Increase check averages with trending appetizer dips
Appetizer dips may be one of the easiest items that you can add to your appetizer menu that will result in the broadest appeal. Hungry and hangry diners will gravitate towards the instant gratification of an appetizer dip.
Start with the Basics
Don’t underestimate the power of a good Italian bread and olive oil. It’s fast, delicious and pairs well with a pizza dinner. But it should match the creativity of your menu. If you rock the classics, then go traditional. If your menu offers more spice and variety, try infusing olive oil with herbs, dried chilies and fruit peels. Play with different herbs and spices to create something uniquely you. It can be as simple as roasted garlic and dried Italian herbs. If focaccia is your thing, try an olive oil infused with rosemary, garlic and crushed red pepper. Give olive oil zing with lemon peels, dried basil and peppercorns. Just remember, the dipping oil you server is only as good as the quality of olive oil you buy, so go for the good stuff.
Capitalize on your strength: cheese
As we travel the country visiting pizzerias, there is one appetizer that is so impressive that it sparks “ohhs” and “ahhs” from the Pizza Today team: burrata. While technically not a dip, once the mozzarella is cut and the cream spreads across the plate, the dipping begins. A burrata appetizer is simplicity at its finest. It can be plated with a drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper, served with a beautiful Italian baguette, focaccia or crostini. It’s fine dining finesse that is a perfect compliment to craft pizza.
Want to style burrata even more? Infuse your olive oil with herbs or garlic. Accompany the burrata with roasted cherry peppers or sliced Roma tomatoes, basil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction and EVOO to create a burrata caprese.
You’ve seen the TikTok craze of whipped feta and goat cheese. People love it. It’s easy to make and a good base to give it your own spin.
Is your appetizer menu more of a bar and grill style? Then you can’t go wrong with a queso or guacamole. Or why not combine the two to create a loaded or extreme queso? Mix diced avocado, tomato, red onion, cilantro, salt, pepper and lime in a bowl and add it to the queso. If you menu chorizo, offer it as an add-on.
Give the people what they want: The Classics
Spinach and artichoke dip and Buffalo chicken dip still sell well on pizzeria menus. Give them an update by incorporating some trending ingredients. Poblano pepper is hot right now. Roast poblanos and add them to your dip. Everything is better with bacon, right? Try that version.
Blue cheese is standard in Buffalo chicken dip. Change it up with a different cheese — feta, stilton, gorgonzola or a spiced cheddar.
Here are two recipes to play with. See how you can vary them to give them your own twist:
Roasted Poblano Bacon Spin Dip