Sponsored by Schwan's Foodservice
In the U.S., Asian-style dumplings are not only red-hot popular in restaurants, they’re edible eye candy on every social media channel. Though not quite rivaling selfies in sheer number, dumplings are pictured by the millions across Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram and devoured constantly in TikTok videos.
Dumpling penetration on restaurant menus is equally impressive. According to 2023 research by Datassential, the number is 16.2% and rising steadily. And 70% of operators claim that demand for globally inspired food such as dumplings is climbing.
But meeting that growing demand for Asian dumplings poses a challenge for operators who are perpetually short-staffed—especially in the kitchen—and hesitant to add labor-intense menu items. Fortunately, a wide range of high-quality, pre-made dumplings from Schwan’s can easily help refresh a menu and provide opportunities for specials while reducing the kitchen staff’s workload.
Schwan’s CHEF ONE® Dumplings are fully prepared and come with a variety of fillings. Virtually labor free, they’re easy to add to soups and stir-fry dishes, or they can be pan-fried as appetizers served with dipping sauces. They also provide opportunities for upselling as a savory side item to boost check averages for either on-premises or to-go orders.
Dumplings inspire variety, innovation
To San Francisco-based celebrity chef Martin Yan, even the wide range of dumplings at restaurants in San Francisco “doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the variety prepared in the kitchens every day throughout every province in China. … And fillings can be anything.”
Schwan’s CHEF ONE® Dumplings also offer an incredible variety of fillings and opportunities to innovate using them as a foundation. Pairing them with sauces for either dipping or tossing is an easy way to start—think Mandarin Orange Dumplings tossed in orange sauce, or even a Dumpling Flight with expertly paired flavors. But with so much variety, CHEF ONE® Dumplings are easy to plug into any menu category or sales program:
Shrink or share: Just a few dumplings and a dipping sauce on a small plate is easy to cook and plate. It’s just as easy to offer that same arrangement as a shareable platter. Provide even greater variety with dumpling flights and multiple dipping sauces (sriracha and chili oil are social media favorites) and garnish with tasty ingredients cross-utilized throughout the kitchen.
The main thing: Not only are dumplings filling, it’s hard to eat just one. Pan-fry several and sink them into a hearty broth with noodles for an entree, or toss noodles in a savory heated sauce (or a chilled dressing) and send out a large platter for the table. Think big with these small bites!
Strike a side-deal: Who says potatoes must go with every entrée? Leverage opportunities to replace that starchy standard with a vividly flavored dish of a few vegetable-stuffed dumplings tossed in a sauce that complements the entrée.
Sell them “on the hoof.” Dumplings’ starchy exteriors mean they transport well and are ideal for carryout. They reheat amazingly well in air fryers, and a side of savory broth will improve microwave reheats.
Annnnd Action! CHEF ONE® Dumplings work exceptionally well in non-commercial venues such as B&I and college foodservice, where live action stations are popular with customers. When steamed in large batches, dumplings are easily pan-seared to order for fast service that keeps the queue moving. Fresh ingredient prep (proteins, vegetables and herbs) is also simple and can be shared or collected from other parts of the kitchen.
Catering is a cinch! On-premise catering using a commissary kitchen is a natural fit for CHEF ONE® Dumplings. Heated in large batches, they’re easily transported via heated carts and hot boxes to meeting rooms or private suites at sporting events. Once delivered, a self-serve dumpling bar is easy to set up with a wide range of delicious dips, sauces and flavorful garnishes—and will make for a mouthwatering image for consumers to share online.
Popular and easy to cook and serve, CHEF ONE® Dumplings fit seamlessly into many restaurant operations. Whether the concept is fully Asian-centric, a casual restaurant with a shareable appetizer section, a non-commercial account serving meals on-premises, a high-traffic buffet business or a food truck in need of no-prep, quick-cook items, these delicious and savory dumplings will delight your customers and boost your sales and profits. For more information, visit https://www.schwansfoodservice.com/foodservice-justdumpling/.