It’s (almost) autumn! And as those beautiful trees around town wear illustrious coats of color, our palates shift to a more savory, heartier focus. With that, and fall sports gearing up, the tried-and-true grill comes to the rescue in almost any pinch or plan.
It’s time to open up the inventory and find impactful promotional ideas to sport on your end-of-year seasonal menu that are easy to make, low cost, and exactly what your patrons are asking for from the grill.
Naturally, your menu’s real estate for new items starts as a special, an appetizer, or side — easy to throw on, easy to test in lower quantities, and with more consumer openness. All that means you can push the envelope a little further:
- Grilled Corn Elotes. Nothing says home cooking like grilled corn, so spice it up with a touch of Latin flare. Easily serve as a side with grilled mains or offer it in small quantities as a shareable item.
- Carne Asada Sopes. This Mexican favorite can live on any Mex, Tex, Latin, or American fare menu, and is easily shareable — meaning easy profit. Reserve avocado as a premium add-on.
- Grilled Chicken Wings. Don’t be afraid to grill your wings — labor-friendly and cost-effective. Consider bringing back promotional “Wing Days” on game days in conjunction with a drink special.
- Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers. If you have a Mediterranean concept, these skewers are tasty starters or shareables for just about anyone.
- Sweet Potato Skins stuffed with Grilled Andouille Sausage. This mouth-watering app gives savory a new definition. Slightly char sweet potato on the grill and add spice with andouille. Play with portion size to determine if you have a side, shareable, or normal appetizer.
Let’s anchor your menu with some heavy-hitting dishes that pack punch. Here are some suggested grill-friendly ideas to fire up:
- Grilled Italian Sausage over Mustard Spaetzle. This cost-effective, flavor-boom can be a crowd favorite. No-fluff meat with pasta is a no-brainer.
- Smoked Brisket with Grilled Radicchio and Red Onion Salad. If you have BBQ items or you are a BBQ joint, consider bites of your smoked brisket on a bed of grilled radicchio and red onions. Play with your traditional BBQ sauces to create a unique salad dressing as well. The nice thing is — most of these things are probably already in your kitchen.
- Grilled Braveheart® New York Strip. Here’s a creative twist: chop the steak into little bites on top of pieces of sourdough bread, and finish with mushroom and onions for that chef’s kiss flavor.
- Smoked Chicken Pot Pies. Don’t forget to use your grill’s indirect heat, like in the case of a smoked chicken pot pie. Consider variations depending on what sort of ingredient inventory your restaurant typically has.