Lunchtime Inspiration – it’s bread but not as you know it

These days, if you spend any time scrolling through social media you will be flooded with images of vibrant green smoothies, Buddha bowls and colourful chia and acai creations. People want to share their meals, and be impressed with the look of the meal, not just the taste. Therefore for restaurants and cafes catering to the lunchtime crowd, it’s not enough to put a humble sandwich on your menu and expect people to order it (let alone share it on social media). Here, we’ve put together four clever, cost effective (and tasty) ways to use bread on your menu, that aren't just sandwiches. Including two simple additions you can add to your menu right now and two that allow you to get a bit more creative with your offerings…

Bruschetta

Originating as something to use up leftover bread, foodservice professionals are no stranger to the benefits of offering bruschetta on a menu. But food wastage savings aside, bruschetta has long been a favourite dish for many Australians, seen as the lighter alternative to a classic Italian pizza or pasta. Offering a variety of bruschetta toppings at lunchtime will be sure to reinvigorate your customer’s love for bread.

TIP: give customers the option to turn the bruschetta from open to closed for grab and go options.

Garlic bread

As winter settles in and lunch time diners look for comfort and warmth, restaurants and cafes should consider offering soup, a cost effective, simple and crowd-pleasing dish. But instead of offering dinner rolls or plain white bread alongside, surprise diners with garlic bread slices or individual mini loaves.

TIP: melt cheese on top of garlic slices to create a crunchy, cheesy crouton for soups that people will love.

Smørrebrød

Sandwiches are everywhere in Denmark, but not as we know then. At their simplest, smørrebrød (pronounced smuhr-broht) are open-faced sandwiches built on a thin layer of dense sourdough rye bread. These offer all the creativity of a traditional sandwich without the ‘boredom’ that may be associated with a packed lunch. You will rarely find one with just a few simple ingredients, instead they're piled high with pickled herring, spoonfuls of sharp horseradish cream, and mounds of fresh prawns.

TIP: pre-make smørrebrød for display at lunch time, customers will be tempted by the bright colours and piles of fresh, healthy produce.

Panzanella

This Tuscan bread and tomato salad is the perfect offering for those customers that may be experimenting with salads for lunch, but still want the familiarity of a good quality bread. Panzanella manages to be fresh and summery yet still hearty enough to satisfy at lunch time.

TIP: Drying fresh bread in the oven produces better texture than using stale bread.

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