SNEAK PEEK OF OUR NEW CHECKLIST
Dealing with seasonality is essential to the restaurant industry. The restaurants that know how to capitalize on each season are the ones that draw new customers in and keep them coming back.
Above we have a checklist for you with insight on menu, decor, holidays, and promotional ideas you can use for each of the four seasons, keeping business strong all year long. You can also get a sneak peek here.
1. Revamp Your Menu With Seasonal Offerings
Updating your menu is a must when it comes to new seasons. Your guests' preferences are changing, and your menu should reflect that with in-season produce.
Each season brings a different opportunity for your restaurant to partner with local farms and suppliers to incorporate their produce in your offerings.
|Summer Squash||Cucumbers||Eggplant||Bell Peppers|
Fall & Winter
|Pumpkin||Winter Squash||Cranberries||Green Beans|
|Sweet Potatoes & Yams||Collard Greens||Parsnips||Turnips|
Many of these fruits and vegetables are available throughout the year, but showcasing produce that is in season can help you keep your food costs down while adding seasonal flavors to your dishes.
- Seasonal Produce Guide from Webstaurant Store
- 20 Summer Cocktail Ideas
- 11 Summer Appetizers
- Decadent Summer Desserts
- Summer Entree Ideas
- Autumn Cocktails Recipes
- 5 Autumn Entrees
- 5 Fall Desserts
- Warm Winter Cocktails
2. Dial-Up Your Decor
Your restaurant’s decorations should create an inviting environment for your customers. This can be done through fun table centerpieces, bar decorations, or subtly throughout your whole restaurant.
Remember, it’s important to stay true to your branding. You don’t need to make big changes, small decorations here and there can help freshen up your design and make a great first impression.
These are cost-friendly options that create a gorgeous visual (and Instagrammable) impact for your restaurant.
- Low-maintenance indoor plants for greenery
- Spring flowers - daffodils, tulips, and lilacs
- Showcase local artists on an empty wall
- LED table lights
- Easter eggs
- Spring floral garland
- Fourth of July - colors of red, white, and blue
- Summer flowers - sunflowers, gardenias, and orchids
- Bright-colored pillows
- Use colorful glassware
- Adding vibrant fall colors of red, orange, and yellow
- Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes
- Fall flowers & dried florals
- Halloween decorations
- Incorporate Christmas colors of red, green, gold, silver
- Twinkle lights & candles
- Christmas tree
- Wreaths & Garlands
3. Holidays & Promotions
Holidays occur year-round, giving you numerous chances to run promotions to attract customers and increase your revenue.
Did you know that there are 321 food & beverage holidays? Though they may not be observed holidays, they are a great way to add fun specials into the mix!
Everything from National Pizza Day to Mimosa Day, find a whole list of them here.
Mark your calendars with these important dates:
- Easter - Sunday brunch specials, Easter bunny pancakes for kids
- Cinco de Mayo - Margarita varieties, taco specials
- Mother's Day - Mother's Day prix fixe menu
- Memorial Day - Family kits ‘build your own burger’ packages
- Father's Day - Discounts for dads, beer specials
- Fourth of July - Some red, white, and blue cocktails and barbeque specials
- Labor Day - Labor Day weekend drink specials
- Columbus Day - Brunch specials like ‘build your own bloody mary’ or bottomless mimosas
- Halloween - Spooky drink specials
- Dia De Los Muertos - Taco and beer deals
- Veterans Day - Discounts for all active duty and veterans of the military
- Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving prix fixe menu, or some pie specials
- Small Business Saturday - Discounts to encourage guests to shop small and dine local
- Christmas Eve - Warm winter cocktails or family-style to-go kits
- Christmas Day - Christmas prix fixe menu or dessert specials
- New Year’s Eve - Champagne toasts and New Year’s Eve countdown party
- New Year’s Day - Bottomless mimosas it’s also National Hangover Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Kids eat free or BOGO breakfast & lunch deals
- Valentine’s Day - Dinner specials for 2, prix fixe menu, Galentine’s ladies specials
- President’s Day - Naming dishes as presidents for one day: The Abe Lincoln
- St. Patrick’s Day - Green beer, corn beef & cabbage food specials
Best Practices for Every Season
Let’s face it, each season brings new challenges to your restaurant, but it also brings new opportunities. Some of the best practices to review for every season are:
- Look at your POS reporting - Analyze food & drink sales from the previous year to see what items did well to bring them back.
- Social media strategy - What new dishes or holiday specials do you want to promote?
- Optimize your seating - Heaters in the winter, tables for two on Valentine’s Day, a space for private events, extended outdoor seating?
- Labor planning - Do you need to hire seasonal staff for spring and summer? Or cut back shifts in the winter?
- Updating your menu & decor with seasonal inspiration and produce.
As a restaurant owner, we’re sure you’re aware that you always need to be adapting to the changes in each season. Download the checklist below to help remind you of what each season has to offer and use it as a tool to refer to when you need help with new ideas or to make sure you’re on the right track in your seasonal planning.