How to Successfully Transition to a Summer Menu By Steven Wright, Restaurant Consultant.

Today, June 20th, marks the first day of summer and living on the west coast of British Columbia we have an abundance of fresh food producing regions for the season! This provides chefs with natural vibrant flavors to showcase in their dishes, enticing diners to visit their favorite restaurants and patios.

 

While fish, cocktails, wine and beer change seasonally to compliment the summer flavors and warmer temperatures, salads, herbs, fruits and vegetables are at their best in the summer. Adding a touch of simplicity, restraint and fresh ingredients to your summer menu will prove advantageous for your summer menu transition.

Set yourself up for success – get organized!

Plan your seasonal menu transitions and provide enough time to execute a new menu design and launch. We recommend scheduling alongside your budget for the upcoming year. Menu tasting and editing, staff training, POS updating, printing and collateral, website changes, third party updates, sales and marketing initiatives, are all resource heavy. Restaurants are complex and require organization and planning to run efficiently and profitably.

Commit and be diligent – manage your calendar!

Launching a new menu mid-season does not have the same impact for your business as being an industry leader who creates a buzz around the seasonal change. This is a terrific opportunity for you to connect with a much larger audience through strategic social media and awareness initiatives.

Keep costs in check!

Too many times restaurants provide too much on their plates and/or cocktails. During the summer months, the abundance of fresh ingredients enables creative chefs and mixologists to entice our pallets and eyes with light and refreshing offerings. Adhering to your budgeted food and beverage costs will ensure maximum profitability during one of the busiest times of the year.

Keep it simple – less is more!

Showcasing simplicity and managing your restaurant through organized, efficiently executed cocktails and dishes is especially important during the summer months. This not only ensures timely service and strong execution but also creates a memorable experience for your guests.

 

The bounty of summer is immense and sourcing consistent quality products is key. Those fresh summer micro herbs look fabulous on a dish but can also increase your overall cost per plate. Showing restraint and carefully costing out your menus will ensure your success and profit over the busy summer season. Menu layout, website updates and marketing collateral are all part of a successful menu transition. Development and training for your teams to guarantee a great guest experience is imperative. If you haven’t done so already, we suggest creating a menu syllabus and staff tastings to help kick off the summer season!

 

Expertise provided by Hospitality Consultant Steven Wright.

For more insights, contact Steven at swright@thefifteengroup.com

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