Summer Dining Trends Revealed

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What was most popular in your restaurant this summer? Restaurant.com reveals dining trends for the months of June, July and August, based on data collected over four years from more than 16 million Restaurant.com certificates redeemed. Here’s the dish:

1. On the Road.iPhone_4S-PurchaseScreen

With school out for summer and warmer temperatures luring professionals from their desks, Restaurant.com diners make their dining plans on the go. Dining certificates purchased on mobile phones spike by 16 percent during June, July and August.

What does this mean to restaurant owners?

Keep on the quick! Familiarize yourself and your employees on mobile validation. Diners redeeming certificates on their phone will become more and more popular. Why? It’s quick and easy and doesn’t require being next to a computer for a print out. Don’t hold up your diners by struggling to use their certificates. Get your wait staff onboard by walking them through the step-by-step instructions  for validating, then hang it in your break room as a reminder.

Did you know?

When you validate a certificate on mobile, it’s automatically tracked in the Restaurant Management Center. You’ll automatically get your diner’s email address and information—what a great way to connect to your new diner!

2. Thirsty Thursday.

In the summer, you can expect a bigger crowd on Thursdays. During the warmer months, dining out on this day jumps by more than 10 percent, while the popularity of the weekend evenings goes down.

What can my restaurant do to drive more diners in on Thursdays?

Try offering a special that will attract the whole family. cheeseburger-friesHow about a cheeseburger and fries for $7.99? Switch it up monthly to keep your diners coming back for more great deals throughout the summer. Doing a promotion like this will help focus your food order and oftentimes help you negotiate a better price on the cost of food, by planning ahead and ordering in bulk.

3. Gone Fishing

Summer (July in particular) is the season for seafood. Warm weather and beachfront vacations contribute to the nearly 40 percent increase in the popularity of restaurants serving sea-based cuisine.

What does this mean for a restaurant owner?

For lunch, ceviches are easy to master and offer the freshness of the season. And who doesn’t love a light tomato broth full of delectable seafood? Try a spicy seafood stew or gumbo. Focus your menu to one or two fish “specials” per month. This can keep diners coming back for more on intrigue (and delicious food)!

4. Boom Goes the BBQ

The backyard barbecue is the unofficial meal of summer—so bring it into the restaurant! RibsRestaurants serving up saucy, smoked meats and sides come in as the fourth most popular cuisine among summer diners, enjoying a 9.5 percent increase from May through August.

What can your restaurant do to attract these diners?

Smoke a meaty brisket or add ribs for the season to bring in more diners. Don’t forget the delicious sides! Summer is the season for corn—what a great opportunity for corn on the cob, a cold corn salad or a mouthwatering cornbread. Utilize a local farm for your produce and tell your diners. This can be a surefire hit!

5. The Raw and the Cooked. 

When warm weather rolls in, diners are on the move for sushi. Though this light cuisine is a popular choice among Restaurant.com diners throughout the year; visits to sushi restaurants increase by 19.3 percent during the summer season.

How can my restaurant capitalize on this trend?

Now, we know not every restaurant can serve sushi, but how about adding a light summer fish, like monkfish or dover sole to your menu?

Here’s to planning early for the summer of 2015. Cheers!