Soup is a menu mainstay in a lot of different operations, but while it may not seem as portable as a sandwich or a portion of lasagna, it more than earns its place on a carryout menu. In addition to being a strong player among the daily specials—or even the basis of a regular weekly and seasonal rotation—Soup has a lot more going for it.
- It's endlessly versatile. Many delicious soups start with a look into the walk-in to see what there’s a lot of, or what feels right for the day’s weather, or what needs to be used up…
- Soup is perfect for repurposing. There will always be “leftovers”—trim, overproduction, assorted odd bits—especially when takeout is a new service and forecasting is still a challenge.
- It's a vehicle for leftovers. Extra bread can be used for a crouton garnish or even ground into crumbs for a thickener, as in the Spanish bread and garlic soup called acorda or tomato-rich Italian pappa al pomodoro.
- Soup takes many global inspirations. There are enough delicious soup recipes in the world to create a different soup every day, from Chinese hot and sour to Louisiana gumbo to West African peanut soup.
- Soup can be light or hearty. Thin brothy soups or satisfying chowders, suave vegetable purees or chunky beef and barley, soup has many moods and many roles in a meal, including appetizers and main courses.
- Soup and meatless menus go together. Vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians love soup. There are plenty of vegetable- and grain-based soups that eschew dairy products and eggs to satisfy even those diners who eat no animal products whatsoever.
- It’s easy to build a combo around soup. There’s nothing revolutionary about pairing soup with a salad or a half sandwich, but there’s a reason these combos are ever-popular: They give diners a more complete and interesting meal experience.
- Soup is great in a buy-local environment. Supporting local farmers and suppliers is easier when you can take a boatload of zucchini, misshapen carrots, or some fresh pork that’s been frozen. Given the right customer base, it makes for a good menu backstory.
- Soup can be offered in multiple portions. From a single serving to a quart or even a gallon, soups can be sold for take-home family meals or personal larder-stocking.
- Soup is comforting. And during uncertain times, that’s very, very important.
The information provided is based on a general industry overview, and is not specific to your business operation. Each business is unique and decisions related to your business should be made after consultation with appropriate experts.