Special Report

Brand New Menu Items to Try at Chain Restaurants This Fall

Fall is upon us, and that means the kids heading back to school, the leaves beginning to change color, the excitement of football in stadiums and on TV … and, of course, that most evocative and unavoidable of all autumnal symbols – pumpkin spice.

Restaurant chains continually revise and upgrade (or, some would say, downgrade) their menus with new items, often tied to an approaching holiday or to the change of season. Considering the enduring popularity of pumpkin spice flavors, it’s no surprise that many chain menus have introduced items involving them this month – in both food and drink form. But that’s just part of what diners can expect to see on menus over the next few months. 

To compile a list of new chain restaurant menu items at the start of fall, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the past month’s Menu Tracker columns in Nation’s Restaurant News, a leading national restaurant trade publication. Bret Thorn, the publication’s senior food and beverage editor, assembles lists of new additions to menus at chains both large and small across America. 24/7 Tempo has made an editorial selection of some of the more representative items from some of the better-known chains. (Many are among the most successful restaurant chains in America.)

Click here to see what’s new on chain restaurant menus for fall

Of the 26 items on our list this month, nine involve pumpkin spice or pumpkin in some other form. In addition, as is always the case with chain menus, chicken is well represented, with five entries (actually four – the fifth is plant-based “chick’n”). Pizza, another perennial favorite, shows up three times. (Check this list of the best chicken wings in America.)

Other newcomers this month include loaded fries, a cheeseburger, a burrito, and – paying tribute to another of the autumn emblems mentioned above – some tacos named in honor of former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver and Pro Football Hall of Famer Drew Pearson.

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