Trends and Toasting: Flatbreads, Tortillas and Wraps

When you visit a QSR or fast-casual restaurant, your entrée might not be served on a bun or sandwich bread. Tortillas, flatbreads and other wraps have become a standard offering on menus that run from traditional American fare to unique takes on cuisines from around the world.

These bread alternatives meet a variety of current foodservice trends, and operators looking at how their menus can meet customers’ needs should take these considerations into account:

Ethnic cuisine – according to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Forecast, more than two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they were more likely to eat ethnic cuisine in a restaurant than cook it at home. Whether it’s lavash from the Middle East, pita from Greece, naan from Asia or tortillas from Mexico and Central and South America, flatbreads play a key role in creating globally-inspired menu items that consumers want.

Creativity – flatbreads provide a blank canvas for chefs to develop innovative products, even blending multiple cuisines within one dish, such as the Asian street tacos from Atlanta-area chain Tin Drum.

Healthy – wraps are often perceived as a lower-calorie option, providing an alternative for those who want to enjoy a sandwich, but without traditional bread.

On the go – consumers are looking for meals that are portable and meet their “between meal” snacking needs. Wraps, such as the snack wrap lineup from McDonald’s, meet these consumer needs.

Spans dayparts – from breakfast wraps at Dunkin’ Donuts to flatbreads at Panera, chains are using alternatives to bread for menu items served throughout the day.

Fast-casual, casual and QSR chains with menu items that feature pitas, tortillas or flatbreads are looking for an efficient way to heat the wraps to address a number of needs:

  • help the menu item retain its temperature to stay warm and fresh for the customer
  • make the wrap more pliable
  • improve the taste of the wrap

Our new Flat Bread Toaster utilizes GST technology to deliver a quick and efficient throughput.  Able to accommodate a variety of product types, the Flat Bread Toaster can heat:

  • pre-cooked flour or corn tortillas to 160°F (71°C) in approximately 6 seconds
  • uncooked flat flour tortillas to 160°F (71°C) in approximately 12 seconds
  • uncooked flat corn tortillas to 160°F (71°C) in approximately 24 seconds
  • flatbreads to 160°F (71°C) in approximately 6 to 10 seconds

The Flat Bread Toaster provides a consistent, ideal temperature, as opposed to just heating wraps in a microwave or taking up space on a flat-top grill — giving operators an ideal solution for their flatbread needs with a dedicated, customizable product.