Posted by Patrick Maness
When it comes to winter, there seems to be two types of people: those who love it and those who hate it. Those who love it get the most out of it. They’re the grown-up versions of the kids sledding down hills, building snow forts and throwing snowballs. The folks who hate winter, however, just suffer, complain and wait for March.
This division applies to restaurants as well.
You can either suffer through winter, bemoan the fact that sales are falling and no one has any reason to leave the house, or you can see winter as a season to celebrate. One with new opportunities to bring in customers and serve them food and drinks you couldn’t during the warmer months.
This is the winter marketing idea we’re going to focus on in this blog.
With so many people interested in eating local and seasonal foods, winter is a great time to introduce them to winter veggies and roots.
Consider using squash, leeks, potatoes (sweet, russet and all the rest), Brussel sprouts, turnips, beets and other roots. Though many of these foods make their appearance year round and aren’t exactly harvested in the snow, displaying them on your menu as winter vegetables will create an ambiance and uniqueness about the food, not to mention the season.
Soup and stew are as much a part of winter as snow and sleds. Take advantage by coming up with a rotating variety of soups to serve each day. The idea here is to build a reputation as a place to visit for a hot bowl of soup. To do this, we suggest having one signature craft soup (say French onion or a beef stew) and then every day or so, offer a new variety. The goal is to be creative and get people excited about what your chef concocts.
Seasonal comfort food
Not a lot of people welcome winter. They’re not happy about the short days or the cold. With this in mind, try to have a menu full of rich comfort foods. Flavors like mint, chocolate, cinnamon and creamy cakes and mousse should make up your dessert menu. Hearty stews and chilis, along with some meaty favorites like beef stroganoff, shepherd’s pie and meatloaf, should make appearances on the menu as well.
The idea behind these suggestions is to get customers excited about the winter menu. Once the cold drinks and salads come out in the summer, you'll want them to think about those hearty stews and root bakes that will come with the first snowfall.
From Cooking to Presenting to Serving, Vollrath has your Soup service covered.