You want your restaurant’s menu to reflect the best of your brand and aesthetic. You also want it to feature foods that draw people in and have them coming back for more. You may have noticed that more and more restaurants are featuring a seasonal menu, and for good reason—seasonal menus were reported to see a 26% increase in orders, and the reasons behind that may not be as surprising as you might think.
If you’re interested in a career in culinary management, read on to find out how you can use a seasonal menu to your advantage.
1. Keep Your Restaurant Fresh and Current with a Seasonal Menu
In the hospitality world, trends can come and go almost overnight, which makes it hard for culinary managers to respond to what the next big thing will be.
A seasonal menu can help you capitalize on the latest trends because it gives you more flexibility in choosing what you do or don’t feature. Has the latest kale rage abated since the last month? No worries—a seasonal menu is dynamic, which means you can add and change what you feature faster than you could with a standard set menu.
2. Going Seasonal Can Help Culinary Managers Stay Local and Sustainable
Sustainability is a growing trend in the restaurant industry, with many chefs and managers creating menus that feature farm-fresh, local ingredients.
Available produce can change according to the seasons, and connecting with local suppliers can help keep your kitchen stocked with the freshest food possible. A seasonal menu also allows you to get creative with your dishes, and employ more sustainable practices.
Featuring a menu with fresh food also tells customers that you care about what you’re serving to them, and reaching out to local suppliers and farms to source your seasonal menu is good for business too. Locally-sourcing your seasonal menu helps you show customers that your restaurant is actively invested and involved in the community, which they’re contributing to when they support your business.
3. Promoting a Seasonal Menu with Limited Availability Can Generate Interest
Marketing is an important part of culinary management, and that includes using a seasonal menu to generate interest in your business.
From social media to casual conversation, word of mouth shouldn’t be underestimated—the allure of ‘limited time only’ gives you room to meet customers’ seasonal demands such as warm pumpkin spice profiles in the autumn, or cool and refreshing items in the summer. You can even feature special limited time only items centred around events or holidays, which customers won’t want to miss out on.
4. Seasonal Options Encourage an Increase in Guest and Staff Engagement
A seasonal menu allows you to consistently feature something new, which can go a long way towards drawing interest. By regularly changing your menu, you can keep the public invested and interested in what you have to offer, as well as boost your staff’s engagement.
Serving the same set fare may be a strong point for some restaurants, but a seasonal menu adds variety, which, as you learn in a culinary management program, is the spice of life. Your staff may get tired of suggesting the same feature every day, and your kitchen may get tired of making it. In order to keep them engaged, stimulate their curiosity with something new, and their enthusiasm will be infectious to customers.