Despite the cost-of-living crisis in the US and Europe, people still want to eat out. Especially quickservice restaurants (QSRs) maintain their strong appeal as they’re affordable and fun to go to. But there’s no room for complacency. Today’s consumers, who are notoriously prone to food boredom, expect their favourite QSRs to innovate their menus. One way to do so, while also nailing 3 major consumer trends: go Latin.  

Skip the trends and give your qsr menu a latin makeover straightaway?

 #1 Latin cuisine is wonderfully diverse 

Related consumer trend: take me on a culinary adventure. 

No, Latin cuisine doesn’t equal tacos and burritos. Quite the contrary, Latin America consists of 33 wonderfully diverse countries, each with their own culinary specialties and flavors. If you’re not already familiar with them, here are some prime examples: 

Peru – Ceviche is probably the best-known Peruvian dish. The raw fish marinated in lime juice mixed with peppers, onions and spices has become immensely popular around the world. 

Cuba – Cuban food is a rich melting pot of Spanish, African and other Caribbean cuisines. A majority of recipes are slow-cooked, sautéed and/or tomato-based, such as ropa vieja.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless ways to attract the culinary tourists in your QSR’s vicinity. Good to know: the above-mentioned dishes are all made with ingredients that are easy to find. 

#2 Latin cuisine is known for its street food 

Related consumer trend: give me food to go as my eating habits are disrupted.

Time to consciously decide what to eat for lunch or dinner, time to buy all necessary ingredients, time to prepare your meal, and time to actually sit down and enjoy your food? It all sounds so 1990s to many people. Today, time schedules are more fluid than ever. For whatever reason, we’re all busy.

Enter the popularity of street food, a small bite that’s easy to eat in between activities. And Latin cuisine has street food written all over it: 

Pupusas (El Salvador)Hot and fresh off the griddle, these delicious masa cakes, which taste like a thick corn tortilla, are filled with cheese, beans, meat or other fillings. 

Tamales (Mexico) – Tamales are corn husk-wrapped bundles filled with a corn-based dough and a tasty filling. They’re mostly linked to Mexican cuisine, but you can find them all over LatAm.  

Baleadas (Honduras) – Baleadas are large, handmade flour tortillas that can be filled any way you like. A common combo is refried beans, scrambled eggs, chorizo and queso fresco. 

Adopting these and other street foods is a great way to spoil your consumers’ taste buds, while excelling in on-the-go solutions at the same time. And you can either go authentic or give your own twist to a particular street food.  

#3 Latin cuisine brings people together 

The rise of Spanish tapas bars across Europe is a telling example of people’s love for food sharing. For many consumers, eating food contains an element of entertainment and self-expression. And what is more satisfying than ordering a curated assortment of tiny dishes to heighten the excitement of a social outing? 

Instead of looking at the south of Spain for inspiration, why not immerse yourself in Latin cuisine? Here are some Latin dishes meant to be shared with todos. 

Empanadas (stuffed bread or pastry) – Influenced by Italian traditions, Argentinians love their empanadas. These turnovers can be stuffed with just about anything and are shared during breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Arepa (corn cakes) – These circular corn cakes are cooked on a grill, fried, or roasted, and you can fill them with a variety of ingredients like ground beef, eggs or cheese. And, you guessed it, they’re best when served in good company. 

¡Buen provecho!  

Ready to go Latin, but not entirely sure how?

Solina has your back. Contact our Latin-minded QSR team: