As the summer months are heating up, many guests are looking for a break from the cold AC and need a delicious, relaxing meal on a patio to breathe in some fresh air. Does your restaurant have a patio or are you thinking of expanding to offer outdoor seating? There are many restaurants that have benefitted from al fresco dining, not only during the summer months, but also year round. We advise that you check out the many tips and ideas online to help boost your patio business and make your patio the go-to spot – especially if guests can have their dog as a plus one; but today we are going to focus on the good stuff – the food that brings customers back again and again.
According to Technomic, one of 2015’s Trends to Watch is that “small is in: Diners demand petite plates and flexible portions.” A trend that is branching off the small plate’s trend is the rise in snacking and appetizer options at restaurants. According to NRN, “the United States has become a nation of snackers.” A survey conducted in September 2014, by the Penton Restaurant Group revealed that “just about anything can be a snack. Candy, mini sandwiches or wraps, hummus, salads, bakery items, beef jerky, bread sticks and falafel are all snacks that operators” are currently offering.
According to Food Business News, here are the top spring and summer flavors for appetizer ingredients:
Spring: Asparagus, artichokes, barbecue chicken and fontina.
Summer: Pulled pork, zucchini, pepper jack, pineapple and coconut shrimp.
Not only can you capitalize on the top flavors of spring and summer, but you can also increase your sales by encouraging customers to visit during off-peak hours and grab quick a small bite or snack to eat on the patio with friends and family.
Let your guests enjoy the fresh air and summer sun while sharing these on-trend appetizers and snacks:
- Edamame Dip (shown): Dip fresh vegetables into this tasty dip of edamame, parsley and ranch veggie dip.
- Apple Onion Pizza: Gourmet flavor abounds in this recipe with garlic toast topped with creamy Brie cheese, savory onions, tart apples, blue cheese and chopped walnuts.
- Baked Zucchini Fries: Lightly breaded and baked zucchini gets the French-fry-treatment in this potato-free snack.
Take advantage of the rise in this trend and incorporate a variety of appetizers and snack options into your patio menu. Snacks give customers the opportunity to share, graze and try new menu offerings easily!