Changing Your Menu for Seasonality

Posted by Patrick Maness +


In a previous blog in this series, we looked at some food and drink items that could add that special summer flare to your menu.

It’s no secret that throughout the country, eating locally and eating food that’s in season is, well, a trend that is very much in season itself. Fall or summer menu options are something your regulars expect, and they are part of a dynamic menu that attracts new customers.

While most every restaurant owner knows revising the menu can invigorate business and add new life to their establishment, making those changes is a whole other ballgame.

When a restaurant owner plans a seasonal menu, they might wonder what the revised menu will cost. Expenses such as ingredients, training the kitchen staff, printing new menus and needing new equipment are all factors that will add up and affect the decisions they make.

Seasonal examples

It can be argued that the most popular seasonal food is the pumpkin. Every fall, pumpkin-spiced lattes, pumpkin-brewed beer, pumpkin loaf and, of course pumpkin pie, make their rounds at cafes and grocery stores throughout the nation.

But for a summer menu, the dominant seasonal food group is fruit — particularly berries. In salads, blueberries and strawberries are frequently tossed together with leafy greens and a fruity vinaigrette to create the quintessential summer salad. In drinks, the kind of fruit you use as either a flavor or garnish is limited only by your imagination. We could go on, but the simple takeaway here is that it doesn’t take much to transform certain dishes. A little fruit goes a long way.

You can transform heartier entrees into seasonal variants just as easily.

Many restaurants that serve burgers try to add a fruity, lighter variant. Adding acidic fruit like pineapple or mango, for example, or even a granny smith apple, can provide a refreshing crunch. Reimagining how condiments such as salsa and guacamole can be used, many spread them on a burger.

Cost of a summer house menu

The point with these examples is to show that it can be surprisingly inexpensive to add 10 to 20 summer-themed items. In fact, it can be done without ordering specialized equipment or having to train your staff to make the new, specialized dishes.

Keep it simple when planning a summer menu; just think sweet, cool and crisp. You might be surprised by how easy and cost effective it is.

Read other articles in this series:

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