Peak-burger passed in UK, research suggests

The UK's most popular main course is the burger: but the patty sandwich has peaked in terms of popularity.

That's according to new research from Horizons, showing that 17 per cent fewer menu dishes include burgers than did so a year ago.

Horizons' Menurama research, carried out twice a year, looks at menus in 116 branded quick service outlets, hotels, restaurants and pubs.

The June 2014 research shows that hot dogs have turned up on 86 per cent more menus, compared to a year ago, and pork ribs on 15 per cent more.

More generally, American style items are getting more and more popular, it seems.

And operators are giving customers the chance to pick from more gourmet burgers, while there's been flavour variety expansion when it comes to coleslaw.

Flat iron steak – cut from the cow's shoulder – has proven popular this year, and now appears on 17 menus covered by the stats.

The research shows that salted caramel didn't appear on menus in summer 2010, but now it turns up in 37 dishes covered by the data, a 12 per cent rise from the equivalent part of last year.

"We are seeing a high level of innovation on menus. Many of the ideas are coming from the US, but street food and ethnic flavours are also influencing menus. Operators are also working hard at providing customers with something new, often by putting a twist on old favourites," Nicola Knight, director of services at Horizons and author of its new report, said.

"Operators are working hard at providing consumers what they want. Breakfasts menus are now offering more healthy options, such as Bircher muesli, while sharing dishes continue to be popular – wings and sliders in particular," Ms Knight also said.

The new stats also show eight per cent more menus using the phrase 'gluten free' year-on-year, with flourless and wheat free alternative ways this was put.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency to help source hospitality recruitment jobs.