Early Launch of Fall Restaurant Menus and Trends

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fall donut

Fall Kicks Off Early This Year

Fall 2014 begins on September 23, but the restaurant industry already has a head start on the upcoming season’s menu. It all began when Starbucks announced the early launch of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, which even has it’s own twitter handle @TheRealPSL. After that, locations all over have begun to announce their seasonal offerings. So what’s going to be popular this year?

Desserts: Pumpkin and Other Seasonal Flavors

When fall arrives, pumpkin-flavored desserts are always a favorite. Au Bon Pain recently launched their fall menu which includes a pumpkin croissant and pumpkin coffee cake. Dunkin’ Donuts is enhancing their menu with pumpkin pie and pumpkin donuts, as well as pumpkin pie donut holes and pumpkin muffins. Starbucks is ramping things up with pumpkin-flavored scones and cream cheese muffins.

Moving on from pastries, frozen yogurt shops all across the country are here to stay during the winter months. Seasonal flavors are one of the ways they can keep customers coming in, even when the temperatures go down.

Customers can enjoy frozen yogurt shop Orange Leaf’s pumpkin pie, ginger bread and carmel apple flavors or FroYo’s pumpkin, pumpkin pie or snickerdoodle.

Drinks and Cocktails

Fall is the perfect season for warm drinks and in addition to the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts has also rolled out their pumpkin creme brulee coffee and lattes. Within the next month, coffee shops all across the United States will roll out beverages with hints of cinnamon, apple, cranberries and more.

Moving along to cocktails, Wine Enthusiast posted their five craziest cocktail trends for Fall 2014. They anticipate more bars and restaurants to use custom barware, elaborate garnishes, high end drinks with premium liquors, the use of the Chinese alcohol Baijiu, and “respectable cocktail shots” which are a little more upscale, such as an “Old Fashioned” shot.

Lunch and Dinner

Fall menus and limited time offers advance from just pumpkin or spice flavored items. Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar has brought back a customer favorite limited time offer: Pizzaburger sliders! These  sliders include pepperoni and bacon and are wrapped in their homemade pizza dough.

Au Bon Pain launched menu items with fall-themed flavors such as turkey and cheddar on nine-grain cranberry ciabatta, nine-grain cranberry ciabatta and cream cheese and turkey, kale and wild rice soup.

The chia seed has been a hot topic and has been predicted to be incorporated in more menus this fall. In their article “What’s up with the Chia Seeds trend?,” Allergease explains this seed provides great health benefits as they are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and protein.

El Rey, a coffee and luncheonette bar in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, serves their chia seed breakfast pudding which includes coconut, almond, banana and apricot. Want to try this at home? The New York Times posted their adapted version of this recipe on their website.

Need Help?

From cooking equipment to dinnerware in fall colors, visit CentralRestaurant.com to make sure your restaurant’s fall menu is prepared and served well!

Image at top photo credit: Dalboz17 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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