Consumers love their snacks. For the past few years, the snack category has absolutely exploded, with global chains capitalizing on the trend with low-priced, snack-friendly menu items for snacking throughout the day, from breakfast to fifth meal.

Adding snacks to your menu can be a smart way to get in on this trend and drive a new source of revenue. Here are some tips for how to do it.


What is it that we love so much about snacks? I think it has something to do with hitting a spot (sweet or salty) at the exact right moment. The snacks I return to most are convenient and craveable. I start thinking about them around the same time each day, and I feel a rush of satisfaction when I finally get them. Your snack menu should include all the crispy, crunchy, salty, sweet things that guests are looking for, either for a quick bite before lunch or an afternoon pick-me-up. Think about creating snack options that customers will crave and come back to again and again.

Resize or Reposition Existing Items

Consumers love the classics when it comes to the snack category, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Likely, you already have items on your menu or in your inventory that can be repositioned as snacks. Whether you create smaller versions of existing sandwiches and call them sliders or reposition baked goods from your dessert menu for breakfast, you’ll be utilizing ingredients in different ways to drive revenue, and that’s exactly what we’re going for.

Meal Now, Snack Later

When you have a customer ordering from your online menu, you have a unique opportunity to sell them food for later. Unlike customers in your dining room, who may be going back to work or out to another destination after their meal, your online audience is largely ordering from home, so adding a few items is easy for them. You could create an online menu category just for snacks and even add a pop-up to ask customers if they’d like to add a snack for later when they place their order. Chips, cookies, and other small items are perfect for this type of upselling.

Consider Packaging Options

As you are developing a snack menu, you’ll need to think about packaging options. Look at disposable containers you’re already using and evaluate whether they’ll be suitable for your snack offerings. Snack packaging should be aesthetically pleasing and should maintain the integrity of the food while being easy to open — bonus if you can offer resealable packaging. Clear packaging is another way to signal freshness and transparency while allowing customers to literally see what they’re buying before they make a purchase.

Convenience is King

Snacking is all about convenience, and many snack consumers will be on-the-go, so make sure your snacks are available at key times of day, based on the traffic you see in your restaurant. Display snacks at the register, and train staff to point them out on your menu as guests get used to this new category. This can also be a good option if the kitchen is running behind on a table; servers can offer a complimentary snack to waiting guests to keep them happy and let them know about your new menu items.

Create Healthy Options

While categories like candy and baked goods will always be popular in the world of snacks, your guests will also appreciate some healthy options as well. Look for high-protein, grab-and-go options like a meat and cheese snack pack, maybe with some nuts or housemade crackers. These accommodate a range of dietary considerations and could be sourced from existing menu items.

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