Boy howdy is Wendy’s ever on-trend. The same week as the NRA Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, the chain announces its new Frosty Waffle Cones in vanilla and chocolate. While I walked the floor, I was amazed with all the waffle action. From that, I determined that waffles are the dark horse in foodservice trends. I don’t even think Nancy Kruse mentioned waffles in her menu trend workshop session.
But trend, they are. Taco Bell is said to be in early testing stages of a waffle taco—sausage and scrambled eggs in a folded waffle “taco.”
In the past year, Baskin-Robbins offered a Warm Belgian Waffle Sundae with two scoops of Pralines ‘n Cream ice cream, warm caramel praline topping, whipped cream and a cherry on top.
The take-by-storm trend could be an effort to re-popularize an American comfort food. Or maybe there’s just so much innovation that can be attached to the category.
His waffle story was so fascinating I tape recorded it so I wouldn’t lose it. He and his college roommate, Sam Rockwell, formed Waffle Waffle in their dorm room at the University of Wisconsin at Madison less than three years ago. Justin studied abroad in Europe his junior year where they served Belgium liege-style waffles. The venues drew long lines. Meanwhile, Sam visited ski mountains and stood in long lines himself waiting to get into waffle houses for the delicious waffles dipped in chocolate with ice cream. When they met back up at school, they both went in search of similar waffles and couldn’t find any. So they started their own waffle company.
They make retail waffles that sell in the freezer section. “We literally went store to store speaking to people talking to them to just try to get them to taste it. They would say ‘Hey, I like this, let’s speak to my manager,” and moved on up the chain.” Justin told me.
They have foodservice-size packages of the waffles, but they’ve also developed an interesting program in which operators can make their own by using Waffle Waffle’s irons and dough. The secret is in the sugar nibs they import from Europe that melt at a much higher point than the waffles are cooked at. This makes them crunchy. “You get this nice sugar pop in your mouth in every single bite,” he said. It’s sweet enough that it’s not necessary to add syrup.
And then there’s waffle cones. “You can put the dough into a waffle cone maker and make fantastic cones. Even after it’s cooled you get the hard crispy outside with the chewy inside.”
I tried the waffles. They were delicious. Sweet for sure. Their flavors are original, chocolate chip, cinnamon, red velvet, chocolate cocoa, seasonal pumpkin and egg nog.
I loved the story, and they picked the right food item at the right time. Look them up at www.mywafflewaffle.com.
Tell me what you think.