If you’re looking to seamlessly incorporate the hottest trends into your menu, look no further than salads and bowls. This versatile dish format has very high growth and trending scores, and over the past decade,  Fast Casual menus have seen the biggest increase in bowl offerings per menu*.

Our UFS chefs took to the streets in search of Casual and Fast Casual operators who are tapping into some of the mega trends that diners are looking for when it comes to bowls- whether it be new grains, diet specific, Mediterranean & Middle Eastern, Poke, Dish as a Bowl, Rice bowls, Mexican, or Southern Comfort**.

The below menu examples will be sure to spark some inspiration as you craft your own dish ideas for spring, summer and beyond. 

BBQ Shroom Bowl:
By Just Salad

Just Salad’s BBQ Shroom Bowl is a perfect example of a plant based bowl that doesn’t miss the meat. The BBQ shiitake mushrooms act as a savory, texture swap for traditional protein. “Supergreens” like kale, are another fan favorite in this bowl with the innovative addition of regenerative brown rice**.


Mario's Favorite Chicken Bowl
By Carrot Express

Mario’s Favorite Chicken Bowl is a vibrant mix of colorful ingredients and protein with quinoa and cilantro brown rice as the base. Its combination offers a burst of flavors and textures, perfect for anyone seeking a satisfying and wholesome meal. The fact that it’s customizable could be another reason for its widespread popularity. On occasion or for vegan diners, guests can try swapping out the chicken for the miso tofu for a great plant forward alternative.

Falafel + Hummus Bowl
By Lazy Dog

Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors are popular among diners who like bold tastes and unique spices. This bowl really stands out as it highlights the perfect pairing of spices and heat, balanced with freshness that guests crave. Falafel is a popular addition in these cuisine types to add alternative protein options **.



Vegan Lifestyle Bowl
By Bubbakoo's Burritos

Lifestyle, or diet specific bowls, allow for the customization aspect that guests are demanding more of. This bowl isn’t about what's missing, it's about what's generously present. Packed full of flavor, textures and vibrant colors, every bite is a celebration for your taste buds. This bowl is perfect for those living the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle or even those who are looking for a satisfying meat free alternative.

Shawaram Squash + Feta Bowl
By Roti

Treating vegetables like their traditional meat counterparts allows for a savory experience that hits the spot for every type of diner. Bold seasoning and classic cooking techniques can be applied to vegetables to put a reinventive twist on foods that guests already know and love. In Roti’s case, butternut squash is the star of the show complemented by bright colors and seasonal ingredients. 


This bowl really stands out for us as it makes the vegetables the main star, proudly putting them center stage. A trend that is championed on our Irresistible Vegetable hub here:




Scramble Breakfast Bowl
By Greens and Grains

Guests are seeking more breakfast options on the go, and Greens and Grains surely knows how they like to kick-start their day. The unique combination of a spinach and tofu scramble base, topped with veggie chili, combines a hearty punch of protein, flavor and comfort. Traditional breakfast dishes from scrambled eggs and bacon to avocado toast can be brilliant ways to transform a dish into a bowl.



*2023 Fast Casual Segment Guide (Data Essentials) 

*Source: Bowls | Report Pro (
**Source: Bowls | Report Pro (