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As winter fades away and spring weather moves in, diners start craving bright, light flavors. This transition is the perfect time to introduce a spring menu — by incorporating seasonal ingredients, you can open up a whole new world of flavor and freshness. The right seasonal menu ideas can get people buzzing about your restaurant and keep customers flowing in the door throughout the spring.

Take a look at our tips on how to craft the perfect spring menu that incorporates top flavors and trends from 2024.

Spring menu ideas

The days are getting longer and warmer, which means it’s time to start celebrating the changing seasons. Get into the spirit of the season with a menu that embraces the new life and renewed sense of energy that comes with spring — think freshly picked vegetables, fragrant herbs, and light, sweet fruits.

Need some ideas for your spring menu? Use these dishes as inspiration:

  • Spring orzotto. Orzotto is made by cooking orzo pasta like risotto. For spring, fill the dish with fresh veggies such as peas, asparagus, and spinach; mix in a basil pesto for a burst of herby flavor. A generous squeeze of lemon brightens the dish without sacrificing its signature creamy texture.
  • Lemon and herb grilled chicken. Delight your health-conscious customers with grilled chicken in a lemon-herb marinade; add a generous portion of chopped garlic for extra depth and grill until you see char marks on the surface. Serve the chicken with couscous and seasonal local vegetables such as string beans and you’ll have a dish that’s fresh yet filling.
  • Quiche Lorraine. Take a spring brunch menu to the next level with this delicious, indulgent egg dish. Mix in double cream, crème fraîche, and crispy lardons for a salty crunch. When baked to perfection, this dish feels decadent but is still light enough for warmer weather.
  • Goat cheese and roasted vegetable flatbread. Grill flatbread with a bit of garlic and olive oil to add an extra punch, and top it with a creamy goat cheese. Add a layer of freshly roasted vegetables, including bell peppers, zucchini, asparagus, and mushrooms. Top it all off with a sprinkle of finely chopped herbs and a drizzle of high-quality olive oil or balsamic.
  • Spring salad. Give your house salad an exciting new flavor by topping arugula with fresh snow peas, thinly sliced radish, red onion, ripe avocado, and blanched asparagus. Toss in a handful of crumbled feta or goat cheese for a creamy finish, and serve with a cilantro-dill vinaigrette. Offer this bright new salad as a side or a main; it’s one of the most effective upselling techniques, especially if you provide the option to add grilled salmon or chicken.
  • Maple-glazed carrots. The unexpected combination of sweet maple syrup and rich roasted carrots is remarkably delicious. For spring, it’s important to keep it light — don’t go heavy on the syrup, and garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Fresh strawberry and rhubarb crisp. This classic dish feels homey and comforting, just like something your grandmother would serve. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and tart, especially when you serve it with a dollop of whipped cream.
  • Southwestern egg rolls. Switch up your appetizer menu this spring with egg rolls packed with corn, black bean sauce, sweet potato, roasted peppers, and chicken. Top them with a drizzle of sour cream, tangy lime-cilantro dressing, and guacamole for dipping.
  • Chicken shawarma. Add this Lebanese-inspired wrap to your sandwich menu — with its flavorful garlic sauce, sour dill pickles, and heavily seasoned chicken or lamb, it’s a fantastic flavor bomb. Toss in a few french fries for texture, or serve them on the side.
  • Spicy steamed shrimp. Light and delicate, shrimp is the perfect seafood for spring. Serve it steamed and generously spiced with cocktail sauce for dipping; it’s a spectacular seasonal appetizer.
  • Spring chocolate chip cookies. Add some color to your bakery case with a fun twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie. Mix in pastel-toned M&Ms and your customers won’t be able to resist this after-dinner treat.

Once your seasonal menu is ready to go, incorporate the new items into your marketing ideas for spring. The colors and textures of spring fruits and vegetables make for stunning photos — take advantage of the natural beauty by holding a fun photo shoot with plenty of natural light. Then, use the images to update your website and post on social media to pique customers’ interest.

The importance of using seasonal ingredients

Seasonal ingredients are all the rage in the restaurant industry, but they’re not just a trend — by using foods at the height of their growing season, you’ll get maximum flavor and the ideal texture. The key is to choose foods that are in season in your area; the shorter delivery distances mean growers can pick ingredients when they’re perfectly ripe. Reduced transportation requirements can also reduce costs compared to out-of-season foods that need to be shipped in from far-off places.

Successful restaurants use fresh ingredients to add variety to the menu throughout the year. You don’t have to change dishes completely — consider swapping out vegetables for seasonal options, or add in new herbs and spices to change the flavor profile. Diversifying your ingredient list also promotes sustainability, which can attract customers who are passionate about both food and the environment. And if your customer personalization strategy includes custom dish recommendations, a seasonal menu ensures you always have new items to whet guests’ appetites.

Spring into the new season with Grubhub

In the competitive restaurant industry, it isn’t always easy to keep customers interested in your restaurant. That’s why a spring menu is so effective — it adds variety and gives diners an enticing reason to drop by for a meal.

When you’re ready to roll out your spring menu, Grubhub can help you streamline the process. Our platform connects easily to your POS system, so you can adjust the menu in one place and push out the changes to your delivery and takeout customers with a single click. With our convenient promotions tools, it’s a breeze to get new menu items in front of customers quickly.Want to see how it works?

Get started with Grubhub today.