Restaurant companies employ chefs, nutritionists, and food scientists by the dozens to constantly refine their offerings and develop new ones. Today’s menus at, say, McDonald’s or Taco Bell, Applebee’s or TGI Fridays, will almost definitely look different from those three or five or seven years ago, and not just because prices have inevitably risen. Even a chain’s defining specialties might have been altered (and theoretically improved) in subtle ways.
24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of items that have recently appeared on menus at some of the nation’s favorite chain restaurants. Some are seasonal, especially geared toward summer eating. Others are experiments, rolled out initially only in some parts of the country, their future place on nationwide menus dependent on their local performance. (The experiments don’t always work, and quickly disappear. These are some fast-food dishes we’d like to see back on the menu.
Some new menu items are responses to perceived food trends. Burrata is showing up on independent restaurant menus? Sweetgreen will meet the demand with a berry and burrata salad. Avocado toast still hanging on? California Pizza Kitchen offers a smashed avocado focaccia. And if anybody needs reminding what America’s favorite form of protein is, more than a quarter of the items listed here involve chicken. Speaking of that, here are30 best fried chicken places in America.
24/7 Tempo assembled this list of new menu items at your favorite restaurant chains based on the Menu Tracker column published regularly by the leading national restaurant trade publication Nation’s Restaurant News. Preference was given to items from chains that are the best-known and/or largest across the country.