The season of hearty food is upon us. As the weather cools, customers will be craving warming, filling options that taste good on autumn days. In the months leading up to the holidays, which are often filled with classic American dishes, take a broader view and consider these chillier months as opportunities to add some global flair to your menu – especially as international travel remains slow. Where can you add some interest to your menu with authentic dishes from other places?
Want to create an interesting, satisfying dish that also happens to look Instagram-worthy on a plate? People already have stuffing on the brain at this time of year. Why not take it a step further and use it to help elevate your entrées? You can combine your favorite spices and in-season ingredients into signature stuffing for foods as wide-ranging as pork, poultry, seafood and produce. There’s even room for creative adaptations on the dessert menu. Think of stuffing as a vehicle for adding warmth to your menu in the cooler months ahead.
Are you serving up (or packaging up) Thanksgiving meals at your restaurant this year? While Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where people enjoy eating traditional dishes year after year, you can help your menu stand out by offering alternatives that don’t stray far from the classics but still add interest to the menu. Instead of trying to sell guests on creative new main dishes and sides, try incorporating special marinades, gravy and on-trend spices and flavors that will elevate – but not distract from – the classic foods consumers crave.
Fall vegetables aren’t only healthy additions to your menu: Their density and texture make them filling substitutes for everything from pasta to meat. Offer spaghetti squash as a low-carb pasta alternative this season or butternut squash to add meaty consistency to a vegetarian chili. Capitalize on pumpkin spice mania by adding pumpkin to pancakes and granola at breakfast or to hummus and curry dishes later in the day.