We may have lost an hour this past Sunday, but we gained a whole new season! It’s time to spring forward with the seasonal specials your guests are craving.

59% of customers are more likely to choose a menu item if it’s listed as seasonal, according to a Technomic survey.  Update your menu with some seasonal specials to put a spring in your step and some green in your pocket.

 

Health = Wealth

Experts say that global sales of healthy food products will reach $1 trillion this year. 88% of consumers polled in Nielsen’s 2015 Global Health & Wellness survey even said they’re willing to pay more for healthier food. Whether the guest’s goal is weight loss, health, or just following the trend, your job remains the same – give them what they want.

One easy and beautiful way to appeal to your diners is with color. Design is important at every level, whether you’re updating your wallpaper, your instagram account, or your menu. Kathy Hoy of the Produce For Better Health Foundation says that color can be a great guide to a balanced diet. “Nutrients and phytochemicals appear to work synergistically,” she said, “so maintaining a varied, colorful diet with healthful whole foods is a pragmatic approach to optimal nutrition.”

These colorful dishes will look great on the plate and also in photos. Try boosting customer loyalty by running a rewards program for guests who dish about your dishes on Instagram!

 

Local Foods

Local foods are one of hottest trends in food” writes Lorri Mealey, journalist and former restaurant owner. The spring growing season is just getting started, and farmers across the country are planning their summer crops.

Sysco is proud to offer farm-fresh, locally grown produce to restaurants and foodservice businesses through our Local Flavors program. Sysco’s relationships with local farmers and produce provides access to the very best in organic, sustainable produce.

Look up the most affordable spring and summer veggies in your region, and showcase them in a new dish. Using the same produce in multiple dishes can be a great way to manage your inventory, too: if some of your carrots are unusual shapes, why not throw them into a spring smoothie? Speaking of which…

 

Loyal Tea

Did you know that 29% of consumers would happily pay more for seasonal beverages? Try offering iced tea or smoothies to boost your customers’ energy while they’re getting excited for the warm weather. If you serve alcohol, this is a great time of year to get in lighter beers or white wines that pair well with seasonal salads.

Since 18% of guests like to see drinks waiting at their table, this is a great opportunity for you to implement saved data from your Point of Sale system.

Remember your guests’ preferences, and train your servers to offer them their favorite drinks as soon as they come in. Use the season as a springboard into boosting customer loyalty, renovating your decor, and offering new dishes.