Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Have it your way

When I order a pizza, I want it with shrimp and pepperoni with extra sauce on the side. It’s a request that earns me odd looks, but it is really a great combination of flavors. When I order other types of pizza—veggie, hold the mushrooms, or all meat, hold the ham—I want my pizza served the way I like it.

A recent visit to a Neapolitan-themed pizza restaurant had limited options for toppings, only offering traditional pizza of the Italian region of which they hail. That’s not my style and I felt extremely restricted and therefore, my experience was not what I wish it could have been for this new establishment.

In an article by the Nation’s Restaurant News, “Restaurantsplay with customizable bowls,” the ever evolving mindset of the “have it your way” meal has a new rendition—a bowl. A bowl filled with all the ingredients you want with nothing you don’t is designed to capture those finicky eaters, many of which are millennial diners that have grown up having food served to their particular tastes. 

“I’ve had a burger bowl on my menu since the restaurant opened in March 2007,” said Phil deGruy, owner of Phil’s Grill in Metairie. “Particularly when it comes to low carb diets and the number of times people request a burger with no bun, it was really something that I saw as a no brainer and it’s a stronger seller.”

Many restaurant concepts have gotten on board, from fried chicken and Asian to Mexican—Taco Bell is now competing with Chipotle’s burrito bowls with great success. It’s safe to say the bowl has hit the mainstream consumer, offering versatile servings and modern comfort with a fresh taste and flavor.

“The Cantina Bowls are bringing more women into the restaurants,” said Greg Hamer, owner of B&G Foods, which operates more than 50 Taco Bells locations in Louisiana and Texas. “One of the locations in Texas is located next to a health club and has not had the sales volume of our other stores, but the release of the Cantina Bowls has increased traffic and sales for that location.”

Can you think of any other Louisiana restaurants that sell on the “have it your way” concept?

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