Summer Lovin': How to Boost Sales with a Seasonal Restaurant Menu

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Introduction

As the weather heats up, customers crave something refreshing and new to tantalize their taste buds. That's where a seasonal menu comes in, offering a fresh and exciting way to boost sales for your restaurant. By incorporating the flavors of summer, such as fresh fruits, light salads, and grilled meats, you can create a menu that captures the essence of the season and entices customers to try something different. In this blog, we'll explore how to create a successful seasonal menu that will help you increase your restaurant's sales and leave your customers coming back for more. So get ready to embrace the warmth and sunshine of summer and elevate your restaurant's offerings with some summer lovin'.

Create a summer-themed menu

The first step to attracting more customers during the summer season is by creating a summer-themed menu. Using seasonal ingredients, creating new dishes, and even changing the names of your food items can add excitement to your menu. If you’re feeling especially creative, you can change the color scheme on your menu or even get some new tableware for summer.

During the summer season, people prefer lighter and refreshing food options. Consider adding dishes that are perfect for outdoor dining such as grilled seafood, fresh salads, and lighter meats like chicken or pork. Be sure to offer a variety of vegetarian options as well. If you have loyal regulars that come in every week, they might not be interested in trying out something new, so sticking with what you already do best and focus on decor can work too.

  • Use seasonal ingredients such as watermelon, strawberries, and peaches in your dishes
  • ​Offer new, summer-inspired dishes such as grilled seafood skewers or a refreshing gazpacho soup
  • ​Rename your menu items with summer-themed names, such as "Beachside Burger" or "Tropical Sunrise Smoothie"
  • ​Incorporate lighter, healthier options such as salads and grilled vegetables to appeal to those looking for a lighter meal during the summer months
  • ​Add some spicy options to your menu, such as a jalapeno-infused cocktail or a spicy buffalo chicken wrap

Add summer-specific drinks

Summer is the time for refreshing drinks, and you can help your venue to increase its summer sales by offering a few exclusive drinks that go well with the season. Drinks that are refreshing, hydrating, and not too heavy or too sweet are best for this purpose. These drinks should be light in color and not overly carbonated or sugary.

  • Create unique, summery mocktails such as a virgin pina colada or a cucumber and lime spritzer
  • ​Offer a variety of beers and ciders that are popular during the summer, such as shandies and radlers
  • ​Create a signature summer drink that customers can only find at your restaurant, such as a hibiscus iced tea or a lavender lemonade
  • ​Offer non-alcoholic beverages that are perfect for the hot summer months, such as iced coffee and fresh squeezed juices
  • ​Offer refreshing, fruity cocktails such as a watermelon mint ​margarita, peach mojito, raspberry lemonade cocktail or a strawberry margarita

Add cool salads to your menu

For those who can’t get enough summer fruit and vegetables, a great way to entice your customers is by adding some interesting salads to your menu. Summer fruits and vegetables are always in season, so it’s easy for you to add this type of seasonal food item to your menu.

Consider experimenting with different types of salads, such as incorporating different greens like spring onions and carrot tops in your salad, or even using peaches as an ingredient in your dressing or garnish. You could also offer unique options like the incredibly refreshing and unique popping candy watermelon salad found at the Dirty Sultan, which consists of mixed leaves topped with slices of red watermelon, feta cheese balls wrapped in basil leaves served on top of rocket leaves with cherry tomatoes sliced into quarters, served tossed with lemon dressing and popping candy.

  • ​Offer a variety of greens such as arugula, spinach, and mixed greens to make your salads more interesting
  • ​Add summer fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries to your salads for a refreshing touch
  • ​Incorporate interesting proteins such as grilled shrimp or chicken, or tofu for vegetarians
  • ​Offer a variety of dressings such as balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard, or a citrus vinaigrette
  • ​Add fun toppings such as candied nuts, feta cheese, or croutons to add texture and flavor to your salads

Bring out some summer-themed decor

Creating the perfect atmosphere is key to attracting customers during the summer season. Make your restaurant more inviting by using bright, summer colors, and different materials. Light up your space with as much light as possible. Make use of open spaces so that you can use large pieces of decoration, and ensure that there is enough room for customers to move around comfortably.

Include plants and hanging things in your décor; they help create an atmosphere that's fresh and refreshing. You could also add floating objects like paper lanterns or balloons for extra effect. Think about adding little details like flowers, shells, or beachy elements that remind your customers of summer.

  • ​Use bright colors such as yellow, orange, and turquoise to create a summer vibe
  • ​Incorporate summer motifs such as palm trees, beach balls, and flip flops into your decor
  • ​Add fun lighting such as string lights or lanterns to create a festive atmosphere
  • ​Use natural elements such as flowers and plants to add a touch of nature to your space
  • ​Incorporate summer scents such as coconut or pineapple to make your space feel like a tropical paradise

Encourage customers to take pictures and post on social media

Social media is a powerful marketing tool, and you can use it to increase seasonal sales for your summer menu. Encourage your customers to take pictures of their experience at your restaurant and post them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with hashtags such as #summermenu and #bestdayever. You could also create a contest for the best picture on social media, allowing you to build customer loyalty and increase engagement with your brand.

In summary

In conclusion, boosting restaurant sales during the summer season can be achieved by implementing some simple yet effective strategies. By creating a summer-themed menu that incorporates seasonal ingredients, refreshing drinks, and unique salads, restaurant owners can attract new customers and satisfy regulars alike. Adding summer-themed décor and encouraging customers to take and share pictures on social media can also increase engagement and loyalty with the brand. By focusing on the customer experience and staying creative, restaurant owners can make the most of the summer season and create a memorable dining experience for their patrons.

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