The philosophy of building a seasonal menu may vary. It can take the form of an additional menu card, or become the principle of building a complete rotating menu. How do you create a profitable seasonal menu that your guests adore? We have some tips that can help.
Sustainable menu engineering
Should the menu be eco-friendly? Restaurants are facing another task posed by their guests. They should pay attention to the growing trend of health and food quality awareness. Its importance is highlighted by the latest report "Direction: Restaurant of the Future" published by EIT Food. Among its co-authors are Polish restaurateurs and horeca professionals with many years of experience. It turns out there are many problems to meet these expectations: product availability, production capacity, transport and on-time delivery from the now-popular local producers and farmers. How can this be addressed?
One idea is to reduce the amount of products used and prepare a single product in many ways as a "themed menu". For example, a renowned British chef, Nuno Mendes, in his conversation with the Fine Dining Lovers portal gives four unusual spring leek recipes. It offers charred leeks and white asparagus, colcannon mashed potatoes with cabbage and leeks, creamed pea and leek soup with croutons, as well as buckwheat pancakes with leek filling.
Seasonality and creativity can affect not only dishes, but also drinks such as New Year and other festive drinks, and summer holidays drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. A study by the NPD Group showed high correlation between food and beverage sales: seasonal beverages served as aperitif increase the average bill (the portal Snacking reported the average increase of 25%).
The margins, which typically range from 25% to 30% per beverage, are higher for specialty drinks that are compatible with the restaurant's theme. This is a great topic for waiters to discuss with guests and for communicating on social media.
During the winter season, hot cocktails with hot chocolate, cider, advocaat, or coffee are a very popular replacement for dessert. Spring offers can include subtle flavors such as apricots, asparagus, avocados, or strawberries. Even avocados and celery remind us that life will flourish again. Summer cocktails with pineapple, lemon and mango or cool cucumber will certainly not fail you. When the first cold starts, cocktails full of gently sweet and earthy autumn tastes begin to dominate. You can use apple, pear, ginger, nuts, carrots, cranberry, fig, cinnamon and, of course, root spices. And when it gets really cold and unpleasant, you can opt for warm, sweet and cozy flavors such as maple, peppermint, chocolate and sweet froth. ("Menu Engineering for Bars: Boosting Menu Profitability" Binwise Guide).
Recipes with seasonal ingredients
Burrata with crispy pancetta and radicchio arugula salad
Burrata, mozzarella with a heart of cream, is making spectacular advances in our country and is a must for any trendy menu. Serve with trendy fries with skin!
Crostata with sweet potato cubes and apricot jam
What the Dutch apple pie is to the Netherlands, the crostata is to Italy. Bake it one or two days in advance so that the taste is even better. As an added bonus, you don’t have to worry about dessert during dinner! Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Hash browns with whipped ricotta, figs, and Parma ham crumb
Hash browns with toppings are always a good idea! These are topped with lightly whipped ricotta, and garnished with juicy segments of roasted fig, and a crispy Parma ham crumbs with pine nuts and herbs.
Your seasonal menu: a hit on the socials
The seasonal menu is a social media bait for the palate and the eye. Therefore, it is equally important to develop a strategy to promote it. Make sure you take creative photographs, videos, for example, with a chef or a barman for use in social media, and prepare sophisticated descriptions of available dishes, to be published on the website and on the menu.
Who can you serve the new menu to? Deliberation is recommended in building a database of regular guests. This is the audience that is most likely to be most welcoming to your novelties. Therefore, broad-scale communication could be a waste of money. The description should include the dates when the seasonal menu is available and, alternatively, the link for guests to book a table online.
Boost your online reviews
The well-informed and committed waiter is the restaurant's most important marketing communication tool. The server team should try new offerings first so they get a better feel for the flavor and texture of the dish and know how to pair it with wine and drinks. Creative pairing is also a good test for vendors: they should help you match drinks to dishes and create a full, creative seasonal menu.
The menu launch is a great excuse to organize a special event, or a summer evening with music. It is also important to organize dinners with influencers, to ask their opinion. They could be engaged in writing the opening review of the seasonal menu on their blog, in an appealing InstaStory. Sometimes one well-chosen seasonal offer on the menu, such as summer truffles, is enough to fuel a blog review of the best culinary critic in London! Andy Hayler visited the Zafferano in London and praised the place for "excellent texture and the gentle earthy fragrance" of the mushrooms (served with pasta), awarding it 15 out of 20 points!
- 4 Ways to Boost Sales with a Restaurant Seasonal Menu
- Poussée de fièvre sur l'apéritif, + 30 % en été!