Restaurants to highlight affordable happy hours, seasonal ingredients and vegetables!
As the weather begins to cool and the economy remains mild, many food service operators expect innovative side dishes and vegetable based menu options to become more popular, giving their customers the opportunity to mix and match, or share a few sides at happy hour.
While local, seasonal ingredients will continue to show up on fall menus, restaurateurs and chefs alike are focusing on food creations that allow guests to customize their experience and to eat and drink at unconventional times. Happy hour courses including charcuterie platters, cheese courses and extensive bar menu options are ideal for this crowd. Being creative is key; almost any food item can be dressed up or down and made in a small portion – making it perfect for happy hour. Mini pizzas, roasted almonds, parmesan straws and homemade salt & vinegar potato chips are just a few ideas.
Football season is just around the corner and there are plenty of food promotions that go with it. Play off tail-gating classics, including anything BBQ, grilled or dippable. These types of food items make great happy hour appetizers.
Vegetables are expected to take center stage in more dishes this fall, with protein acting as supporting character. When looking at seasonal items, think about launching a micro menu around a particular fruit or vegetable. For example, launch an autumn apple-inspired menu. Apple muffins and apple streusel French toast make decadent breakfast options while savory apple herb roast chicken and grilled chicken apple salad make fantastic lunch and dinner options. Squash and zucchini are other great menu items that can be incorporated into everything from sweet breads to rich, flavorful main courses.
Shareable vegetable dishes are a way to help customers feel better about what they’re eating without making them sacrifice their protein packed main courses. At the same time, side dishes are a great way to boost check averages. Among our favorite ideas are crispy okra, pureed cauliflower, winter squash with horseradish and braised cabbage.
Fall is a busy time in the restaurant and food service business, highlighting happy hour specials and seasonal fruits and vegetables will get guests excited to dine at your establishment.