The Rise Of The Tater Tots

Often seen as a staple of American comfort food, tater tots are a much-loved food. Tater tots deliciously offer the best of both worlds with a crispy, deep-fried exterior and a creamy center. However, the tater tot has not always been the wildly popular menu item they are today. Recent food trends have made the salty morsel a must-have item that restaurants are scrambling to add to their menu.

To understand how the tater tot became the next big thing, it’s essential to know how their origin.

Tater Tots History and Popularity

Created by Ore-Ida in the 1950s to limit waste during french fry production, tater tots (also known as potato rounds) have come a long way from their humble origin. There are two accounts as to how the tater tot got its name. One famous account is that a salesman with a ukulele created the term to promote Ore-Ida’s new creation. Another story is that a contest took place, and a housewife made the name using tater (slang for potato) and tot (slang for baby), effectively naming the new food potato baby. From the moment they hit shelves, tater tots were a hit, elevating the growing frozen food market and opening the door to knockoffs attempting to recreate the wildly popular item.

Despite their consistent popularity, the tater tot was not always used the way they are today. Originally a perfect greasy side item, the tater tot did not get to shine on its own for many years. However, recent food trends have elevated the starchy staple from children’s food to a hot menu item as restaurants rush to create the next new tater tot dish. Today, over 70 million pounds of tater tots are consumed by Americans each year.

Creativity Can Overcome Ingredient Shortages

With the popularity of tater tots up 3.27% in restaurants, cooks are putting a unique spin on the deep-fried morsel to draw consumers in. But how are so many restaurants successfully incorporating tater tots when they’re just potatoes?

It’s simple. They’re getting creative.

Food shortages are putting a strain on restaurants across the country. So many establishments searching for menu ideas that can be enhanced with on-hand ingredients. Like chips, the tater tot provides a crispy and salty taste that is perfect for building on to make a more substantial menu item. With just a few readily available ingredients, plain tater tots can be turned into a mouthwatering meal.

Additions such as cheese, sour cream, and pulled pork, are put on top to bring food to another level. Items like loaded tater tots and tater tot nachos have pushed the beloved comfort food into unprecedented popularity.

With the rising price of oil, how can restaurants keep up with the growing demand for the tater tot?

Extend Oil Life

Keeping up with the demand for fried food can be challenging, especially with recent world events creating a worldwide oil shortage. However, Pitco’s Oil Reclamation system offers an excellent alternative to extend the life of oil and increase profits. By investing in Pitco’s Oil Reclamation system, restaurants save money and can incorporate popular fried menu items despite growing shortages and rising costs.

Learn more about how oil reclamation can help your restaurant serve the tastiest of tater tots.

New call-to-action

Topics: Foods & Trends, Filtration