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Mastering the Easter Menu: A Chef’s Guide to Seasonal Success

Easter is a golden opportunity for hospitality as it’s not limited to just Easter Sunday, this celebration spans a four-day weekend and extends into the two-week school vacation, offering numerous dining possibilities.

The Rising Trend of Easter Dining

Despite a general decline in spending in 2023, Easter weekend saw a significant surge of 14% in bookings, as reported by Zonal, a leading hospitality technology provider. This trend indicates a resilient demand for dining out during the Easter period.

Harnessing the Extended Easter Weekend

Restaurants can capitalise on the extended Easter weekend and the two-week school holiday by offering attractive deals such as “children eat free” or “children eat for £1.” This strategy not only draws families but also maintains a steady flow of customers throughout the Easter Holidays.

Embracing the Spirit of Giving

Pubs and Cafés can participate in charitable initiatives like an Easter egg hunt for a cause or a charity Easter brunch. This act of goodwill promotes a positive image for the establishment and will also resonate with customers.

Understanding Customer Behaviour

Understanding the nuances of customer behaviour during the bank holiday 4-day weekend is helpful in planning. Different days attract different crowds. Lunchtimes and early evenings are likely to see more families, while brunch sales are a big winner and trending up.

Capitalising on Good Friday

Good Friday is traditionally associated with fish consumption, providing an opportunity for seafood-focused menus. For Christians, it’s a day of fasting, with many abstaining from eating meat, making fish a more popular option.

Weekend Buzz in Pubs

Weekends draw in more drinkers in pubs. Offering small plates and bar snacks becomes a strategic move to capitalise on this trend and promote a convivial atmosphere.

Afternoon Teas during Easter

To occupy the mid-afternoon lull, restaurants can use the popularity of afternoon teas during Easter. Pre-prepped items make it easier for junior staff to handle, allowing chefs to prepare for the upcoming evening service.

Creating a Memorable Atmosphere

For families with children, providing Easter baskets and organising activities enhances the overall dining experience. Easter-themed decorations and the inclusion of spring flowers contribute to a fresh spring ambience.

Easter Sunday Menu

Easter Sunday provides an opportunity for restaurants to showcase their creativity. Traditional Sunday roasts with Easter roast lamb can look attractive with roast vegetables such as beetroot, chanterray carrots and halved bulbs of garlic roasted.

Or, how about going beyond a traditional Easter roast lamb with different marinades and rubs to give the lamb a distinctive flavour. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and mint, which are synonymous with spring, can be used to infuse the meat with fresh, aromatic notes. Additionally, introducing a variety of glazes, like a honey and mustard or a red wine reduction, can add a sweet or savoury contrast to the rich flavours of the lamb.

For vegetables, incorporate spring greens like asparagus, peas, and artichokes, offering a lighter, more vibrant side dish option. These can be served alongside or as part of a colourful vegetable medley, adding both visual appeal and a range of textures to the plate.

Chefs can also get creative with the presentation. Constructing a visually appealing layout on the plate with a harmonious colour scheme can enhance the overall dining experience. Utilising edible flowers and fresh herbs as garnishes not only adds a pop of colour but also introduces subtle flavours and scents, contributing to a multi-sensory meal.

Finally, chefs might consider offering a vegetarian or vegan alternative to the traditional Easter roast, such as a well-seasoned nut roast or a stuffed butternut squash, to cater to all dietary preferences.

The Role of the Bar

The bar can also contribute to the Easter celebration with themed cocktails, adding a festive touch to the beverage menu.

Special Easter Desserts

Special Easter desserts, inspired by childhood memories, are very popular. From hot cross buns and traditional puddings to fancy cakes will all delight customers.

There is lots of potential for restaurants and cafés to boost business over Easter by offering family deals, themed menus, and charitable events. Understanding customer behaviour and offering seasonal specials, such as fish dishes on Good Friday and Easter-themed desserts, can enhance the dining experience. Implementing these strategies can help establishments increase their appeal and customer flow during the Easter season.

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