Menu Ingredients to Lean into to Combat an Economic Downturn

Mar 26, 2023

Restaurant operators can lean into cost-effective ingredients that have broad appeal to customers. Here are some ingredients that can help restaurants combat the impending recession:


  • Legumes: Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and beans are nutritious and affordable, making them a cost-effective ingredient for restaurants. They are versatile and can be used in various dishes, such as salads, soups, and stews.
  • Root vegetables: Root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions are hearty and filling, making them a great addition to comfort foods. They are also cost-effective and have a long shelf life, which can help to reduce waste.
  • Grains: Grains like rice, quinoa, and barley are excellent sources of protein and fiber, making them a popular choice for health-conscious consumers. They are also affordable and versatile, making them a great ingredient for a variety of dishes.


  • Eggs: Eggs are an affordable source of protein and can be used in several dishes, from breakfast to dinner. They are also versatile and can be prepared in many ways, such as scrambled, poached, or baked.
  • Chicken: Chicken is an affordable and versatile protein source popular with consumers. It can be used in a myriad of dishes, from sandwiches to salads to entrees.
  • In-season produce: Using in-season produce can help restaurants save money on ingredients and reduce waste. It can also help to support local farmers and promote sustainable agriculture.
  • Off-cuts and scraps: Using off-cuts and scraps can help to reduce waste and save money on ingredients. Restaurants can use these ingredients in soups, stews, or garnishes.
  • Affordable seafood: Seafood like canned tuna, sardines, and mackerel are affordable options and can be elements of several dishes. They are also a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.


By using these ingredients, restaurants can offer cost-effective and appealing menu options that can help to attract and retain customers during tough economic times.