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Fall 2017 Menu

The seasons shift, and so do menus. Our restaurant consultants weigh in on the trending menu items this fall.

By Sarah Ann Noel - October 10, 2017


In Denver, the seasons have shifted--the leaves have turned, we've marked that first, shockingly early October snow, and all of the autumnal festivities have begun. Even at our Phoenix office, the temperatures have dipped ever-so-slightly, and the turning of the calendar to the month of October has people ready for fall. Likely your Instagram is filled with pumpkin spice, and maybe your lattés, too.

Our restaurant consultants are big advocates for seasonal menus. A menu change at the season is an easy way to bring freshness to your restaurant, to attract and please guests, and to work with local agriculture for the healthiest and most affordable menu items. But even if it makes sense, sometimes the planning can be a challenge. You want dishes that evoke all the emotions of autumn, but that still stand out in a new and creative way.

Here is what our consultants like for a fresh fall menu this year:
  1. Chicken entrees. Maybe chicken isn't considered a glamorous choice, but it is at the heart of all things comfort, in almost every region of the world. In the States, we think of cozy foods like chicken noodle soup or chicken pot pie. In Great Britain, they love spicy Indian chicken curries, just to warm up. In southern Europe, roast chickens with creamy sauces. In Africa, chicken peanut stew for a pleasant, filling dish.
  2. Non-potato sides. When you think of comfort foods, it's easy to fall into the "meat and potatoes" trap. But you can easily create satisfying, warming side dishes without the starch and with a little flair. This butternut squash Cacio e Pepe screams fall, but it looks surprising and beautiful. You could also try a cauliflower puree, in lieu of mashed potatoes or a spiral zucchini "pasta" to dress up a plate.
  3. Doughnuts for dessert. The doughnut craze isn't over, and now connoisseurs are looking for the best house-made doughnuts. Take a note from your local farmer's market, and try your hand at apple cider doughnuts. Served in a basket, covered in cinnamon and sugar--your guests won't be able to turn down dessert.
Want some more tips for your best fall menus? Our restaurant consultants are menu development experts. Contact National Restaurant Consultants today!

Photo via Bon Appetit.