Seasonality is always a hot-button topic in the catering world, and for good reason. Not only can we provide cost-effective menus with accessible ingredients, but clients crave these offerings from season-to-season. Opting for these seasonal flavors also means that you can lean on your local community of food suppliers and strengthen those relationships, so why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of what the harvest has to offer?
Here's why it’s important to go with the flow of what the summer season has to offer, and how it can mean more money for your bottom line.
Seasonal foods mean natural cravings
When we think of summertime menus, we often think of refreshing salads, BBQ-style menu items, or something to beat the heat. We wouldn’t look at an outdoor event and think, ‘Guests would love a hot stew to pair with the weather!’ Similarly, winter doesn’t necessarily evoke a want for ice cream.
Luckily, the accessibility of these ingredients is in line with the seasons. For example, corn and fresh produce is going to be great for summer menus, as this time of year is typically when they’re in season. Using this to your advantage is going to be beneficial for purchasing at low costs, plus satisfying clients’ taste for refreshing meals.
Ingredients are more readily accessible
As we mentioned, you won’t be hard-pressed to find any number of the ingredients in your summer menus. In fact, it’s perfect for buying into the evergreen trend of locally sourcing your ingredients and supporting local businesses. Purchasing meat from a nearby butcher or building a relationship with farmers within your region is only going to benefit you in providing fresher entrees.
These relationships can also potentially lead to being notified even earlier about new items and refreshed stock, and even discounts.
You can actually save money
Prioritizing seasonality can also help you save some money and, in turn, increase your bottom line. Rather than chasing after specialty ingredients that require geographically outsourcing beyond your immediate region, shopping around locally with what’s available is going to aid you in the long run.
While it should be noted that the supply chain shortages will, of course, play a role, going for local, seasonal ingredients eliminates the overhead expenses that can come with faraway shipping.
Adding a summery twist on fan-favorites is going to benefit you and your clients all around. Get creative with your menu offerings, as summer is much more than a simple salad or a burger. You can make the most out of your ingredients, and even create a new seasonal staple that can make a reappearance every year!