the most popular. In fact, according to a recent report published by the National Restaurant Association, 61% of the 1,000 people surveyed said they eat Italian food at least once per month whereas 50% eat Mexican and 36% Chinese. Clearly Americans have a soft spot for Italian food.

Now that we know demand is there, it’s important for Italian restaurant operators to think outside of the box and leverage what people are hungry for (both literally and figuratively speaking) to boost revenues. For example, ravioli is usually a best selling dish at Italian restaurants, so why not expand your offering by adding gluten-free ravioli, jumbo spinach and gorgonzola ravioli, lobster ravioli, breaded ravioli or any other type of ravioli that your customers will enjoy.

Additionally, don’t forget appetizers like the glorious mozzarella stick, which has been a favorite at all types of restaurants for many years. If we know people love mozzarella sticks (aka cheese sticks) think about adding more fun appetizers to mix things up – macaroni and cheese bites, battered pickle chips, battered mushrooms, meatballs, etc.

There’s definitely something to be said about taking a traditional approach by having a menu that remains unchanged over time, however it’s also good to take note of trends and respond consumer demands.