A lot has changed over the last couple of years, the rise in plant-based dining has not. According to a study conducted by IBIS World, Australia’s meat consumption has dropped to its lowest point in 25 years as Australians increasingly move towards environmentally conscious dietary habits.
Understanding the ever-shifting market should always be a top priority for foodservice operators. You want to stay ahead of the curve to ensure that you remain relevant. The market is constantly changing, and you must always be open to new ideas and trends.
Now that isn’t to say you need to reinvent your menu entirely, but you at least want to get the basics right. A good veggie burger or two can really help strengthen your offering and it’s a safe bet if you want to add more veggie options. The problem however is this; being safe isn’t great for grabbing attention. So, you’ll want something original that will stand out amongst a crowded gourmet burger market.
If you’re struggling for inspiration, we’ve got a few ideas to help unleash your inner burger designer:
1) Challenge yourself
If big, juicy beefy burgers are your forte, then the idea of constructing a veggie burger might not be your cup of tea. However, what chef doesn’t love a good challenge?
Testing yourself to explore new ideas is an awesome way to up your game. If coming up with something completely out of the box isn’t for you, then there are always other ways to test yourself. With an ample amount of meat alternatives out there, the challenge could be to make a burger that makes people question if it’s in fact veggie. There are a lot of people out there who are off the meat but still miss it!
2) Explore the world and all its cuisines
Most places will have the stock standard veggie burger, fully equipped with a veggie patty, lettuce, tomato, red onions and sauce. But the real success is in doing something different.
With the explosion of the gourmet burger market, there has been some real innovation with burgers involving international cuisines. You could use ingredients like jalapenos, corn, beans and salsa to give your burger a Mexican vibe, for example.
3) Make your own patty
If you’re looking to replace the meat in a burger, the easiest way is to find a nice-looking veggie patty and whack it in there. But sometimes the high road produces the best results, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and make something of your own.
Beans and lentils make for a great base for any burger patty, and the best part is, there’s so many different kinds to experiment with. You could use black beans, cannellini beans, borlotti beans, the possibilities are endless! Plus, by making your own patty, you can mould and shape to the size you desire.
4) Fill out your burger with something different
Once you’ve nailed your patty, you’ve got to find what will work around it. You can keep it simple, but where’s the fun in that! There are so many delicious vegetables that are underutilized within the gourmet burger market. Think of things like sundried tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and artichoke. All non-traditional burger ingredients, but they sure do pack some flavour!
5) Don’t be afraid to research some recipes
It’s hard to find anything that’s completely original in the gourmet burger market these days, not unless you’re willing to do something wild like a lamington burger (yes, it’s a thing and it’s exactly what it sounds like).
Some people don’t like it when you copy their ideas, but we’re fine with it if all you need is a little inspiration. Plus, we’ve got a whole bank of recipe ideas just waiting for you if you want to get started now. We’ve even got delicious butter bean burger as a veggie option ready for you to try!
6) Have fun with it
Finally, and perhaps one of the most important parts of this process, make sure you have fun with it! Creating a new menu item should always be met with excitement and passion. There’s no reason why you can’t get the entire back of house together and challenge everyone to come up with something creative. Then if everything fails to make the menu, at least the staff meals will be sorted!
Come up with a new burger that you’re chuffed with? We’d love to share it with our audience of chefs on our Facebook page! With every post we’ll be promoting the businesses where you work to help support the local foodservice market. So go on, don’t be shy! Get in touch today and share your creations with industry professionals just like you!