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Hot dogs revealed as nation’s fastest-growing menu item

Hot dogs have nudged scampi and chips from their top 20 ranking of the most popular dishes in eating out establishments, according to Horizon’s Menurama survey.

Hot dogs, albeit with a gourmet twist, are now featured on 85% more menus than they were last year. Pulled pork dishes, chicken wings, and ribs have also seen significant growth on menus, as has the use of American descriptions such as ‘black & blue steak’, ‘cobb salad’ and ‘slaw’.

The most frequently listed main course on British menus remains beef burgers, with an impressive 13% growth this year.

Steak is also becoming more popular, with rib eye, rump and sirloin steak all showing year-on-year growth.

Traditional favourites such as mixed grills, beef lasagne, Sunday lunch and chicken curry show the greatest decline.

“We have been surprised by these Menurama results, which show a significant growth of meat-based, American-style dishes across the menus of a broad selection of eating out establishments,” commented Horizons’ director of services Nicola Knight.

“Since last year we have also seen a decline in the use of healthy eating descriptions, perhaps as operators steer their menus towards indulgence.”

The research also reveals that consumers are getting less meat in their meals than they did previously. Beef burgers are at their lowest average weight since the survey began – 6.35oz versus 7.69oz in summer 2010, a decline of 17%.

Likewise, sirloin steak, fillet steak and gammon steak are being served in smaller weights that last season (-8%, -7% and -4% respectively).

Menurama analyses the menus of 115 chains including pubs, restaurants, quick service outlets and hotels.