Embracing a seasonal menu is a great way for your restaurant to keep up with restaurant industry trends while being interesting to your guests and staff. Not to forget, seasonal menu’s give you an opportunity to increase business.
Seasonal food and drink offerings can add an important, dynamic element to your existing menu options in a number of ways… and we’ll let those ways convince you of the benefits your restaurant could see.
Marketing and new business opportunities
Changing the menu with the seasons can be a great driver for business – up to four times a year there are new opportunities for bringing in guests with special, seasonal menu options. Your loyal guests will renew their love of your establishment with the limited-time offerings, and new guests could be inspired to come in because of the seasonal connection. Marketing campaigns on social media can help alert existing customers to the new options. You could even use the seasonal change-up as an opportunity to reach out to larger media outlets to highlight the new menu items, as well as highlight the quality experience your restaurant already offers.
Seasonality paired with restaurant industry trends can be confusing. For more tips on making the most out of seasonality, whether high or low season, here is a guide for you.
Switching up the menu on a seasonal basis, even if only for weekly or nightly specials, gives your kitchen team the chance to use new ingredients, experiment with new preparation techniques, and let their talents shine. Servers are excited by the change up to the menu and pass along that enthusiasm to the guests. Even the bar staff can get in on the seasonal action by incorporating fruits, veggies or herbs of the moment into speciality cocktails.
We talked with a chef located in the Hamptons, and he gave us some advice to keep staff engaged through peak seasons.
Opportunity to use more local foods:
Using seasonal foods is a prime opportunity to start or increase your use of local farms and suppliers. Depending on location and climate, seasonal vegetables or even meats from local farms are great options for the menu. Not only will this help the local economy and your presence within the larger food community of your area, but it’s another great tactic to bring in new guests who are passionate about supporting local businesses.
Local and sustainably sourced meals are what your diners want. Here’s more information on the facts of sustainable farming.
Control over food costs
Depending on the season and your location, some seasonal foods may actually be less expensive than some of your other menu items because of their abundance. Examples include zucchini, blueberries, or sweet corn which often blossom wildly in the summer, or fall squashes like butternut and pumpkin.
Make Your Menu Great
Looking for tips on restaurant menu design as you tackle a seasonal menu? Check out our infographic.