Foodservice Trends: Topped with an Egg When you think of eggs on a restaurant menu, your first thought is likely breakfast — egg sandwiches, omelets and the like. There is a growing trend, however, of topping non-breakfast items with eggs. From salads and sandwiches to stir-fries and curries, restaurants are revitalizing standard dishes by adding an egg. This growth aligns with several consumer trends, including preference for clean ingredients, increasing protein intake and seeking comfort foods, like breakfast menu items, throughout the day. Operators also like this development, because they can charge more for an egg as an add-on, and it gives them an easy way to extend the popular breakfast daypart. Menu penetration statistics from Technomic MenuMonitor, shared by the American Egg Board (AEB), demonstrate the percentage of operators offering eggs as toppings for menu items, broken down by restaurant type: Food Trucks 8.5% QSR 11.5% Traditional Casual Dining 14.5% Fast Casual 24.5% Midscale 33.5% Not surprisingly, up-and-coming regional chains that offer breakfast foods throughout the day report the highest level of egg-topping incidence: 48 percent according to Technomic and reported by the AEB. The AEB also indicates that the incidence of eggs as an add-on topping is up 4.8 percent from 2015. As far as what dishes chefs are adding eggs to, the fastest growing items featuring egg toppings from 2015 to 2016 were as follows: Curry 100% Soup/Salad & Sandwich 37.5% Stir-fry 25% Mixed Protein Sandwich 16.7% Specialty Salad 8.3% Specialty Burger 6% Because it is already a staple in kitchens, offering an egg as an add-on option or incorporating it as part of a pre-existing menu item is easy for the operation to implement from an ingredient standpoint. But, consideration should also be made for the right piece of equipment to cook these eggs. For operators looking to offer fresh eggs as add-on menu items, the Egg Station with Dual Zone from Antunes enables operators to cook eggs on demand. Instead of having to wait for a grill or pan to heat up and then having to clean an entire station — just to cook one egg — the ESDZ-1200’s two independent cooking zones allow operations to easily and quickly prepare individual orders of eggs. The ESDZ-1200 provides flexibility to fill any volume of egg orders throughout the day — whether as part of a traditional breakfast menu or as a tasty addition to a sandwich, burger or other dish. Learn more about the operation of this award-winning innovation with this demonstration video.