Designing the Perfect Cozy Fall Menu for Your Restaurantbianca
Once the first cool breeze of fall rolls in every year, things start to change. Leaves slowly begin to take on new colors, menus shift to accommodate seasonal foods and customer preferences, and before we know it, a new season is upon us.
The period between late summer and early fall is one of transition — and that can be quite challenging. Customers have difficulty letting go of summer foods, frozen drinks, and refreshing desserts and find it hard to adjust their taste buds to the new flavors of fall. Luckily, you can help ease their transition by creating a fall-inspired menu.
Anticipating your guests’ expectations for fall foods and capitalizing on them is a smart move that benefits everyone. In fact, any seasonal menu has the potential to do that. Seasonal menus prove useful in attracting more customers and increasing profits. People are statistically more likely to order specific foods if they’re marketed as seasonal. In fact, 49% of consumers find seasonal menu items more appetizing, and 39% see them as a healthier option.
The trick is to combine novel flavors with all-time favorites. Fall is the perfect time to add something new to your menu offerings, whether it’s a seasonal item or a permanent one. After all, the holiday season is just around the corner and customers are ready to fall for new flavors.
That being said, let us share a couple of tricks for putting together the perfect fall menu for your restaurant:
Take Full Advantage of Seasonal Produce
As with any seasonal menu, it’s best to focus on fresh ingredients – like fruits and vegetables – that are locally sourced and in season. Not only will this help you maximize your food’s quality, but it will also draw in customers who crave specific seasonal items that are only available for a limited period.
What’s more, stocking up on wholesale seasonal produce will help you keep your food costs down, as most products tend to be a lot cheaper when they are in season.
Luckily, fall is the most abundant season of all, so you’ll have no trouble finding fresh fruits and vegetables to power up your menu. Squashes, pumpkins, potatoes, apples, pears, grapes, yams, and carrots are just a few of the popular items that people will be looking for in your fall menu.
Incorporating the vibrant colors and earthy flavors of fall produce into your menu is easy. Here are a few ideas on how to do that:
Apples – Has anyone ever made it through fall with a bite of apple pie? Fresh, fall apples lend themselves to a variety of dessert recipes, including the classic apple crisp and apple cobbler. They also make wonderful, juicy side dishes for roasted meats. If you really want to spoil your guests with a warm, spicy fall treat, consider including some apple cider on your menu this season.
Pears – Like apples, pears are perfect for fall menus. There are obvious options like crostinis, pies, crisps, and jams — but that’s not all pears are good for. Consider shaking things up by adding pears to salad, rice pudding, or bread. You can even throw some pears on your pizza, use them to make delicious turnovers, wrap them in puff pastry, or poach them in cranberries and red wine. The possibilities are endless!
Squash – It goes without saying that roasted butternut squash is a huge fall favorite, and there’s no shortage of ways to incorporate it into your seasonal fall menu. You can serve it as a main course or side dish, add it to pasta or tacos, mix it into a salad, or turn it into soup.
Potatoes – A couple of hearty, comforting potato dishes can easily pave the way to a successful fall-inspired menu. A delicious Shepherd’s Pie is always welcome during the cold season, but so is a cheesy potato casserole or a creamy potato soup. The sky’s the limit when it comes to cooking with potatoes. The trick to making your customers happy and asking for more is to get creative and add your personal twist to classic recipes.
Pumpkins – We can thank Starbucks for their iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte or the early American settlers who invented the famous pumpkin pie that is now a mainstay in every Thanksgiving meal, but the bottom line is that pumpkins have become synonymous with fall over time. So don’t hesitate to go all in on the pumpkin-based dishes this fall.
Bring on the Comfort Food
If one thing’s certain, it’s that the cold season brings the need for warmth and coziness. Comfort food looks different to everyone, but some fall favorites include mac n’ cheese, pot roasts, meatloaf, chili, casseroles, and a large range of desserts, from muffins to pies to cobblers.
Soups are the definition of comfort food, so what’s more fitting for this time of year than a warm, silky, nutritious soup? Keeping your guests happy and cozy with various soup options is key in the fall. You can never go wrong with chicken noodle soup, bean soup, or even the thicker but equally delicious chowder.
Just remember that 62% of consumers want comforting flavors, 55% want hearty flavors, and 29% want adventurous flavors. So, in addition to the classic comfort soups, don’t be afraid to mix it up and try a thai curry basil soup or a carrot soup with avocado crema.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will your fall menu be complete overnight, so take your time experimenting with different ideas. Designing the perfect cozy fall menu for your restaurant means bringing in new seasonal flavors and mixing them to create the most inviting dishes for your customers to enjoy. But don’t fret! With a reliable food wholesaler like Riviera by your side, you’re well on your way to a successful fall dining season.