The new year is the perfect time for restaurants to revamp their menus, as evidenced by operators like Chipotle and now Panera Bread. The bakery-cafe chain has introduced multiple new items, expanding the scope of its You Pick 2 combination option. The new items include Thai Chicken Soup and Citrus Asian Crunch Salad with chicken, each set to begin rolling out this year.
"Our chefs have been meticulously obsessing over every ingredient in our test kitchens, creating new menu items with a focus on taking familiar flavors and adding a unique Panera twist, turning them into bold, amazing dishes our guests will love," said Claes Petersson, Head Chef and Chief Food Innovation Officer. "From classic Panera favorites to new, enticingly bold flavors, we hope to satisfy any craving and provide more adventurous flavors for our customers."
With January being National Soup Month, Panera’s new Thai Chicken Soup features chicken, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, red bell peppers, and edamame simmered in a Thai yellow coconut curry broth with lemongrass, ginger, galangal, and Thai lime. According to a press release, Panera plans to add more new soups throughout the next couple of years, including a sweet and spicy Mexican Street Corn Chowder this summer, and other exciting chef soup creations such as Cajun Shrimp & Andouille Sausage, Greek Lemon Chicken & Farro, and Cuban Black Bean & Poblano.
The new Citrus Asian Crunch Salad with chicken features fresh romaine and a blend of chopped broccoli, green cabbage, carrots, and kale tossed with edamame, pickled red onions, and fresh cilantro in tangerine soy ginger dressing then topped with warm seared chicken thigh meat, crispy carrots, and a teriyaki drizzle. This dynamic flavor creation serves as a perfect side to the Thai Chicken Soup.
What other foodservice chains are reworking their menus this time of year? Stay tuned as DMN reports.