Summertime is the busiest season of the year for many restaurant owners. How your restaurant performs during the critical summer months can often mean the difference between ending the year in the black, or in the red. So, how do you attract more customers eager to celebrate summer by dining out without investing in pricey advertising campaigns? We’ve got some tips for more budget-friendly options, including:
- Creating a killer patio
- Adding seasonal menu items
- Hosting special events
- Sprucing up your dining room
Download this free e-book today to learn more about how you can convince guests to savor the summer season at your establishment.
Excerpt from Chapter 3:
Get Seasonal with It
Reports show that 31 percent of restaurant owners update their menu on a monthly basis, while 24 percent do so seasonally. The summer months are a great time to add and test out seasonal items on your food and drink menus. Look ahead at trend forecasts for what ingredients are going to be the next big thing this summer and think of innovative ways to incorporate them into your fare.
Try adding a boozy frozen drink option on your summer menu, because who doesn’t like cooling off with a frozen margarita, piña colada, or daiquiri? Concoct a summer-themed sangria or other non-frozen fresh cocktail for those patrons prone to brain freezes.
Don’t forget about your patrons who prefer non-alcoholic drinks. Create summer-inspired lemonades and teas that incorporate frozen fruit, fresh herbs, and other seasonal ingredients you have on hand. These refreshing beverages are great for adults and kids and a nice surprise for guests accustomed to only seeing non-alcoholic options like soda or juice.
Now that your drink game is strong, what about the food? When it comes to summer cuisine, diners often want to go all in, especially in cities where summer only lasts a few months. This means embracing fresh fruits and veggies, shareable apps that feature crowd-pleasing dips like guacamole, hummus, and salsa, along with grill-worthy staples like burgers, chicken, char dogs, and steaks. Try teaming up with a local farm to supply your customers with garden-fresh produce during these summer months.
Now, for your littlest guests you’ll want to include elevated summer favorites that are kid-friendly, and parent-approved, such as mini-grilled sliders, char-grilled chicken strips, and grilled sweet corn. And no kid menu (or adult menu for that matter) is complete without a few mouthwatering dessert options like fresh fruit popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, and Italian ice.