Don't fear change
Regardless of your location, as the seasons change the availability of certain ingredients change. Depending on the breadth of your menu, this can present an excellent opportunity to shake up your products.
For the winter months, think hearty soups with chunks of meat. Beef and noodles and chicken noodle soups provide staples that will sell when it’s cold outside from late fall and on through the winter. These soups also provide a stable jumping off point to put your bakery cafe’s own spin on to create a signature soup all your own. Thick, creamy based soups also do well during the colder time of year.
For the spring and summer, lighter soups garner more favor from customers. Minestrone gives customers a nice, light offering for a warm spring or summer day. Also, for the more adventurous, cold soups go with a hot day. Customers who want a soup, but need more of a contrast to the temperature might gravitate to a gazpacho or chilled vegetable soup.
Like the soups, fall and winter sandwiches require heat and sustenance. Warm bread and hot fillings give customers satiety on a cold day. Cheesesteaks, grinders and even a sandwich with fried chicken for the protein portion will have customers lining up when temperatures are low. Thick, fresh breads and melted cheeses should top the list when thinking of cold-weather sandwiches.
Lighter meats and breads give customers the most satisfaction on a warmer day. Cold sandwiches with a turkey or ham and a nice artisan cheese with just a touch of mayonnaise or mustard give a cooling effect when to the weather gets hot. Wraps are another way to keep you summer sandwich offerings fresh and light.
The Local Spin
The local eating trend shows no sign of slowing down as nutrition and sustainability continue to be a major concern to consumers nationwide. Capitalize on this trend by creating soups and sandwiches that utilize local ingredients. Keep in touch with your local suppliers and let your customers know that as the seasons change, your offerings will change according to what your suppliers have that is good at that time of the year.
When you run certain items only when the ingredients are in season locally, it creates anticipation for the next fresh product, and gives patrons something to look forward to in the future. Make sure your customers know that you use local suppliers. This can also increase price points that consumers are willing to pay due to the fact that they believe in the local movement.