3 Food Trends Heating Up This Summer

Just about everywhere you look, gardens are blooming and temperatures are rising. These telltale signs of summer mean it’s time for restaurant owners to start preparing for the months ahead.

To help you do just that, we’ve highlighted three key food trends to watch this summer along with tips for incorporating them into your menu.

Sustainable seafood

Overfishing is threatening ocean ecosystems around the world. In fact, 90 percent of the world’s fisheries are either fully exploited, overexploited or have collapsed. To help limit the environmental impact of seafood on menus, push your chefs to buy fish that has been sustainably sourced, raised and caught.

Doing so will not only help protect the environment, but it will also boost business. According to a survey carried out by GlobalScan on behalf of the Marine Stewardship Council, more than half of all consumers are willing to pay more for a certified sustainable seafood dish.

Creative condiments

From Sriracha-infused ketchup to chipotle mayo, customers aren’t afraid to put new condiments to the test. Challenge your front- and back-of-house staff to create new condiments that will satisfy the tastebuds of even your most daring customers. Once you have a handful of recipes in mind, host a staff-wide taste test to help narrow down your options.

Next comes the fun part. Pair your newly-crafted condiments with appetizers to get a sense of what customers think. Having your staff ask customers for feedback will go a long way toward determining whether your new condiment makes the cut.

Sea vegetables

This summer you’ll be seeing sea vegetables – such as kelp and seaweed – in more dishes than ever before. Low in calories and rich in nutrients, sea vegetables often serve as a healthy alternative for customers who are watching their waistlines.

Head to your local supermarket to discover what types of sea vegetables are available in your area. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to get your hands on Nori, which are pressed seaweed sheets that can be sprinkled into ramen or used to make sushi. Or if you’re looking to update or spice up a noodle-based dish, consider offering customers the option of substituting traditional noodles with kelp noodles. Since kelp noodles can be eaten raw and are also gluten-free, they can be added to a wide range of dishes, including stir-fries and salads.

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