SmartMarket: Industry leaders share insights and expertise to help you sell more pizza.

When we think about the evolution of bread over the last 20 years or so, the trend has been menu versatility. There’s nothing more exciting than a product that can be used across an entire menu—left to right, from appetizers to desserts—during any day part. Flatbreads aren’t just the new workhorse carriers for toppings; they offer a unique flavor and bite that adds a unique dimension to traditional menu items while providing operators an opportunity to develop exciting and innovative menu concepts with an on-trend product.

Aside from the obvious Italian-inspired menu opportunities, operators can top a flatbread with a variety of toppings, such as avocado, arugula and pesto, or use them as the bread for dips and appetizers. Major chains are even using flatbreads as a foundation for traditional American cuisine favorites, such as BBQ chicken and pulled pork. Flatbreads are also right at home beside a soup or salad and are very popular for sandwiches.

If you aren’t serving flatbreads, you’re missing big opportunities to increase profit margins on traditional dishes, to develop new menu concepts and to meet consumer demands. Consumers are giving operators permission to grow their business. What could be better than that?

A Fast-Growing Phenomenon

Flatbread pizzas have seen strong increases on menus since 2009. In fact, they’ve grown 96% over the past five years, and flatbread dishes have grown by 75% on all appetizer and entrée menus in the past year, according to research firm Datassential. Consumers are driving the demand for these alternatives. They love the healthier-for-me aspect of flatbreads. It allows them to satisfy their need for indulgence in pizza with the perception of consuming fewer calories than a standard pizza crust or even sandwich breads. Additionally, the flatbread appeals to consumers’ desires for customization. A build-your-own flatbread pizza gives consumers that personal, made-fresh-for-me menu option. Consumers get the opportunity to enjoy their traditional favorites while adding the unique toppings operators offer them.

Any kitchen staff member who knows how to use an oven can prepare a delicious flatbread offering using BONICI premade flatbreads from Tyson Foods.

Why Premade?

If an operator is getting menu credit for his flatbread—perhaps he has a from-scratch product his pizzeria is known for and can upcharge for—it may be a good idea to stick with the way he’s doing business. However, premade flatbread options—such as BONICI® products from Tyson Foods—are a great opportunity for operators to get something new on the menu without investing in training for their kitchen staff. Preparing a flatbread from scratch is a different process than standard pizza dough; fortunately, with a premade flatbread, if the kitchen staff knows how to use an oven, they can prepare a flatbread.

The BONICI® Flatbread is a 6”-by-13” rectangle that comes in quantities of 80 per case and ships frozen with a 180-day shelf life. Tyson Food Service has four other flatbreads in its Mexican Original® brand. The Mexican Original® Flatbreads come in 6” and 7” round shapes with both thin and standard thicknesses.

Versatility and Premium Appeal

Flatbread dishes carry premium appeal. Whether it’s the personalization of a pizza or the add-on as bread for a soup or salad dish, consumers are looking for flatbreads on menus, and flatbreads bring in higher menu prices compared to dishes without flatbreads. From an operations standpoint, operators can get endless versatility with only one case of product in their freezer. Flatbreads lend themselves to a wide variety of menu applications, from appetizers and salads to entrees and even desserts. Here are some examples of how flatbreads can be incorporated into every category on your menu:

Appetizer Category

Uber-cheesy spinach and artichoke dip with crisp, buttery toasted flatbread for dipping.

Soup Category

A miniature Asiago and Provolone grilled cheese flatbread atop a cup of classic French onion soup.

Salad Category

A Southwest Caesar salad accompanied by a crispy, chile-seasoned, garlic Parmesan-toasted flatbread wedge.

Sandwich Category

Artisan-style flatbread layered with hand-carved hardwood smoked ham, creamy, melted Gruyère cheese, baby spinach, grilled red onion, seasoned ripe tomatoes and a zesty honey-spiked cracked mustard spread, served hot and fresh off the panini grill.

Dessert Category

Brown sugar and cinnamon-dusted flatbread chips served with a side car of creamy, vanilla bean-spiked crème anglaise for dipping.

Breakfast Category

Thin, artisan-style flatbread layered with crispy, applewood smoked bacon, a fluffy egg white omelet, and white Cheddar cheese, freshly toasted for a hot and healthy, on-the-go breakfast option.

Entrée Category: Flatbread/Flatbread Pizza

A thin and crispy flatbread topped with the customer’s choice of premium ingredients and cooked to order in your signature wood-fired oven. Options include:

Sauces
• Tomato Basil
• Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Sauce
• Chimichurri-style Pesto

Cheese
• Mozzarella
• Provolone
• Parmesan-Asiago Blend
• Cotija-Jack Blend

Veggies
• Grilled Mushrooms
• Roasted Peppers
• Grilled Onions
• Fresh Baby Spinach

Meat
• Seasoned Pulled Chicken
• Shaved Steak
• Smoked and Pulled Pork
• Shrimp

To learn more about BONICI products, visit bonici.com or call 800-248-9766.