Left Side of the Menu

Appetizers, soups and salads, often referred to as “Left Side of the Menu”, have long been mainstays in the U.S. As the needs and preferences of today’s consumer have shifted, Technomic has published a study to understand the impacts on the left side of the menu (LSM). The study explores

  • What is the current size of the appetizer, soup and salad categories, including historical figures and projected estimates?
  • Which trends are affecting LSM categories such as health and wellness, global influences, and generational differences?
  • How are operators elevating the left side of the menu and what piques the interest of consumers?
  • What is the impact of off-premise dining on left side of the menu items?
  • Who is today’s LSM customer and what are the drivers for LSM purchases?
  • What unmet needs or challenges do operators face with LSM items and how can manufacturers respond?

Starters, soups and salads are integral parts of a menu for operators and this study seeks to provide a greater understanding of what will keep them top-of-mind in the upcoming years.

Scope of Segments

Full-service Restaurants (Midscale & Fine Dining)
Limited-service Restaurants (Fast Food & Fast Casual)

Beyond Restaurant
Business & Industry
Colleges & Universities

Scope of Menu Categories



Non-Breaded Protein
Non-Breaded Vegetables
Breaded Protein
Breaded Vegetables
Breaded Other (ex. cheese sticks / fried cheese)

Liven Up the Left Side of the Menu
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