Restaurants are increasing the use of sauces and dips as a way to let guests to put their personal stamps on standard menu fare. The trend toward "mass customization" began decades ago with Burger King's "Have it Your Way" philosophy, which was created to stand out from the competition. Consumers today expect to have choices, and will often order dips and sauces on the side as a way to try new flavors without having to commit, says Technomic research manager Sara Monnette.

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