Seasonal menus continue to dominate new introductions.
California Pizza Kitchen added four new dishes to its menus ahead of the fall season. The menu items include the crispy chicken sandwich, extra-crispy chicken served on a brioche bun; the black and bleu pizza, topped with carne asada, Gorgonzola olive oil and cherry tomatoes; the spicy Buffalo chicken chopped salad, topped with Buffalo-tossed grilled chicken, Gorgonzola, and more; the new seasonal beverage is a sparkling mango sangria, which features a Coppola pinot grigio, Milagro silver tequila and pineapple, mango and guava.
Panera expanded its menu with the return of seasonal items like the cinnamon crunch latte and the new ham, egg and cheese on a cinnamon bagel.
The breakfast sandwich features Black Forest ham, scrambled egg and aged white cheddar all on a cinnamon crunch bagel.
Wendy’s added a pumpkin spice frosty and a pumpkin spice frosty cold brew to locations before the fall season.
White Castle introduced two new menu items, including a french toast slider and cheddar cheese rings. The sliders feature slices of cinnamon swirl french toast, with cracked eggs, American cheese and the choice between sausage or hickory-smoked bacon.
“As a culinary team, we believe innovation can start by looking at something people love and considering how to deliver it in a new way,” said Chef Phillip Bach, director of product innovation at White Castle. “In this instance, we started with a slider sized version of french toast and worked on re-imagining it as a complete breakfast slider sandwich. After testing first with internal team members and then customers, we returned to the kitchen to refine the sandwich to ensure we were serving up a craveable slider that people can’t get anywhere else.”
Wingstop Restaurants added a Cajun meal deal, which features a chicken sandwich, boneless wings or chicken tenders, served with loaded fries and all topped with ranch, cheese and Cajun seasoning.
“Wingstop’s Cajun meal deal combines everything you crave,” said Anne Fischer, chief growth officer at Wingstop. “Our latest menu innovation delivers that cooked-to-order, indulgent Wingstop occasion that fans hunger for, all at a great value.”
Jimmy John’s has permanently added its summer wraps to menus. The line of three wraps — the chicken Caesar wrap, the spicy jalapeño ranch chicken wrap and the Tuscan Italian wrap — is available year-round after two years of being limited-edition offerings.
“After incredible success these past two years offering wraps for the summer season only, we are giving our loyal customers what they want — wraps all the time,” said Dustin Hilinski, director of culinary innovation at Jimmy John’s. “This is a big deal for our brand, as our menu hasn’t changed much in nearly 40 years. But our goal right now is to expand our flavor offerings and introduce new menu items, and what better way to do that than to permanently add Wraps and provide a completely reinvigorated catering menu.”
Little Caesars Pizza is bringing back its “Crazy Calzony,” a pizza-calzone combination that features four different meats, pepperoni, bacon, ham and Italian sausage.
“The 4-Quarter Calzony ensures everyone at the pregame or watch party has something to eat,” said Greg Hamilton, chief marketing officer at Little Caesars. “You can satisfy cravings with just one product instead of getting four different pizzas. Combined with the calzone crust, this innovative menu item is a victory for any get-together.”
Noodles & Company added chicken Parmesan to its line of fast-casual noodles. The new option features penne noodles, marinara sauce, Parmesan-crusted chicken, melted mozzarella cheese and parsley.
“We are excited for our chicken Parmesan to further our commitment to nourish and inspire our guests with fresh, handcrafted dishes at an approachable price point,” said Nick Graff, vice president of culinary and executive chef at Noodles & Company.
Sweet holiday treats are back on shelves.
With October over, holiday-inspired items are officially making their return to menus.