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Complete Guide to Fries

Fries: America’s #1 Side Dish.

As the industry shifts and evolves, fries reign supreme as the number one side dish ordered at foodservice across segments, service styles, meal occasions, and cuisines. From shoestring to steak fries, simply salted to sensationally smothered, side dishes made with America’s Favorite Vegetable are always on trend and in demand. For all our tips and tricks on how to ensure hot, crispy, and delicious fries, download our fry guide.

Fry Facts, as reported directly from diners.

Fries rank #1 for:

Best Tasting

Craveable

Kid-friendly

Fries for Takeout & Delivery

With fries on the menu, you’ve already created a menu item that diners would go out of their way for. And now with tips for better takeout, you can be sure to serve the classic fries they love, wherever they are, and whenever the craving strikes.

Product

Be sure to choose the best product for takeout or delivery. Frozen fries come in a wide variety of formats. Some are better suited for takeout and delivery than others.

For crispier fries:

  • Clear-coated or battered formats stay crisper for up to 3x longer.
  • Choose cuts that are thinner for maximum crispiness – but make sure they have plenty of ventilation when packaging.
  • Follow the proper manufacturer’s cooking recommendations for time and temperature to ensure the best quality.

For a longer hold time:

  • Thicker cuts retain heat longer than their thinner counterparts. The thicker the fry, the longer they’ll stay hot.
  • Follow the proper manufacturer’s cooking recommendations for time and temperature to ensure the best quality.
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Packaging

A combination of proper airflow and product protection is the name of the game for safe and delicious takeout, and a simple napkin can be a fry’s best friend.

  • Using a classic fry sleeve? Place a napkin into the sleeve, extending it to the bottom and leaving some out the top. Place the fries into the sleeve and fold the napkin over the top to retain heat, absorb moisture, and keep the fries covered.
  • Using a clamshell? Very carefully, use a knife to pierce three small holes in the top and along each side of the lid. Place a napkin underneath the fries to help absorb moisture, then close the lid to retain heat.
  • Using a folded paper carton? Remove the two side flaps for more ventilation. Insert a napkin into the carton and place fries on top. Fold napkin ends over the top of the fries and close the flaps.
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Bagging

The way you pack the whole order is as important as the individual containers for the best fry experience.

  • Pack fries in their own container, never in the same package as burgers, hot sandwiches or other hot entrees, to ensure they stay crisp.
  • Place hottest items at the bottom of the bag, and insulate them by placing paper napkins on top and in between each item.
  • Fries should be the last item placed into the bag nearest the top, before rolling and sealing the bag for heat retention and safety.
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Off-Premise Inspiration

Simple never goes out of style. But give more variety to your menu by adding loaded fries and using ingredients you already have in the house. Loaded fries have been gaining in popularity and using fries as a base for various topped, smothered or layered builds is a great way to deliver the flavors and fries your diners crave. Check out a few of our favorites:

Dip Into a World of Flavor

Dips, sauces, and seasonings instantly elevate your fry offering, bringing fresh new flavor experiences to the beloved menu item. With inspiration from around the globe, a few simple twists can turn ingredients and flavors you already have in your operation into something bold and exciting. Whether you serve a classic sauce straight-up, mix and match, or creatively combine choices into a flight, our flavor ideas can help keep your fries top of mind and always craveable.

Creamy Dips: rich, fatty, and relatively mild in acidity; a great partner to a salty fry.

  • Classic/Base: mayonnaise, aioli
  • Flavor Twists: Indian Curry mayonnaise; German “fritten” mustard sauce; Indonesian peanut satay sauce; Southeast Asian sambal aioli

Ketchup-Style Dips: Primarily sweet, often with a sour or spicy kick; a vibrant contrast to salty fries.

  • Classic/Base:tomato ketchup
  • Flavor Twists:Curry ketchup; Philippine banana ketchup; Thai sweet chili sauce; tropical tamarind ketchup; British “Brown Sauce” with dates/raisins

Vinegar & Acidic Sauces: tangy, crisp and acidic; a lighter, bright, and balancing flavor punch to oil-cooked fires.

  • Classic/Base: malt vinegar
  • Flavor Twists: red wine vinegar; lemon juice; balsamic glaze; Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce; Plum vinegar sauce;

Gravies & Savory Sauces: meaty sauces served hot; thick and savory easily turning a side of fries into a main dish.

  • Classic/Base: brown poultry gravy
  • Flavor Twists: tomato gravies/sauces (chili, Bolognese); white gravies (sausage gravy; country gravy);cheese-spiked gravies (poutine: disco fries)

Seasonings & Coatings: powdered, dried, concentrated flavors to coat fries directly; can add flavor on its own or pair with complementary sauce/dip.

  • Classic/Base: paprika spice blends
  • Flavor Twists: Indian Masala fries; Japanese Sichimi Togarashi or Furikake fries, North African Za’atar fries, Chinese Five Spice
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Unexpected Uses For Fries

Who says fries can only be used as a side? The versatility of frozen fries means you can experiment and think outside the box to develop new-to-your-menu, innovative dishes featuring the beloved fry.

  • Add fries to a sandwich or burger, aka an “American Smash”
  • Infuse some West Coast flavor and load up your burritos with fries
  • Create a “tot-shuka” by adding tots to the classic shakshuka dish
  • Use waffle or straight cut fries as a pizza topping for the ultimate comfort food
  • Make your bowls extra craveworthy and use fries as the base
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Your Source For Takeout & Delivery Tips, Tricks & More

Evolving your menu to be takeout and delivery focused is no easy task. Our Takeout Resource offers valuable menu ideas that work well for to-go orders, cost- and labor-saving applications, storage tips and tricks to keep your produce fresh, and more.

Unlock the Frozen Potential

If there’s one question atop every foodservice operator’s mind these days, it’s “How do I make my menu work harder?” And if there’s one solution helping to optimize menus the world over, it’s U.S. frozen fries and potatoes. They’re the best tool to not only deliver the fry and potato dishes your diners crave, but also to provide operational benefits such as labor-saving efficiencies, longer shelf life, and may help increase profits. And of course, U.S. frozen potatoes have the same high quality and performance you expect from all U.S. potato products. Download our full resource guide, here.

For More Menu Ideas

Visit our recipe page to explore all our recipes and techniques that showcase the versatility and cost-effectiveness that potatoes can bring to your menu and restaurant operation.