Wings remain as relevant as ever — here’s how to help sales soar
I love wings. Something about the vinegary, spicy flavor tempts my taste buds in all the right ways. Baked, fried … doesn’t matter. Prefer them naked, but breaded will do in a pinch as well. They can be my main course or an appetizer. I love them without pizza. I love them even more with pizza. In short, I love them!
And I’m not the only one. Wings have been a mainstream menu mainstay for decades now. If you don’t offer them, I’d be really curious to find out why. If you do, you probably sell them by the proverbial boat load.
While the iconic Buffalo wing remains as good as it gets, today’s discriminating diners are more adventurous than ever. What that means for you is that it might be time to branch out by offering a variety of new and unique flavors. From sweet to savory to scorching hot, there are a variety of sauces and dry rubs designed to help your wing sales take flight.
Much like you tinker with your dough fermentation times and techniques, there’s something to be said for going into the kitchen and getting creative with ingredients in a mission to dress up your chicken. One of my favorites is a Raspberry Habanero sauce that lures you in with sweetness and then goes arsonist crazy at the end.
Raspberry Habanero Wings
Get the Raspberry Habanero Wings recipe.
Seeing as though the Pizza Today office is in Louisville, Kentucky, you may also have guessed that I enjoy a good bourbon nearly as much as I enjoy chicken wings. Why not put the two together? Here’s one your customers will love.
Bluegrass Bourbon Wings
Ge the Bluegrass Bourbon Wings recipe.
Note: A sister recipe featuring Limoncello will be featured in our Menu Guide in next month’s issue!
Even if you can’t take the heat or don’t like bourbon and think these specific flavor profiles won’t resonate with your customer base, the point is that today’s most prolific restaurants are pushing the envelope with beyond-the-norm wing sauces. Have your staff get to work with an incentive-based wing sauce contest. I’m sure most pizza kitchens will come up with something great if you set a goal and then get to work on achieving it!
Jeremy White is Editor-in-Chief at Pizza Today.