The simple taco: much like bacon and Sriracha, it’s ubiquitously delicious, moderately cheap, versatile, and culturally iconic. While what we eat in the states might not be that authentic, it’s a basic concept that allows for variation. The burrito brethren of the dish allows for even more experimentation, as any sort of meat, cheese, and veggie combo fan go inside the concoction; as long as it holds itself together and is nice and hot, you can call it a burrito.
Some of the major taco chains have introduced or tested out new products. These new items may help spur ideas and creativity for your own menu.
- Almost in time for Thanksgiving, Del Taco is currently testing out turkey meat in their dishes, with a turkey crunchy taco and a turkey Crunchtada. The two dishes feature less calories than their ground beef equivalent thanks to the inclusion of turkey meat, and taste the same, according to Brand Eating. While turkey costs may be a little higher than that of ground beef, this may prove to a be a profitable upgrade price to their menu. Much like chicken, this option could be at a higher price point for the beneficial health factors included, and unlike chicken, tastes enough like ground beef to sate the desire for the traditional American taco ingredient. Of course, just because they’re testing the dish does not mean that it’ll hit shelves.
- Del Taco is also attempting to chase the fast-casual burrito market with Epic Burritos, averaging at about a pound each. The Epic Fajita Burrito, the Epic Steak and Potato Burrito, and the Epic Chicken Chipotle Ranch Burrito. These burritos go for size beyond their budget options, and pack full of traditional ingredients like beans, rice, and chicken to unique ones such as french fries and bacon.
- Taco Bell has been having fun with their “Griller”, effectively miniature burritos, and like Del Taco above, they’ve also had one that features potato and bacon. A new Griller being test-marketed is the Loaded Chili Cheese Fries Griller. Chili, cheese sauce, and potato bites make this a new item, according to Brand Eating. While liquid cheese and flour tortilla might be the only traditional fast Mexican food in the item, it shows the variety that can go into a burrito.
- If you don’t like variety and want to instead go for the bang for your buck, new Triple Steak Stack and Triple Chicken Stack fill a flatbread with three times the meat of a traditional serving. Sometimes less ingredients and more of what you have is all people ask for.
Have these menu variations given you any idea how you can upgrade your Mexican-themed restaurant? It seems to be a popular trend to carbo-load consumers up with potatoes in burritos; if you sell some sort of french fries or tater tots, this might be a low-cost way to create a new dish, or at least test one out. With Thanksgiving around the corner, you might find some money in your budget to try out new turkey recipes, too.
In these fall months, consumers may just be looking for any chance to eat healthy between the food-centric holidays.