Seasonal menu items done right spark interest and make it fun for diners used to a standard menu. But there's a wrong and a right way to do it.
— Jason Clampet
Arby’s wants to be the place where you get meat in a sandwich, and the brand has a new combination that you won’t find many places. Read on to learn about this and more new menu items.
Every few weeks Skift Table will wrap up the latest seasonal and new items on chain restaurant menus in the United States. We don’t call out everything (sorry limited-time Pumpkin Spice something), but we will call out items that are notable for what they mean to a chain, the season, or consumer habits.
Seared Duck Breast Sandwich
When: Limited time only
Where: 16 “select” locations
Skift Table Take: Arby’s continues to demonstrate that it does indeed have the meats. We like the sound of this one: It’s duck season in many U.S. states/counties, and Arby’s says it is selling these sandwiches where hunting takes place. So too bad, Boston, and you’re in luck Wyomissing, PA. Arby’s has done this before with its venison sandwich, so perhaps there will be a repeat in 2019. We’re down with seasonal food at big chains, even if a short-term gimmick.
Read more from Arby’s.
When: Limited time only
Where: “Participation may vary”
Skift Table Take: We have no idea what a “neighborhood pasta” is, but it appears to be an attempt to connect cream-based pasta dishes like chicken alfredo with Applebee’s ongoing push to be your neighborhood local. And look, there’s a breadstick, too. It’s certainly cheaper than selling entree-sized steaks and other more expensive menu items, and also solves the quandary of whether to choose competitor Olive Garden instead, since you can please everyone at Applebee’s (well, except Wall Street). One lingering question: Who is Applebee’s “Chef Bulgarelli,” who gets his/her eponymous stuffed rigatoni?
Read more from Applebee’s.
Nightmare King Sandwich
When: October 22-November 1
Where: Participating locations
Skift Table Take: Somebody needs to tell Burger King that it’s not just important that people talk about you, but that they should be saying nice things when they do. The flame-broiled chain has had a rather decent chicken sandwich for decades, but their new promotion suggests that it does not cause enough sleep disorders for the chain’s patrons. A man who Burger King’s PR department insists is a real doctor conducted sleep studies on some diners and says “after eating the Nightmare King, the data obtained from the study indicated that the incidence of nightmares increased by 3.5 times.” The sandwich comes with cheese, sautéed onions, bacon, and a green sesame bun. Don’t worry if you miss out: once the limited-time offer ends there are many other items on the BK menu that can also offer discomfort.
Read more from Burger King/BusinessWire.