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Culver's to debut sweet potato fries

Culver’s, a quick-service hamburger and frozen custard concept, is joining the sweet potato fry fray.

Jim Doak, the 424-unit chain’s executive chef, said Culver’s would be rolling out sweet potato fries as a systemwide limited time offer this summer. They will be priced as a premium side item, in line with the chain’s onion rings, or as a $1 premium upgrade with combo meals.

Doak said in earlier tests at select locations customers were asking for the fries with the marshmallow topping available for Culver’s desserts, making their own version of candied yams. They also dipped them in Concrete Mixers, the chain’s chunky shakes made by mixing frozen custard with assorted toppings, he added.

Sweet potato fries are appearing on a growing number of chain menus. Both Chick-fil-A and El Pollo Loco said earlier this year they were testing them. Last year, fast-casual burger concept Smashburger, which previously had offered sweet potato fries as a regional specialty, rolled them out systemwide.

Nancy Kruse, Nation’s Restaurant News’ columnist and president of restaurant consulting firm The Kruse Company in Atlanta, late last year said the “wild popularity” of sweet potatoes was spurring renewed interest in vegetable side dishes generally.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].

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