In wintertime, your restaurant guests tastes and requests will change. When it gets cold outside, people tend to want food and drinks that will warm them up and make them feel cozy and comfortable. Here are some suggestions for optimizing your wintertime restaurant menu to take advantage of this.
Comfort Foods - Since many people associate winter with comfort food and tend to crave fattier, heartier meals, you may consider adding dishes with potatoes, yams, creamy sauces, stews, soups, pastas, pot pies, casseroles and breads to your menu. You can add brand new items or incorporate some comfort food sides or touches to existing dishes.
Hot Drinks - It's no secret that people drink more coffee and tea during the winter. Hot coffees and teas are a great choice to add to your menu. If you already offer coffee and tea, consider widening the varieties you offer, including espresso, capuccino, gourmet flavored coffees and herbal teas. Related snacks and items you may want to consider adding include biscotti, muffins, cookies and a variety of different sugars, milks and creams and flavoring syrups. Also consider other hot drinks like hot chocolate, mexican hot chocolate, hot apple cider, egg nog, chai and even a hot toddy.
Breads - People tend to enjoy warm breads during the winter, usually with butter. You can add more breads to your menu or consider baking bread throughout the day in your ovens, if just for the lovely aroma of bread baking, it will certainly attract more customers.
Desserts - Hot apple pie, cherry pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, as well as crumbles and tarts would make great additions to your restaurant menu. Hot pies, especially, will hit the spot with many diners.
Seasonal Items - Whether making use of pomegranates, turnips, winter melons, celery root, mushrooms, apples, carrots, celery, orange, fennel, jicama, beets, nuts or dried fruits, you can change up your usual menu by adding dishes that make use of seasonal fruits and vegetables and help to increase the freshness of your menu and your dishes.
Whatever changes you decide to make to your wintertime menu, you'll find it's a great idea to refresh your menu every so often anyway.
Lydia Quinn writes for R & I Solutions, makers of Cost Genie restaurant costing software. Get a free demo at: http://www.costgenie.com