Pros and Cons of a Seasonal Menu

The change of seasons can be a gift to the culinary world as it offers an ever changing wealth of fresh ingredients. Many environmental experts have been picked a bone with the food industry as of late due to large carbon footprints from using hothouse produce and the transportation it needs. Restaurateurs, in an effort of consciousness or good publicity, are using more local and seasonal food to meet the green demands of society. There are pros and cons to changing the menu every season. It is always easier to offer the same items, but if you live in a geographical region where it is always summer or winter, this may not be a viable option. If you are resistant to trying a full-on seasonal menu, try out a mini seasonal menu with limited selections to test the waters with your patrons.  Also, make certain you have all the necessary equipment year-round to create the food for all seasons. If not, consider a restaurant equipment loan.



  1. Engage your customers
  2. Experiment with new recipes
  3. Keep up with trends


  1. Too much change can be overwhelming
  2. Inventory can become an issue
  3. Prevent familiarity


Your customers always have an opinion-this is what can make them allies or frenemies. Seasonal change can lead to more engagement as you and the wait staff ask how they like the dishes. Some may volunteer stories about how their grandmothers may have made apple pie to kick off winter or spring. Many food bloggers are on the hunt for new topics and your seasonal menu can be featured, provided they have a connection to your establishment or culinary angle. Although it may not seem important, restaurant financing may be easier obtain with glowing reviews and a consistent online presence that engages local foodies.


Your chefs should be as well rounded as possible. Seasons give them a chance to experiment with new ingredients and using food as fresh that’s as possible can be a great selling point. When applying for a restaurant loan, lenders always look at the menu. This can be a way of selling your restaurant as an innovative culinary experience with seasonal foods. Your chefs can also be a selling point, provided they can diversify their offerings. Experimenting with recipes can also gauge whether or not your restaurant needs new appliances or even a restaurant equipment loan to meet the expectations of the chef and patrons.


Fashion changes every season and some in the food industry believe seasonality is part of the culture. Millennials are prone to only following trends and your restaurant could become a mainstay on their radar. Many consider themselves foodies and following trends gives them conversation pieces.  Word of mouth is the best form of advertising and your seasonal menu can stay in the loop throughout the year. Also keep in mind that restaurant loans can be used for marketing purposes and engaging the same trendy audience.



Too much change can become tedious after a while. Your wait staff will have to be acquainted with four different menus throughout the year, leading to confusion and annoyed patrons. Chefs can be temperamental and any change can annoy them. Too much change can lead to both confusion and frustration in your staff. If the staff is not in flow, the patrons take note.


Depending on seasonality can lead to issues with inventory. If there is a poor harvest in the seasonal produce, there may be a pinch in the offered ingredients. In business plans used when applying for restaurant financing, the high rate of change in the inventory can be a cause of concern. Some lenders may prefer a stable menu.

No familiarity

For all the changes and trends in the fashion industry, most women have a staple little black dress. People are creatures of comfort, preferring familiarity to experimentation. If you serve a spectacular squash soufflé only in the winter, a craving for it can be frustrating if it is not on the current menu. The best way to circumnavigate this is to standardize all seasonal menus.

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