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National Restaurant Association - Barbecue, Italian food and fried chicken are top perennial menu favorites in 2015

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Barbecue, Italian food and fried chicken are top perennial menu favorites in 2015

Following the latest food and menu trends is important to planning menus strategically, but that doesn't mean that popular staples should be ignored. According to the National Restaurant Association's What’s Hot in 2015 culinary forecast, barbecue, Italian cuisine and fried chicken top the list of perennial menu favorites for the coming year.

"Just because something isn't considered trendy doesn't mean it's not popular," said Annika Stensson, the National Restaurant Association's senior manager of research communications. "The general themes we're seeing in the top perennial favorites are items that many would consider to be in the comfort foods category. And there's a reason these foods are tenured menu favorites - they have appeal with a wide range of diners and occasions. Many are also quite versatile and can fit into different restaurant concepts, menu themes and dayparts."

Rounding out the top 10 perennial favorite items are French toast, frying, oatmeal, comfort foods, fruit desserts, pulled pork, and chicken wings. 

Further down the list of favorites to spots 11 through 20 are milkshakes, hot tea, Eggs Benedict, Mexican cuisine, zucchini, waffles, bacon, macaroni and cheese, doughnuts, and bread baskets.

Additional items that registered as long-time favorites include kids' pizza, French cuisine, grilled vegetables, grits, cauliflower, brussels sprouts,  smoothies, and Mediterranean cuisine.

The NRA surveyed nearly 1,300 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – to identify trends on restaurant menus in 2015. The survey  asked the chefs to rate 230+ items as a hot trend, yesterday's news, or perennial favorite. 

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