7 Sensational Summer Menu Ideas for Restaurants

summer menu ideas restaurantThe best summer menu ideas for restaurants increase sales and ensure customer loyalty. Make the most of the season with seven ways to fire up restaurant sales. 

Depending on your location, business that sizzles at the beginning of the season can sometimes fizzle when the heat sets in. For most restaurants, summer sales tend to stay strong, but you can always improve the numbers. Whether you own, manage or command the kitchen, you understand the value of fresh summer menu ideas for restaurants. 

It’s as much about business as it is creativity. With focused development, restaurant summer menus keep profits solid and bottom lines in good shape. With a little culinary imagination, they serve up wonderful seasonal dishes that impress customers and inspire return visits. 

Summer Menu Ideas for Restaurants: 7 Sure Ways to Fire Up Sales

The summer season is on your side. People look forward to relaxing and taking time off. They don’t want to cook at home. They want to get out of the house. It’s a perfect recipe for bringing in regular customers. If your restaurant happens to be near a hotel or entertainment venue, you also enjoy a boost in business from summer travelers. 

Take advantage of this warm-season wave. Elevate your brand’s profile across summertime social media. Fire up thumbs-up reviews and increase dining room traffic with these seven cool summer menu ideas. 

1. Go With Innovative Ingredients 

Show off the kitchen’s culinary talent by featuring housemade ingredients on your restaurant’s summer menu. Whip up original salad dressings, and side seasonal sandwiches with freshly made mustards and ketchups. Garnish your signature burgers with unique toppings like pickled iceberg lettuce. Housemade condiments are cost-effective, and they help establish your brand. 

2. Keep Lunch Casual 

Keep restaurant customers comfortable with a casual summer lunch menu. Capture the laid-back feel of vacations on the shore with fried shrimp baskets, crab cake burgers and grilled fish tacos. Make relaxed lunches memorable with special presentations like fresh ceviche in baby iceberg lettuce bowls

3. Take It Outside 

One of the coolest summer dinner ideas for hot days might be just beyond your door. Take inspiration for outside service from some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. You don’t need a pier, boardwalk or balcony. A little patio space and a touch of landscaping sets the scene for al fresco summertime dining. 

4. Spotlight Entree Salads 

Let crisp, healthy salads star as entrees on lunch and dinner menus. Fill bowls with locally sourced greens topped with your housemade dressings. Showcase customer favorites like premium romaine hearts in versatile salads that make the most of seasonal ingredients. 

5. Serve Summer Seafood 

Expand your selection of healthy summer recipes for dinner service with fresh seafood entrees. Toss grilled shrimp with mango and lime. Simmer mussels in white wine, or serve sauteed scallops over housemade slaw. Create a new warm-weather classic by pairing poached salmon with summer corn and tomatoes. 

6. Mix Up Cool Cocktails 

Keep your customers entertained with a round of new summertime cocktails. Make room on the bar menu for drinks that celebrate the season by mixing mojitos with pears and spiking gimlets with fresh basil. Float raspberries in gin rickeys, reinvent salty dogs as salty birds, and raise a glass to toast increased summer beverage sales. 

7. Don’t Bake Divine Desserts 

Don’t fire up the kitchen ovens for dessert. Instead, turn out irresistible no-bake desserts that perfectly fit the season. Tempt warm-weather customers with cool classics like silky sorbets and rich housemade ice creams. Trifles, melbas and mud pies are just a few sweet options that can round out your restaurant’s summertime menu with delicious decadence. 

We’re Proud to Do Our Part 

As you refresh your summer menu, refresh your restaurant’s website and social media presence too. Post inviting pics of the patio, profile summertime cocktails, and let customers download menus with a quick click. If you don’t already offer takeout, this is the season to make it happen with online ordering. 

We appreciate how hard you work through the summer months. We’re busy too with operations in full swing as we grow and ship premium produce across the country. It’s a great time of year for the foodservice industry, and our teams here at Boggiatto are proud to supply you with our very best. 



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