Adding a seasonal menu item to your offerings is an easy way to create excitement about the changing of the seasons, and could drive traffic and trial to your business.
One of the most recognizable season fall items is Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s only available through November and for some people, its arrival signifies the end of summer and beginning of fall. Customers take advantage because they know it’s not around for very long, and over the past 10 years, it has become Starbucks’ most popular seasonal drink. The drink even has legions of devotees praising its goodness on Twitter, using the hashtag “#PSL.”
You see, limited-edition menu items create a sense of urgency for consumers. They link a brand (and / or their product) to a season (or even a specific month), and often come back, year after year to get their “fix.”
These seasonal items tend to also be higher priced so it can help drive an increase in your average check.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite fall flavors (and ways to incorporate them) below!
- Oysters – ’tis the season! They’re best eaten in the colder months – from September to April.
- Butternut Squash – roast it, puree it, put it on pizza or make it into a pasta sauce. The possibilities are endless!
- Pecans – delicious toasted over salads, in a wild rice medley, baked into pastries or served spiced, as an appetizer.
- Root Vegetables – roasted potatoes, carrots, turnips, and parsnips are the perfect side dish for the season.
- Pumpkin – pumpkin pancakes, muffins, cookies, pie, puree are all no-brainers. Don’t forget toasted pumpkin seeds for your salads, baked goods, or just as a snack!
- Apples (and Apple Cider)– it’s harvest season for apples and they’re great over salads, in baked goods, and blended into butternut squash soup. Apple cider makes a great braising liquid for pork, chicken and turkey.
- Stews, soups and chills – add some good “stick to your ribs” stews and soups to your fall arsenal.
- Seasonal cocktails – feature classic fall flavors such as apple cider, caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, or honey. Don’t forget to update your wine and beer selections, as well!
- Occasional Treats – Can your bakery or specialty goods shop whip up a few back-to-school-themed treats or gift baskets for the teachers, students and parents in your community? Or, you could do football, fall or harvest-themed goodies, if that is more applicable. Themed treats provide a great incentive for your customers to come to you for gifts!
Bonus points if you can gather these ingredients from local purveyors. Customers love supporting local businesses!