The Ultimate Guide to Expanding Your French Fry Program

It’s no secret that Americans love fried foods, but while practically anything can be deep-fried to golden perfection (i.e., shrimp, chicken, and even whole turkeys), nothing beats the humble French fry. Fries are a staple on menus across the country, both in casual and upscale restaurants, and they’re one of the best menu options because they satisfy customers and operators, too.

Profitable French fries can help stabilize an operation’s bottom line, ensuring it can make more money without a ton of extra labor. These days, though, it’s not enough to just offer a basket of fries with meals or as an appetizer. Consumers want bigger and bolder options, so restaurateurs are getting creative. Let’s warm up the fryer and see what we can cook up.

How to Make French Fry Profits Even Bigger

One of the best things about fries as a menu item is that they’re a perfect blank slate, ready for all kinds of toppings and add-ons. Here are some tried-and-true methods that can help restaurants boost their sales without adding labor costs.

Offer Different Types of Fries

Fries can come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and flavors. For example, Russet potatoes are the most commonly used for fries, but what about sweet potatoes? Red or golden potato fries can also add extra taste and butteriness without inflating food costs too much. Also, restaurants can change the shape, including waffle fries, crinkle-cut, shoestring, steak, and even potato wedges.

Use Unique Batters

Typically, French fries are little more than just potatoes and oil. However, who says that they have to stay that way? Adding some unique and flavorful batters to the mix can create some exceptional culinary delights. One of the most famous examples of battered fries is the curly fry, but restaurants can create their own recipes and see what works best. For example, perhaps a seafood-based batter can work well for fries served with fish or shrimp.

Provide More Options

Since Americans already love fries so much, why not capitalize on that passion? Restaurants adding more to their French fries program can immediately increase their sales and profit margins. Plus, if these establishments are using ingredients they already have on hand (i.e., cheeseburger fries at a burger joint), the profits don’t add any extra expenses. Overall, customers have shown a willingness to pay higher prices for fries that deliver on crave-ability, taste, and aesthetics.

Get French Fry frying tips for Pitco.

Although fries can be the ultimate menu item, bad fries can kill a business. As a deep fryer provider, Pitco has a unique perspective on ensuring consistency across different fry options. Here are some top tips.

Consistency is Critical

Restaurants need to establish frying methods and standards for all employees. If necessary, a training manual or cheat sheet should be provided at the fry station to prevent mistakes.

Clean Oil is the Best Oil

Fries are not as messy as other fried dishes, but crumbs still happen. Workers should always remove crumbs as much as possible, so they don’t burn and turn the oil bitter. Fryers with automatic filtration systems can also alleviate this problem, especially for restaurants with extra-busy lunch and dinner rushes.

Soak the Fries

While this option may not be feasible for all restaurants, soaking fries in water for several hours can make them much crispier than non-soaked options. Crisp fries are essential for big dishes that include sauces and other ingredients. Otherwise, the fries can get soggy and mushy really fast, leading to poor customer satisfaction.

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Topics: Foods & Trends, Quality