Summer days are quickly slipping away and we are starting to see all the signs of Fall. It may still be 90 degrees in some areas, but that does not slow down the excitement of this fast approaching, cozy season. Pumpkin spice, apple cider and cinnamon chai, oh my! Is your restaurant ready for what this new season can bring? By embracing a seasonal menu, you can bring in new customers, use fresh ingredients, not to mention it is a sustainable way to run your business. Here are some fun ways to incorporate those Fall feelings into your space.
Highlight Fall Produce and Spices
There is an abundance of options when it comes to incorporating Fall produce and spices in your menu. Yes, you will see pumpkin everything when you walk into any store these days, but there are many other items you can incorporate along with pumpkin to give your customers the full Fall experience. Apples, sweet potatoes, peas, squash, cranberries,and even carrots make for some cozy dishes. Apple pie, carrot cake, squash casserole, roasted carrot risotto and pea soup are just some of the delicious concoctions you can create. You can add a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to many of these dishes and kick up that Fall nostalgia. If you haven’t tried crushed pecans and cinnamon in your pancakes you are truly missing out. This is a great opportunity to allow your chefs to get creative or have a friendly kitchen competition to decide which new Fall favorites will make the menu or allow them all to create a new menu item and the best selling item gets to make a reappearance next Fall!
Your drink menu also has promising opportunities during this season. You can take many of the fruits and vegetables we just mentioned to create a warm festive drink. Apple cider and Pumpkin coffees are amongst the top choices. Chai tea mixed with pumpkin spice is a popular option or a hot cinnamon cranberry punch. If your restaurant serves alcohol, you could see if your local breweries offer a seasonal beer or have your bartenders create a few seasonal mixed drinks to promote. How do Apple cider mimosas sound for your weekend brunch menu or maybe a maple old fashioned? There are so many yummy combinations that will bring in new customers and have them coming back for more!
When you are preparing for your Fall menu, just remember to think of all things that scream coziness and comfort. If you want to go the extra mile and really get your customers in the Fall spirit, add a few special touches with your decor. Maybe some pumpkins, leaves or garland. You can add a small floral arrangement at the centerpiece of each table and if you want a less demanding arrangement, try dried flowers. They are less maintenance and have those warm, muted tones that give off an effortless Fall feel. Whatever you choose to do this season, don’t miss out on an opportunity to bring in some extra sales with your seasonal LTO’s!