Outdoor Dining Foods

Friends toasting spritz at open air cocktail bar restaurant - Life style concept with young people having fun together sharing drinks on happy hour at garden party - Bright vivid filtered color tones

Summer is the time for showcasing fresh fruits and vegetables—especially for customers who enjoy dining al fresco.

  • Salad Season. Crunchy lettuce-based salads sell best in the warm-weather months. Differentiate this menu segment with mix-and-match toppers (think garbanzo beans, crispy prosciutto, berries, and stone fruit).
  • Cheers! Creative, colorful beverages draw in customers—especially when they have a health halo. Keep plenty of sliced fruit on hand for garnishes and purees. Fresh herbs and edible flowers add intense flavor for pennies per drink. Blend in Ready-Set-Serve Lemonade or Margarita Mix for easier prep and tangy flavor.
  • Cold Desserts. Social media-worthy popsicles made with bright fruits, house-made seasonal peach ice cream and watermelon sorbet, chilled lime pies, and strawberry-topped cheesecake squares are on-trend and fun for sharing.

Outdoor Dining Foods Checklist

  • Quench their thirst! Add to or create a separate drinks menu for parched diners. Offer plenty of non-alcoholic options for families with kids and those that don’t imbibe. Skip the sodas and craft healthy beverages made with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Eliminate salad prep with Ready-Set-Serve Salads and Blends paired with nutrient-dense toppers like broccoli florets, Brussels sprouts halves, sliced peaches & plums, and chunks of melon.
  • Light up the grill and char meats, fruits, and vegetables for the distinctly summer flavor customers crave. Think onions, tomatoes, stone fruits, and bell peppers.
  • Super Sides: Bypass recent French fry and onion ring shortages by offering creative substitutes like fried zucchini sticks, cauliflower rice tater tots, mini baked potatoes, and panko-fried green beans with a spicy dipping sauce,

Diners are increasingly hyper-focused on high-protein and plant-based foods. Alongside all of the new-fangled, lab-based, cell-cultured options out there is the humble bean. A staple food for millenia, beans are being re-examined as a healthy, versatile ingredient worthy of menu inclusion.

  • Retro and heirloom recipes—like Southern succotash, French cassoulet, and Cajun red beans and rice—fit the bill for those in search of authenticity.
  • Most world cuisines incorporate some type of bean in their classic dishes. Think feijoada in Brazil, black beans and rice with plantains in Puerto Rico, and garbanzo beans in Israel. Modern interpretations of these recipes are packed with produce and herbs.
  • The creamy texture of mung beans is proving an ideal substitute for those that are eliminating soy from their diets.