DineAbility 10 Things to Remember When Writing a Seasonal Menu

10 Things to Remember When Writing a Seasonal Menu

Spring has arrived, and there's no doubt if you're working in the kitchen that your ingredient list is about to change as new products become available.
[br][clear] With the season change also comes the change of your guest's appetite. Looking for inspiration for a new menu? Here's a great list to keep you focused when coming up with ideas for a new seasonal menu.
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[br][clear] 1. Keep it inventive but with classics
[br][clear] You can push the envelope a little, but you have to sell food also. Some eaters are adventurous while others won’t try anything different so have some comforting items on the menu too.
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[br][clear] 2. It sells
[br][clear] Some restaurants have thrived for many years with one or two dishes that people just love. If you have something that your customers demand, don’t deprive them of it.
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[br][clear] 3. Product availability
[br][clear] Don’t start a season with a something on your menu that will be unavailable in a month or two. Produce is the big one with the seasonality of vegetables.
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[br][clear] 4. Speed
[br][clear] With a set menu people often know what they want before they leave the house and they want it quick. Make sure the menu item and your staff can deliver it in a reasonable time.
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[br][clear] 5. Be Safer with Flavor Matching
[br][clear] You can be somewhat daring, but you have to be sure it will sell because you are using that menu for a several month period and most chef’s jobs rely on running a good food cost.
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[br][clear] 6. Price Contract with Purveyors
[br][clear] If you have a steak dish on the menu that you know always sells talk to your meat salesman about a fixed price for an agreed upon period of time. Every company has different deals so just ask your rep. And with the upward fluctuation of food prices this is a great way to ensure a lower cost on meat products.
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[br][clear] 7. Be Tight on Ordering
[br][clear] This is hard for a country club that usually isn’t allowed to run out, but if you can 86 items I would try to run it tight. Run reports of your sales items to study and make knowledgeable orders.
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[br][clear] 8. Think of Frozen Items - GASP.
[br][clear] I know this seems crazy but with the quality of frozen products on the rise and a chef’s head on the line over food cost a happy medium can sometimes be reached.
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[br][clear] 9. Quality of Staff
[br][clear] We already said speed is more important in these establishments; do you have the crew to do it? Can your staff still produce a high quality product while it it busy? This includes front and back of the house.
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[br][clear] 10. Clientele
[br][clear] This is very important. If most of your clientele is older women, big rustic Fred Flintstone dishes won’t fly and they are more likely to order an app for their dinner. Watch plates as they return to the kitchen like Thomas Keller to see what people are avoiding or if they are finishing the dishes to gauge your products and portion size.
[br][clear] This article was provided by Jason Paul Rice, who has been an industry professional in a wide variety of restaurants for the past 20 years and currently works at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh, PA.

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