Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Your Fall Menu Overhaul That Won't Break the Bank

As summer winds to a close, now's the perfect time to revitalize your catering business with a menu overhaul. And the best part? You can easily do so without breaking the bank. 

Apple-Y Ever After (shaved brussels sprouts, candied walnuts, Granny Smith apples, currants, pecorino, and red wine vinaigrette). Photo courtesy Andy Rodriguez for 24 Carrots Catering and Events

As a caterer, providing exceptional dining experiences is at the heart of your business. And with a few seasonal menu updates, you can captivate taste buds, delight clients, and maximize profitability—all while staying within your budget. Here are a few best practices for creating a fall menu without spending more than you’d like.

Put a twist on your favorites

One of the best ways to switch up your menu is by putting new spins on your favorite dishes. Instead of saying goodbye to fall classics, explore how to breathe new life into each meal by incorporating fresh ingredients. Take, for example, the classic apple betty. Consider using pears instead, infusing the dish with a fresh flavor. The power of transformation often lies in these subtle changes.

Similarly, spices and herbs hold the key to reimagining your menu. Experimenting with a new flavor blend can elevate your dishes while setting them apart. Embrace the season's warmth by incorporating fragrant and inviting spices that capture the essence of fall.

Embrace different trends

Consider exploring different proteins or venturing into plant-based options to diversify your menu. Get creative with new spice mixes, and don't shy away from trying out alternative preparation methods. Remember to enjoy the process and have fun with it!

Additionally, keep in mind that trends come and go rather swiftly. You can add a timeless quality to your fall menu by infusing dishes with your unique flair and personal touch. Instead of following others, you can set yourself apart from the competition and ensure that your culinary creations have lasting appeal.

Broaden your supply network

Embracing seasonality in your menu is best achieved through sourcing ingredients locally. By prioritizing local sourcing, you can ensure you're working with the freshest fall foods in your region. And since your location plays a significant role in determining what is "in season," it’s essential to curate a menu with dishes that feature local produce and meats.

Opting for locally-sourced ingredients guarantees peak freshness and helps mitigate some of the challenges associated with supply chain shortages. Plus, developing a network of local farmers and butchers will help you fortify connections within the community and establish a reliable supply chain. These valuable relationships will prove instrumental in navigating an unpredictable market while providing opportunities for potential savings and access to new inventory.

As the rest of the summer unfolds, dedicate your efforts to building and strengthening these local relationships. The benefits will extend far beyond the quality and availability of ingredients, as you'll also contribute to the growth and sustainability of your community.

Get creative with your presentation

One of the most affordable ways to overhaul your menu is by switching up your presentation methods. Small touches and creative plating ideas can completely transform each dish. Incorporate seasonal themes in your menu design and layout while utilizing affordable garnishes for an elevated aesthetic.

Your fall menu overhaul doesn't have to be a financial burden. With careful planning, resourcefulness, and a dash of creativity, you can achieve a menu that satisfies clients and drives the success of your catering business! 


Clint Elkins

Clint Elkins is the VP Sales for SB Value located in Charlotte, NC. Clint, a former professional race car driver, was one of the top motorsports promoters in the country by the age of 35. Clint used that experience and passion for business to launch his second career in a sales and marketing. Outside of work Clint enjoys spending time on his family farm and coaching his two daughters softball teams. Clint is also an avid cook and self proclaimed badminton superstar.