Give Customers The Fall Flavors They Crave

The air is getting cooler and crisper, football season is in full swing, and customers are going out of their gourds for fall-inspired food and beverages.

Take advantage of this time of year by incorporating autumnal produce into your restaurant’s menu.

Here are a few suggestions:

Please the Crowd with Pumpkins

                                            
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
(Photo: Pexels)

Your customers love pumpkin-flavored pies and lattes. What they may not realize is that they are actually quite versatile, and taste great in all kinds of foods.  

Whether sweet or savory, treat your customers to all kinds of pumpkin dishes and serve up the fall flavors they crave:

Drinks: Your customers will love pumpkin-spiced hot beverages and refreshing smoothies as limited-time-only seasonal drinks.

Appetizers: Add a seasonal pumpkin appetizer featuring fresh or canned pumpkin—such as pumpkin hummus, pumpkin fritters, pumpkin-flavored dips, breads and spreads.

Entrées: When paired with beef or chicken, pumpkins make delicious Fall chilis, empanadas, burgers, tacos, casseroles and more.

Creative Side Dishes: Pumpkins are perfect in texture and color for hearty soups and stews. Get creative and wow your customers with fresh-roasted or grilled pumpkins in ravioli, pizzas, pasta, sauces and more.

Desserts: Pureed pumpkin (whether fresh or canned) tastes great in all kinds of sweet treats from pancakes and ice cream to cheesecakes, pies, custards, puddings, sweet breads and tasty pastries.

 

Play the Squash Game


 Butternut Squash Galette
(Photo: Flickr)

There are many players on the “team” of winter squash: Butternut, Acorn, Kabocha, Spaghetti, Banana, and more. These varieties and more offer a wide array of flavors, colors and textures, and are best prepared by roasting, grilling, frying and steaming.

These colorful starchy vegetables are healthy and filling, offering your customers a delicious seasonal take on many of their favorite comfort foods.

Creative Side Dishes: Autumnal-inspired side dishes take popular dishes and make them unique. Try mixing butternut squash with mashed potatoes, fry it French or tempura-style, add it to couscous and risotto, or even blend it with cheese sauce for a fall take on mac n’ cheese.

Entrées: For a seasonal “pasta” dish, switch out traditional spaghetti with spaghetti squash, or be inventive with squash-based gratins and curries. Several winter squash—such as butternut, banana and kabocha—pair very well pork, chicken and sausage. They can also be diced or sliced, roasted, and added to stews and soups, or grated on top of pizza and salads.

Feature the Heavy-hitters of Fall Fruit


 Strawberry and Apple Salad
(Photo: Flickr)

Fall also brings an impressive lineup of delicious, juicy apples and pears.

From flavorful McIntosh and tart Granny Smith apples, to sweet d’Anjou and Bosc pears, these Fall fruits knock it out of the park to please your customers every time.

Beverages. Fall apples and pears mixed with seasonal spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and more make delicious drinks. Stock up on ciders, teas, and a variety of both hard and soft seasonal beverages and beers that your customers will love. If you have your own bar, let your bartenders experiment to create signature seasonal punch, martinis, sangrias and slushee cocktails.

Appetizers. Apples and pears can be added to sharing cheese boards, hors d’oeuvres, and their crisp fall flavor will delight customers in relishes and butters spread over warm bread or muffins.

Entrées. They also complement many proteins perfectly. They can be baked, poached, caramelized, and reduced into savory sauces and gravies over braised beef, roasted pork and many chicken dishes. They are also great sliced into entrée salads, sandwiches and wraps.

Desserts. Naturally, apples and pears taste great in many Fall desserts your customers look forward to every year—from pies, tarts, muffins and cakes to cobblers, crisps, sweet fries and puddings.  

 

Seize the opportunity while you can to feature the flavors of fall. Your autumn-inspired specials will give loyal customers something new to try, and potential customers a timely reason for ordering from your restaurant.    

 

Learn more from Grubhub about incorporating seasonal items into your menu.