F&B Insights

A Taste of Summer: Enticing Restaurant Guests with a Summer Seasonal Menu

It’s coming—our busiest time of the year. Are you ready? In addition to optimizing outdoor dining, one of the best ways to attract the crowds is to entice them with the abundance of fresh and light fare the summer season brings. According to Toast, almost 25% of restaurants update their menus every season, while 31% change their menus each month. 

Technomic reports that 50% of consumers believe seasonal menu items are more appetizing, and nearly 40% think they’re healthier. Are you ready to stand out with menu items that bring the bounty of the season? It’s a great time of year to venture to farmer’s markets and source fresh, local food. Your community and your guests will appreciate the effort.

Once you have your menu in place, be sure to head to your social media platforms and let the world know. Lean into the sense of urgency that seasonal offerings bring and remind your guests that, before they know it, summer turns to fall. As Benjamin Franklin said, “You may delay, but time will not.”

The Seasonal Experience

As you know, today’s diners are all about the experience. Many restaurants embrace this by implementing special menus that align with the opening of their outdoor dining. Others get out the barbeque and tiki torches and start up the beach-themed playlists.

You may be thinking that May just arrived and you’d like to get through the spring before tackling the busy summer. However, a lot goes into adding a summer menu, including looking at past trends to determine your customers’ favorites and then sourcing, costing, and pricing.

Before you get started, consider checking out the local produce in your area and building your menu based on the fresh foods that surround you. 

The Benefits

In addition to drawing in and retaining new customers, going local means fresher produce that lasts longer and is often less expensive. It also creates a greener restaurant and promotes sustainability by reducing the carbon footprint that comes with transporting food long distances. It’s about providing your guests with the freshest food available, enhancing flavors while ensuring optimal nutritional value.

What’s On the Menu

Today’s customers are looking for food and drinks they can’t or don’t want to take the time to make themselves. Look for inspired menu offerings that offer unique flavors and combinations. Summer is all about fresh ingredients, like vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh herbs, avocados, cherries, and watermelon. The best summer menu ideas come from the restaurants that surround you. 

Toast came up with some of the summer offerings from the top restaurants across the nation. Examples include The Grove in Houston, where they’re serving up Southern-fried Texas quail. At La Mar by Gaston Acurio in Miami, they may have flash-marinated raw fish ceviche on the menu. As you can see, the location and region have an astronomical influence on your seasonal menu.

You might also consider hors d’oeuvres that go well with your summer beverages. Did you just think, “What summer beverages?” If so, it’s also time to add that to your to-do list. A few small plate suggestions to get you started come from Walter Burke Catering

  • Crispy ginger and scallion fritters with house kimchi
  • Small grilled fish wonton tacos with tomatillo salsa
  • Green herb falafel cakes with tzatziki
  • Red wine braised short ribs on paprika toast
  • Ahi tuna poke bowls with diced avocado and mango

If that doesn’t get you in the mood for summer dining, few things will.

Look to Your Neighbors

It’s always good to know what the restaurants in your area are offering. Do you know which ones embrace the changing seasons, when they change their menus and their pricing? Admittedly, it’s hard enough handling your own restaurant’s operations without keeping tabs on what others in the neighborhood are up to. 

That’s where F&B Insights comes in. 

Offering the world’s largest menu database provides you with a wealth of essential information. See what some of the most successful restaurants across the nation are offering during the busiest season and the prices they’re charging. Compare your menu with local competitors to see how your items and pricing measure up. It’s vital information that would normally require countless hours visiting limitless websites.

You can even receive notifications when restaurants in your area change their menu. Are you ready to embrace the summer season? F&B Insights can help. To learn more about F&B Insights, schedule a demo or try their free 15-day trial.

 

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