Summertime has an energy in the air that causes people to perk up and look for fun, new experiences they can share with their friends. Food plays no small part in the perfect summer experience, so you’ll want to keep your summer menu fresh, exciting, and delicious in order to draw in those summer crowds, increase table turns and tickets, and generate a healthy summertime revenue.. Here are the top summer food trends patrons will be craving:
1. Wine on tap
You’re probably thinking “yeah, wine on tap isn’t new – everyone had it back in college, and it came in a box.” Well, this isn’t the same low quality budget wine. With wine on tap, you’ll never worry about wasting bottles of wine just because someone ordered one glass, and then the bottle sat untouched for days. Restaurants and bars all over are adding Plum machines to their bars. Think espresso machine, but with wine rather than caffeine. These hold two opened bottles of wine and keep them fresh for up to two weeks. Cheers!
2. Craft soft drinks and cold brew tonics
Not everyone parties hard. When it comes to the latest summer food trends, many prefer a refreshing beverage on a sweltering day, but aren’t fans of heavy artificial flavoring and an overdose of sugar. Craft soft drinks feature flavors not often seen lining the shelves of grocery stores. From cool cucumber to blueberry beet, these soft drinks are game changers for the soda industry. Even coffee is getting on the bandwagon. You thought cold brew was hyper-trendy?
Enter: cold brew tonics. Half cold brew concentrate and half tonic water, this is one of the easiest ways to perk up your menu.
3. International condiments and street food
Nothing makes an ordinary dish stand out quite like a drizzle of exotic dressing or sauce. Korean condiments especially, have become one of the hottest summer food trends around. Popular flavors include meju powder, made from fermented soybean, and yeotgireum, a barley malt powder.
Street vendors are stepping up their game as well, offering mouth-watering options from cultures around the world. Now, alongside traditional hot dog vendors, you can find carts that serve Singapore noodles, Taiwanese miso soup, and Tijuana tacos.
4. Alternative sweeteners
Not all summer food trends are about providing adventurous culinary experiences. Some are more popular because they’re a safer alternative to what’s been on the market to date. More and more people are shifting away from cane sugar and aspartame, and looking for natural options that add both sweetness and flavor. Ingredients like agave, maple syrup, honey, applesauce, and cinnamon are being added to menu items to sweeten them naturally, and they’re being met with quite a positive response.
5. Plant-based food
Restaurants have been more aware of their vegetarian and vegan patrons, and are offering more than house salads. As many are becoming conscious of their meat consumption with the rise in environmental concerns, they are opting for plant-based dishes instead. This is one of the summer food trends that may turn into a year-round staple. The demand for plant-based foods has been much higher, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Veggie burgers aren’t just bland, dry meat substitutes any longer. World-class chefs and startups alike are finding ways to use plants to replicate the juiciness and flavor of burgers, without the calories or carbon footprint.
Stay ahead of the trends
How will you update your menu to make it more relevant and exciting this summer? Consider adding these summer food trends to your line-up , or create some new crowd-pleasing dishes to draw in summertime diners.