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2023 was the year of sauces

Restaurants across the country upped their condiment game as an easy way to offer variety and customization

Menu innovation never stops, but at times of rising costs and diminished labor, finding relatively easy ways to create menu news is especially appealing. That’s probably why we saw so many sauces introduced in 2023.

It’s operationally straightforward to swap one sauce for another, but quite impactful in terms of flavor.

Sweet-and-spicy was certainly the flavor combination of the year, and Arby’s, Qdoba, Buffalo Wild Wings, Genghis Grill, Red Lobster, Chester’s Chicken, and Bonchon all added sauces in that category. Twin Peaks added a hot sauce that’s so spicy its name requires an asterisk, while other chains augmented what they already had, such as The Halal Guys and Naf Naf Grill.

McDonald’s, while busily upgrading its burgers, also decided to make its beloved Big Mac sauce available for any menu item.

Dunkin’ found that the Butter Pecan Swirl that was a seasonal syrup that guests could add to their coffee was so popular that the made it a permanent addition to the menu

Read on for a closer look at sauce innovation over the past year.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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