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What’s trending on springtime menus? Beverages!

Whether it’s the warm weather, the return to on-the-goal lives, or the promise of summer turning tastes to light, refreshing, and fruit flavors, restaurants are updating their menus to include specialty beverage options, and with great success. 

According to Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) Menu Tracker, many popular QSR businesses are incorporating this trend. “Burger King is the latest chain to add cold foam as a beverage option, and its also rolling out a cotton candy flavored slush. Chick-fil-A has added cherry berry option to its springtime drinks, Pret A Manger has a new dragon fruit-mango compote to add to iced tea and lemonade, Jack-in-the-Box has a new pineapple shake, Del Taco has a snickerdoodle one, and Sonic Drive-In has one with Oreo cookies and cheesecake.” 

From desserts to lighter options, it’s a craze that is sticking and something easy to incorporate on all seasonal menus. The Cosmic Grind, a coffeeshop in Burlington, VT has taken the cue and rolled out springtime-inspired drinks for both their iced and hot beverages. While Vermont might hold on to winter a little longer, their customers still long for spring. “Our Spring Thaw” Latte will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. As Burlingtons best latte, this special drink starts with a creamy base made with organic Vermont Milk sourced from local farms – never heat treated, so you get full flavor every time! We then add a hint of splashy citrus flavors that tantalizes your taste buds and ensures you never forget it,” they write on their blog.

Springtime coffee drinks are popping up in the chain cafés as well, Starbucks being no exception. Known for cult seasonal classics such as autumn’s Pumpkin Spice Latte and the holiday season’s “red cups” with seasonally inspired flavors, Starbucks’s latest latte offering nods to spring in both hot and iced options: Lavender Bliss for coffee or matcha drinkers.

For dine-in establishments with liquor licenses, the options are even greater. Specialty and happy hour menus are great places to offer up some seasonal enticement, and Uncorkd has inspiration in all categories. For wine, “Your wine enthusiasts will be leaving their robust reds in cellars at the house and heading to your bar to order delicious, light, and acidic wines such as rosé, sauvignon blanc, or pinot noir.” For beer, though a little trickier in spring, follow much the same advice: “Maibocks are quintessential springtime drinks (a springtime month is even in the name), and the doppelbock and weizenbock are also classic barley sippers thatll please your guests in warmer weather.” And cocktails are where you can create nostalgia and buzz by reinventing twists on old favorites. “Drinks during this season include the ever-fashionable whiskey sour (make it less sour in spring, but more sour in summer and fall), as well as rosemary-cucumber gin and tonics. Another good idea for a springtime cocktail is a green tea mojito, made with green tea and white rum (try cold-brewing your green tea to bring out its fresh flavor).”

Whatever your serving styles, there are springtime options. Infuse your menus with classic flavors and unexpected combinations and incorporate the springtime beverage trends. Paula Deen’s website showcases such flavor combinations as raspberry and ginger, basil lemonade, and blueberry limeade for spring 2024, all of which can be served with or without alcohol. 

After engineering your static menu with one of our restaurant consultants, specialty seasonal menus are a great way to excite your existing guests or draw in new customers looking to participate in the trends of the season. Richard Weil, owner and principal of National Restaurant Consultants states, “Tt is not too late in spring time to roll out beverage options. Take advantage of the forthcoming special dining occasions such as Mother’s Day, graduations, Memorial Day, and summer to be not only timely, but providing more reasons why your guests should choose your establishment over your competition, another words, stay relevant”.  

Reach out to our restaurant consultants for menu strategies for spring. With a well-curated static menu and exciting seasonal flavors for spring, you can achieve maximum profitability with the perfect springtime offerings. 

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