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Key to Bistro Success? Garlic, Mexican Flair

From The Boston Globe: Meat loaf just doesn't get it done anymore. And Salisbury steak? No way.

A new survey of the casual restaurant industry finds that consumers - and in particular, young men - need exotic flavors to lure them away from home meals and motivate them to dine out.

The study is from Technomic, a food-service industry consultant based in Chicago, and the Technomic study found that 42 percent of consumers, especially males aged 25 to 34, are more likely to visit restaurants that offer new or unique flavors.

Meat loaf might get a young man to salivate at home. But when he's out and about and spending hard-earned cash, the same young man can be transformed into a fussy gourmet who is more likely to choose a restaurant that features exotic dips and marinades than one offering bland and commonplace fare.

So what's a restaurant chef to do? Take a world tour with the spice rack, Technomic suggests, and drench those entrées in unusual marinades.

After studying the best practices of successful restaurateurs, Technomic concluded: "Garlic, pepper, and smoky barbecue flavor profiles dominate entrée menus. Global influences are also prominent, specifically those with a Mexican, Asian, and Italian flair." Full Story
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