Viral Culinary Creations to Inspire Restaurant Menus

When a viral recipe is trending, it can evoke a sense of urgency that compels diners to try the item.

Mar 26, 2024 - 12:23
Mar 26, 2024 - 12:24
Viral Culinary Creations to Inspire Restaurant Menus
Social media foodies are experimenting with puff pastry by layering sweet or savory ingredients on a baking sheet.

Integrating viral recipes into a restaurant’s menu can be a savvy strategic move, capable of captivating diners and igniting buzz. Naturally, restaurants have to align the viral recipe with their concept, menu, and customer base. When a viral recipe is trending, it can evoke a sense of urgency that compels diners to try the item. 

These viral culinary creations can attract new consumers as well as spark interest in current customers and those who haven’t visited in a while. When associating with viral recipes, amp it up on social media to showcase your restaurant’s versions.

Here are a few viral recipe trends:

Chopped sandwiches: Who would have guessed that chopping deli meats, cheeses, lettuce, vegetables, condiments and dressing together and serving the mix on good bread could spark a social media frenzy? Farmer in the Deli in Brooklyn, N.Y., claims to have created the original chopped sandwich. The restaurant-grocery store hybrid lets consumers select any ingredient in the store, like potato chips, and they’ll chop it into the sandwich. A viral Farmer in the Deli chopped sandwich video by @jacksdiningroom has reached over 3.6M people, and @whatsmomcookin reached 15.5 million people with her chopped slider recipe. Restaurants can leverage this trend by transforming their salads into sandwiches to expand their menu options.

Upside-down puff pastry: Social media foodies are experimenting with puff pastry by layering sweet or savory ingredients on a baking sheet (e.g., shallots, ham and cheese or brie, honey and pear), laying a piece of puff pastry dough on top and then baking it. Once baked, it’s flipped over and served. These upside-down pastries can be adapted to fit multiple restaurant dayparts from appetizers and sides to breakfast and dessert. The apple-honey upside down puff pastry recipe by @fitwaffle has 28.7 million views, and the savory caramelized shallot upside down puff pastry by @lindseyeatsla captured 6 million viewers.

Flavor-infused water: TikTok users have inspired a wave a creativity by infusing water with fruity flavors, fruits, herbs, and spices through the trend #watertok. These over-the-top concoctions transcend mere hydration and serve as inspiration for both non-alcohol and alcohol beverage menus across restaurant segments. Quickservice restaurants have been the first to jump on this trend. McDonald’s CosMc’s launched with a line-up of 10 unique watertok-like beverages. Meanwhile, Sonic, known for its iconic customizable fruity beverages, seamlessly aligns with the #watertok movement. Sonic’s restaurant beverages and retail drink mixes are frequently featured in #watertok videos, like this one by @takingmylifebackat42 that received over 500K views. 

Feta cheese and cottage cheese in everything: It’s been nearly two years since baked feta pasta took the internet by storm with over 10 million views. During this time, feta cheese has become more present on menus and is paired with familiar favorites, such as the marinated feta on the Avo and Herb Toast at  Prep & Pastry. The latest feta trend is Feta Fried Eggs. The Feta-Fried Eggs recipe by @graceelkus with crispy feta, chili pepper, avocado and tortilla has over 15 million views on TikTok. Cottage Cheese has also surged in popularity due to its versatility and high protein content. Dishes like Cottage Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Cottage Cheese Toast, and Cottage Cheese Snack Bowl videos are now widely enjoyed by millions of people and can fit on a variety of menus.