On the fence about incorporating seasonal menus? Restaurants should consider these four positive effects.
It’s that time of year again. Aromatic basil, ripe berries, and crisp vegetables are making their resurgence on restaurant menus as spring turns into summer, and as the weather warms up, more and more customers are choosing to dine out—often al fresco.
Many restaurants already embrace seasonal menus, and those who don’t, may want to reconsider.
While data suggests that offering seasonal menus can help to increase restaurant margins—by up to as much as 26 percent—that’s not where the benefits end. In fact, embracing seasonal menus can have many unintended perks, including:
Your Loyal Regulars Love It (And You’ll Bring In New Guests)
Changing the restaurant 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.
Increased Staff Engagement
Switching up the menu on a seasonal basis 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 menus action by learning some new bartender tricks.Opportunity To Use More Local Foods
Major trend alert: 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, but it’s a great tactic to bring in new guests who are passionate about supporting local businesses.
Greater Control Over Food Cost
This is especially important if you’re developing a restaurant menu as a result of seasonality. 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.
Restaurant owners on the fence about incorporating more seasonal specials into their regular menus should consider the positive effects, on more than just their bottom line.