Why aren’t U.S. franchises hopping aboard the poutine train?
In our effort to be the franchising world’s go-to source for cutting-edge potato news, 1851 is once again spotlighting some spectacular spud possibilities.
While we’ve previously highlighted how potatoes represent a hot concept for 2015, as well as how the versatile vegetable can be the shining star of its own franchise concept, now we’re looking at how the starchy tuber can be used as a quick, effective way to give menus a more exotic twist.
Many Americans are criminally unfamiliar with the Canadian dish known as poutine, but franchises can easily make this violation against taste buds history.
“Quebecers lay claim to one of the past decade’s most unlikely street-food success stories,” wrote Marc Halperin for QSR. “Their traditional poutine—french fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds—was seldom seen outside the province until around 2008 or 2009, when it was somehow discovered and disseminated widely by chefs and food-truck operators in cities like New York and Los Angeles.”
While poutine isn’t exactly a state secret, Halperin pointed out it has yet to be exploited in the U.S.
“Why aren’t we seeing more international or ethnic variations, for instance?” he asked. “Where’s the Thai curry poutine I’ve been craving? Or the Italian marinara poutine that seems like such a natural for a Pizza Hut or Papa John’s?”
The fact that poutine isn’t readily available at franchises across this great nation of ours is a crime. On the bright side, the dish’s relative obscurity in the U.S. represents an easy way for the right franchise to spice up its menu and create a buzz by introducing new flavors with an old favorite.