Whether you run a café or a restaurant, seasonal menus are an excellent way for your venue to stay relevant and dynamic. Picture: Pexels/Roman Odintsov
Whether you run a café or a restaurant, seasonal menus are an excellent way for your venue to stay relevant and dynamic. Picture: Pexels/Roman Odintsov

6 reasons why restaurants should have seasonal menus

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Nov 15, 2021

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It is that time of year again: aromatic basil, ripe berries, and crisp vegetables are making their resurgence on restaurant menus as spring turns into summer, and as the weather warms up, more and more customers are choosing to dine out – often al fresco.

Whether you run a café or a restaurant, seasonal menus are an excellent way for your venue to stay relevant and dynamic. Over the past few years, seasonal menus have proven to be an irreplaceable and powerful marketing tool that drives sales and increases brand awareness. Going seasonal is precisely what your restaurant needs to shake up things a little.

Diners often decide whether to eat at your restaurant based on your menu alone. If one of the dishes catches a patron’s eye, they will give it a shot. But if the offerings are uninspiring, they will likely dine elsewhere. While menu design is an art in itself, this article will focus on the benefits of having seasonal menus.

Many restaurants already embrace seasonal menus, and those who do not may want to reconsider. While reports reveal that offering seasonal menus can help increase restaurant margins, that is not where the benefits end. In fact, embracing seasonal menus can have many unintended perks.

What does eating in season mean?

The concept of eating seasonally is actually really simple. It involves eating foods that are grown at the same time as you eat them.

As most fruits and vegetables are being grown somewhere in the world at any one time, eating seasonally more specifically concerns eating produce that is being grown right now – locally.

The main aim of this? To minimise the time it takes for the fresh produce you buy to get from the ground or the tree to your plate. Here’s why I think restaurants should have seasonal menus.

Tastier

When someone says food, you will immediately think of something delicious and mouth-watering.

Nobody wants to eat food that does not taste good. With off-season foods that need to be transported in most cases, it becomes necessary that the harvesting be done earlier than it should be done.

These are then refrigerated so they do not get spoilt while being transported. As a result of all this, the produce will not be as good and ripe as expected and will lose its flavour and freshness.

Innovation

When you make a joint effort to eat seasonally, you will find yourself introduced to foods and dishes that you may not have considered before. Part of the beauty that comes with a revolving menu is chefs can try new things.

Not every dish will be a knock-out. But every once in a while, you will come across something you will be tempted to put on your menu permanently.

Whether you decide to do so depends on a range of factors – including the cost of the dish, quality of the out-of-season ingredients, and whether diners will enjoy it as much during another time of year.

Eating the seasons

When it comes to seasonal menus, it is all about fresh flavours. Seasonal menus allow your customers to enjoy the authentic taste of seasonal produce, and the fact that every season comes with plentiful ingredients allows your customers to catch the essence of freshness in every bite.

A fresh look

A seasonal menu is not just about the food you serve, it is the whole experience. Adjusting the colours in your menu to the season and a new background will give your menu an entirely different look and feel.

It is a great way to get your customers interested in your menu. Keep your menu alive by creating themes for your restaurant and celebrating significant seasons with your customers.

Cost-effective

Apart from the nutritional benefits, seasonal foods come with many other advantages, one of which is that they are very cost-effective.

When something is produced in an area at the time when it is in the season there, the cost of the food will automatically go down since the farmer spends less to no money on transportation and storage.

When foods are transported from far-off places, the burden of the cost of transportation and storage gets transferred to the customers, and they end up paying more.

So, technically, you will pay more for something that does not even give you as much nutrition as something cheaper than that and also tastier than that. Seasonal foods are cheaper and better in quality at the same time.

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