What does it take to attract customers during the hot monthsof summer? Lighter fare and fresher ingredients top this list. Industry websites and blogs indicate that
there is a strong trend towards meals that are both flavorful and more
manageable in size. This helps to
explain the new section you see in most chain menus sporting “lighter
While not really low in calories, for example, most meals
start at 500 to 600 calories, they are significantly different from the now
traditional, giant plates served just about everywhere. The nice thing for you
as a restaurateur is that even if you are serving half the portion size, the
price is rarely expected to be half as well, increasing your profit margin
right off the bat.
Making Smaller Dishes
When you set out to provide smaller portions, you have to
make up for the perceived lack by offering other things instead. This might involve a redesign of your
restaurant furnishings, a new selection of cool, summery beverages, or
something as simple as seasonal flowers on each table. By setting a less cluttered table or changing
the color scheme, you create an environment that encourages lighter eating.
Offer More than Just
A light entrée is a great start, but the truly tuned-in host
will also extend the trend to appetizers and desserts. Few people want to have
fried mozzarella sticks or foie gras before they deliberately make a healthy
entrée choice. New salads that
incorporate fruits, small plates of tziziki and pita bread, or cool summer
soups are a great way to carry that light trend further. Furthermore, people always want to try
seasonal favorites before they disappear again.
Desserts can target fruit flavors or mouse concoctions.
These are delicate, flavorful, and fun. Remember, cool treats are always
popular during the summer months.
Create a Lighter
During the cold months people don’t mind being closer
together; it provides the perception of coziness. When it’s hot outside, though, they want
their space and a bit of a breeze. Taking out a few of your restaurant tables, even just a couple,
creates that openness that people crave. Open windows or install a couple of gentle
fans to generate air flow and place a carafe of iced water on each table.
Even if your tables and chairs are dark in color, you can
make them more welcoming by using covers of printed cloth. It only takes a few
minutes to completely transform the room and usher in the freedom of summer.
If you need more ideas on how to accommodate the warm
weather trends in your restaurant or your menu, feel free to speak with your
restaurant supplier. They are accustomed
to helping restaurateurs adapt to the seasons, as well as the trends, in a