We might be wrapping up delicious Labor Day festivities, but October — and National Seafood Month — will be here before we even notice the change in the air.
National Seafood Month is a fantastic opportunity for restaurants to reel in both their aquatic-loving regulars and entice H20-curious newcomers. Consider these seasonal seafood strategies to optimize sales this October.
It’s a serious buzzword, right? But in many industries, it can be hard to define sustainability and how it positively affects our world. In this case, seafood is considered somewhat naturally sustainable, because it’s renewable: Many species are able to naturally reproduce and replenish their populations, especially when combined with proper planning and limits that allow populations to thrive. Thus, seafood is generally more sustainable than most other food segments.
Another hallmark of seafood sustainability is whether a product attains certification from one of the recognized conservation bodies. For example, Bay Winds® Chilean Sea Bass is certified legally caught and sustainable by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) also considers the fish to be sustainable. This sea bass product is 100% all natural and wild-and long-line caught near the northern shelf of Antarctica.
Similarly, Bay Winds Faroe Island Salmon is also all natural, farm-raised in large, free-floating nets that allow the salmon to swim in sheltered waters. The islands, between Iceland and Norway, north of Scotland, have made a commitment to responsible, sustainable aquaculture that produces exceptional quality Atlantic salmon, and the fish is sourced from certified sustainable fisheries there. Not only can your restaurant feel good about its impact on the environment with products like these, but research shows consumers are most definitely prioritizing sustainable sourcing.
And what better way to celebrate National Seafood Month than at the biggest fall events around — like, say, a football tailgate? There’s certainly room under the tent for seafood recipes alongside grilled items, fried chicken, and sides. Kick things off with popular salmon spreads to schmear on bagels, chips, and crackers. Your second play might be fish dips; sea bass is becoming a prominent go-to dip ingredient.
The most passionate football fans care about regionality. So, tailor the game plan near Louisiana to items like jambalaya, featuring Bay Winds Key West Pink Shrimp. Harvested from the idyllic waters of the Dry Tortugas, an archipelago 70 miles off the coast of Key West, these shrimp are all natural and wild-caught in an environment free of harsh chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotics. If you’re attending a game in the mid-Atlantic region, Maryland crab cakes might be the big play to wow the competition.
Seafood is also a perfect fit for the grill. Fill tacos with grilled fish, covered in Caribbean-style seasonings and toppings. Stuff sliders with crabmeat, fish cakes, and salmon. Of course, grilled BBQ shrimp, slathered in your choice of sauce, will always be a grill MVP. Restaurants can consider crafting some branded, simple-prep tailgate seafood kits for families that are on-the-go.
October is obviously also home to the most scarily tasty holiday — Halloween. For National Seafood Month, restaurants that specialize in seafood could offer some fish LTOs that tingle the taste buds. Witch sole, or rex sole, may be frightening to look at in the water, but when cooked, it actually has a mild, sweet flavor.
Monkfish, or sea devils, dispatch their prey with some pretty scary methods, but their meaty, mild characteristics will work well in a dish like an All Hallows’ Salad, featuring some combination of orange slices, bacon, mushrooms, and a wine sauce. Or have guests howling at a moonfish, or opah, special. These strange fish have a rich and creamy flavor that is excellent for tostadas or even a hearty pasta sauce. With October on the horizon, it could be just the time for your restaurant to go fish!