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Simple Menus for Summer Crowds

3 reasons to pare down your summer menu offerings

By Sarah Ann Noel - May 30, 2018

With the Memorial Day holiday behind us now, we see all the markers of summer--school is out in Golden, where our main office is located; and the splash pads are turned on in Denver. In New York, our friends have made their escapes to the eastern beaches, leaving the city practically empty. Soon our consultants will travel to Chicago and Nashville where the Midwestern humidity is starting to creep into the air--but it won't keep the crowds away from all the al fresco dining and events.

National Restaurant Consultants aren't the only ones hitting the road--we're about to begin June and professionals will ramp up travel for food festivals and openings; families will embark on great vacations across the country. While summer may mean a decline in your regulars or in a steady flow of locals, chances are, you'll see increases in new guest traffic that matches travel trends.

Our restaurant consultants are menu development experts, and at this time of year, this is our best menu advice: keep it simple. 
  1. It makes for happier guests. When diners are trying out a new spot or just passing through, they'd rather it be an easy, pleasant experience. Trimming down a menu to simple offerings of your specialties make the choice clear--and especially for someone visiting you for the first time.
  2. It drives the price point. When you only have a few dishes of the same caliber, it is easier for you to set your price points. There's no need to "please everyone" with your menu. Simply decide where to be and what to specialize in, and do exactly that. Summer is an especially easy time to do this because of the abundance of produce and seasonal offerings.
  3. It sets a seasonal tone. In the summer, appetites are lighter and taste buds are nostalgic. You're already keeping your costs down buying up seasonal produce, so find a way to arrange your menu around a few of those ingredients offered in abundance. Diners-in-the-know prefer seasonal menus, and so the expectation is that it will be smaller and specialized.
Because our consultants are experts in menu development, we can take a look at what you've got and tailor it with small adjustments so that your guests are happier and you're making the most money possible from your restaurant business. Contact a restaurant consultant today and get your summer menus into shape.

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash