Ready to be in a fall state of mind? We battled through the warm months of summer and now we’re ready for cool, crisp days.

The temperature cools down and the appetite for fall produce warms up. The restaurant industry knows the effects of seasonality. Shifts in seasons bring upon a welcome change. For instance, menus change based on produce availability and changing trends. Also, nothing marks the fall transition like holiday decor.

In this blog post, we will cover some trending food & drink items that are too good to miss this time of the year. We’ll also give you some fall-inspired decoration ideas for your restaurant.

Designing a Fall Flavorful Menu

While some autumn decor can help you get into the fall spirit, your menu is where you can truly showcase this. Autumn calls for comfort foods and dishes centered around the harvest vegetables. According to GlobalData, the flavor is the top buying criterion for consumers. Your guests want to intake everything autumn.

In particular, full-service restaurants tend to offer the autumnal dining experience consumers want. This is likely due to the flexibility in menu changes and holiday events. The time frame for fall is September 1st to November 30th. That means you get to capitalize on both Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays.

Now, let’s spotlight the top fall foods and flavors that will be great additions to your menu.

Brussel Sprouts

Looking for a hearty side dish on a cool fall day? Brussel sprouts are the way to go. This tiny cabbage is a top food trend among consumers for its health benefits. They are low in sodium but high in vitamin C making them a “superfood“. They have a nutty and slightly sweet taste to them.

Check out this post for the top 10 ways to enjoy Brussel sprouts. In the fall season, this veggie is at its prime and full of flavor.

Carrots

The most colorful fall produce you can add to your menu is carrots. They are easy on the eyes and score high points for presentation. Fall’s harvest brings in the most carrot varieties that allow them to be used in so many different ways. Enjoys carrots flavors in soups, stews, pureed or even roasted.

Since fall is about comfort, think about creating dishes that are rich in carrots. A roasted carrot risotto would be the perfect addition. A dish as such will allow you to use every bit of the carrot. The carrots in the risotto will give off a bright color and the carrot tops can be used as a garnish. Dehydrate the carrot tops and blend them to create a carrot top ash. Utilizing the whole carrot is a great selling point. It’s a sustainable practice contributing to less food waste. 

Winter Squash

A vegetable that matches the season. Squash is one of the oldest crops known to mankind. For cooking purposes, it’s considered a vegetable but it’s actually a fruit. Winter squashes include varieties as such:

  • Butternut
  • Acorn
  • Spaghetti
  • Buttercup
  • Kabocha
  • Delicata
  • Hubbard
  • Turban

Winter squash is embracing autumn with full force. According to Datassential, winter squash has increased by 254% on menus in the past four years. They are packed with vitamin A, B, and fiber. Winter squash is bright orange in color, making it irresistible for seasonal recipes.

Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin spice is fall in a glass. Being fall’s favorite flavor, it’s a great addition to drinks and dishes. Pumpkin spice is the top seasonality flavor that consumers want. Bringing this flavor onto your menu can help you create LTOs.

This blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, and allspice will continue to be a trend for years down the road. Take a look at these 6 unique cocktails that embrace the pumpkin flavor in a whole new way.

Maple

One of the latest rising fall flavors and “shares the spotlight” with pumpkin is maple. Maple menu additions have increased by 86% over the last few years. Maple flavoring can be used in both alcoholic and NA beverages. It acts as the perfect coffee addition as well as a whiskey cocktail.

Modifying Your Decor

One of the biggest indicators of the fall season is the decor. What do you think of when fall comes to mind? Pumpkins, colorful leaves, candles, and garlands. Your restaurant decorations need to create a warm environment for your customers. This can be done through a fun table centerpiece, bar decorations, or subtly at your countertop.

Remember, it’s important to stay true to your branding. You can play around with these ideas but don’t do something off-brand that can hurt business.

Here are a few fall-inspired decor ideas for you:

Pumpkins

The iconic symbol of the fall season can effortlessly be used as decoration. You can go for the whole pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns, it’s up to you. Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes making it fun to find ones that fit your restaurant space.

For an elegant touch, go for white and neutral pumpkins. Light orange, yellow, and whites create more of a sophisticated look. Layered on top of green eucalyptus and it can be an easy centerpiece for your tables or host stand.

Fall Flowers

Give your decor an easy seasonal upgrade with great outdoor fall flowers. Autumn flora includes annuals, perennials, and shrubs.

If you don’t want as much upkeep as fresh flowers, go for dried florals. Dried florals offer a soft color and when fixed with leaves and branches you get some added texture.

Fall embodies vibrant colors of reds, oranges, and yellows. Showcase this with chrysanthemum flowers. Mums are colorful and their blooms symbolize optimism, joy, and longevity. Ideal for all your Thanksgiving needs.

Candles & Lighting

Add a fall vibe to your restaurant by changing up your lighting. Find lighting that creates a warm and cozy atmosphere. Candles are a great way to do this. You can create a flickering flame fall look with light fixtures and or small candles.

A Fresh Look At Fall

Tailoring your menu by season is guaranteed to attract new guests and boost profits. Also, fall decor will allow your customers to experience a new fresh ambiance.

Want to know what works best once you’ve transitioned your restaurant from summer to fall? CAKE offers real-time reports on your restaurant’s performance. You can track top-selling items and gain insight into your customer’s preferences. Get set up with reporting today to start running a more efficient restaurant. This information is critical for future seasonal menu and restaurant changes.