iced tea

Any time there is a holiday or a long weekend, it is good to prepare for increased traffic and consider how you might attract some new business. Our restaurant consultants think this is especially true over Memorial Day weekend, often seen as an “unofficial” kick-off to summer. Following a year of quarantine restriction, anticipate that while Memorial Day weekend can be a mix of ups and downs, this year take advantage of guests seeking new and fun ways to get out and take some steps to make the most of it. 

One of the easiest ways to draw a crowd—both new business and returning guests—is to offer a special menu. It makes a new experience for guests you have had before, and it catches the eyes of people visiting who might be unsure of where to land or what to try. Use small, easy-to-incorporate items to create a special menu for your Memorial Day weekend. Our restaurant consultants have included some suggestions below.

First, consider offering a special price on some classic American summer cocktails like rum and Coke or a spiked lemonade. Then add a unique option like this Sweet Tea Sangria. 

Appetizers and shareable plates are another great addition to holiday menus. Memorial Day weekend is a great holiday for dressing up fries or offering chips and dip. Our consultants frequent a bar that serves Denver Chip Company chips with a variety of rotating house made dips. This menu item is consistently a top-seller without requiring extra work in the kitchen. For more ideas to dress up chips or fries, here is a “French fry bar” blog that could spark the imagination.

A beginning of summer holiday like Memorial Day will put guests in a celebratory mood, and a nod to barbecue or picnic favorites will go a long way. Consider offering a pulled-pork sandwich (with a jackfruit option for your vegetarian crowd) or an all-American fried chicken recipe. 

The fact is, restaurants are integral to the hospitality industry, and this Memorial Day, people will want to celebrate—celebrate health and family, the summer weather, the freedoms we have in this country and to never forget those that have served our country with the ultimate sacrifice for our liberties. Any way in which you can facilitate these good feelings will benefit your guests and your community, which will benefit your business as well.

For more tips on menu development and business operations, contact a restaurant consultant.