Take Advantage of Summer for Hot Restaurant Events
Special Summertine Events Bring Customers Back
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Summertime allows restaurants to offer special events to customers that are not feasible year-round. Restaurants that offer seasonal specials and events have loyal customers who come back year after year to enjoy the festivities.
If you are lucky enough to own a restaurant with an outdoor seating area, consider setting up an annual outdoor grill day.
An adventurous idea is roasting a pig on a spit as a special event. If there are no experts in this type of cooking in your area, consider a special barbecue event featuring pulled pork, potato salad, cornbread and an ear of corn. Roast the corn outside where people can see and enjoy the smell.
Summer Wine Tasting
Wines enjoyed in the summer are different from the best winter wines. Hold special summer wine tasting events and focus on a selection of especially refreshing and light whites, and then finish the event with a very light red such as a Pinot Noir. As with any wine tasting, pair tapas or snacks with each wine that is tasted.
If there is a microbrewery in your state, sponsor a microbrew tasting in partnership with the brewery. Feature artisan beers and ales specially brewed for summer enjoyment, such as those brewed with lemon zest.
While working with local business is a good choice, you may consider seeking out microbreweries in any state that are especially creative with their recipes. Another option is offering a selection of Belgium ales for a special tasting event.
Anytime you sponsor a wine or beer tasting, it is best to offer the selections on the regular menu for the rest of the season.
Fixed Price Menus and Buffets
Any holiday lends itself to special events in a restaurant. Over the course of the summer, people will celebrate any combination of Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, Summer Solstice, and Labor Day.
Tempt patrons to dine with you on special days. Offer one-price per person buffets or fixed-price menus. Some restaurants continue to offer the regular menu on nights with a special, fixed-price fancy menu so that nobody walks away disappointed.
Entertainment for Summer Restaurant Events
During the summer people are looking for places to be and things to do. The weather is nice, the sun sets late and people want to take advantage of the opportunity to have fun. Live music encourages people to come join you for a meal. If you have outdoor seating in which you may offer music, do so. (If it creates problems with neighboring businesses and residents, keep the music indoors.)
Don’t be afraid to change your menu to suit the season. While you probably have popular menu items which must be available year-round, create and develop a seasonal summer menu. Desserts that feature fresh berries are a classic summertime treat. Light desserts are appropriate; focus on shortcakes and berries or lemon flavored desserts. Offer sorbets as an alternative to ice cream.
Dress up your salads for summer. For example, include nasturtium flowers or johnny-jump-ups on your salads during the summer. Replace red onions with fresh cut strawberries on salads for a fresh summer treat.
Making sure your customers enjoy the best of summer at your restaurant or cafe is a great way to make your customer feel special, and to bring them back fro repeat visits.
Written by: Beth Taylor