It’s officially August. In the last full month of summer, your guests are spending as much time in the sunshine as they possibly can. (Or out of the sunshine, for those planning to see the total eclipse!) Help them celebrate warm weather with these cool, trendy dishes.


1. A Push for Poké

Poké bowls have been getting steadily more popular for years now. As LA Chef Dakota Weiss told People Magazine, “It’s the next generation of sushi…but easier to eat.” This dish – which includes raw fish, rice, and veggies – can be served hot or cold. They’re a perfectly scalable dish – you might serve small, medium or large portions at a QSR, or modify the same recipe to be either an appetizer or a full meal. This simple, delicious cuisine can easily be served in-house, or wrapped up for guests planning a picnic on the beach.


2. I Scream, You Scream…

What’s cooler than cold? Nitro ice cream! Across the country, chains that serve this frozen treat are opening new locations to meet a growing demand. The new take on dessert capitalizes on quick-freezing technology to make ice cream faster and more accessible to all-weather guests. Boost this brand-new gimmick across social media to draw in new business, and treat your loyal guests to the newest tech there is. This summer, you’ll be the coolest restaurant in town!


3. Frosé All Day

Red wine is a time-honored classic. White is a summertime favorite. But rosé is the fastest-growing segment in this age-old industry. It’s popular with everyone, from moms to  Millennial brosé drinkers! Frosé – ie, frozen rosé – is the latest trend. This light, delicious beverage is great at any time of day, in any season. Bars and wine shops are serving up samples, and full-service restaurants should do the same to keep their menus current.


4. Buddha Bowlin’

A recent survey found that Millennials believe a healthy diet is the most important part of a healthy lifestyle. Unlike the older generations, they prioritize their eating habits well over their exercise routine. This is just one reason among many to serve healthy, fiber-filled options to your younger diners. Buddha bowls are plant-based dishes that can include fresh or cooked veggies, a grain such as rice and quinoa, and any sauce you like. This delicious, adaptable dish can fit under the umbrella of any type of cuisine, and appeal to healthy diners of all ages. You can even give guests the option to choose their own flavor profile, and expand your menu with minimal fuss.


5. A Rainbow of Options

Remember Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino? This short-lived, extremely popular concoction was seemingly tailored for social media. It was delicious, beautiful, and totally unique…but not for long! More and more restaurants are creating “unicorn” dishes with eye-catching colors and flavors. It’s easy to include a rainbow of flavors in cold dishes like ice cream, smoothies, or milkshakes – but don’t get lost in dessert! Colorful food can be nutritious, too. Try serving up a rainbow salad, or a crudite platter with colors that pop. A little design can go a long way. On your inventory, it’s just a pile of easily-sourced vegetables; but to your diners, it’s a rhubarb rainbow!

Pro tip: use your Point of Sale system to track which summer specials perform the best, so you can offer them again next year! Build buzz to keep your customers coming back in every season.