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Fourth of July

Fourth of July Food Trends

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, which means it is time to celebrate America’s birthday! Independence Day is commonly celebrated with food. Since most employers give their employees the day off, they are ready for the most relaxing summer day possible. Get your restaurant ready with food and drink that will draw customers in to celebrate the holiday.

Traditional Fourth of July Cuisine

When thinking about summer holidays and food, people tend to think of All-American classics. Backyards soon fill with celebrations of barbecue, picnic sides and icey cold beverages. In fact, customers generally pick the same foods to make every year based off of tradition. In a survey performed by Instantly, 34% of respondents stated they pick their food choices based off of tradition. What exactly are traditional Fourth of July foods? The list includes barbecued meats, potato salad, coleslaw, potato chips and apple pie. Traditional American flavors drive consumers’ food orders; serving these foods at your restaurant will surely draw a crowd.

Popular Food and Drink

People do not tend to argue on what foods they consider traditional American cuisine. However,  some consume certain All-American foods more commonly than others on July 4th. In the same Instantly survey, hamburgers drove the most sales as 43% of consumers choose to eat a hamburger on this holiday. Other common main dishes to order are barbecue chicken and shrimp. Traditional side dishes reigned supreme as customers consumed the most potato salad and corn on the cob.

After dinner, consumers stick to the All-American apple pie. Other common desserts include classic summer favorites such as fresh berry cobbler and root beer floats. For the customer who does not have to return to work the next day, many take the opportunity to drink more than the usual weeknight. Beer is a very common alcoholic drink among Americans, especially craft beer in Michigan. This year, however, customers are now gravitating towards a newly popular summer drink. According to Specialty Food News, Rose, a light red wine has grown in popularity by 53% this year. Rose is expected to be a heavy seller this Fourth of July, especially amongst the Millennial generation.

This Fourth of July, take into consideration what will draw a crowd to your restaurant this year. Driven by traditional American foods, customers will likely order popular American cuisines when dining out. This will continue through desserts and drinks as customers sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday while dining at your restaurant.

Easter

Traditional Easter Meals

Every year, Americans gather around to celebrate the Easter holiday. Although the holiday itself is Christian, many non-Christian Americans participate in some type of celebration. In fact, an estimated 80% celebrate in some way, shape or form. Most commonly, families and friends get together around a table, 15% dine out as well. Whether they gather for a brunch after church or a large family dinner, make sure your restaurant is prepared.

Easter Brunch

Common among households with young children are Easter eggs. These eggs, usually decorated the week prior, make an easy breakfast item. In a restaurant setting, serve different types of eggs, and leave the decorated variety for decoration. A delicious way to serve eggs in spring-fashion is through asparagus or spring greens quiche. On the sweeter side of breakfast, try to incorporate eggs in French toast; a brunch classic.

Easter Dinner

Although served most commonly on Good Friday, hot cross buns are one of the most traditional holiday dishes. These sweet buns are filled with currants or raisins and topped with icing in the shape of a cross to symbolize

Jesus’ death. Another common bread served during the holiday is Italian Easter bread. Shaped as a wreath to symbolize the crown of thorns worn by Jesus; the Italians placed colored eggs on the outside and baked with the bread. Adding these breads to the menu is a way to serve traditional meals at your restaurant.

As a main dish, ham or lamb is the traditional meat of choice. The Hebrews always sacrificed a lamb. However, as they converted to Christianity, they continued celebrating with Lamb. As time passed and migration continued in the United States, eating lamb became less common. Slaughter occurred in the fall and with lack of refrigeration, curing of meat took place. The only meat available during this time was the cured ham, hence the new tradition.  Highlighting ham or lamb on a menu is a great way to attract customers to your restaurant.

Easter Dessert

Although nothing has developed throughout the years as a traditional Easter dessert, many sweet treats are common at the table. Many families eat cakes and pies, especially with fruity flavors since the holiday usually falls at the arrival of spring. Chocolate bunnies are ever popular in Easter baskets. Incorporating smaller versions of the bunnies as cake decorations is also a great way to include this Easter classic.

As Easter Sunday rolls around, think about adding traditional dishes to your menu. Customers will likely dine all throughout the day as brunch and dinner are both common meals. Whether you serve Easter bread or hot cross buns, lamb or ham; your restaurant patrons will surely enjoy the holiday.

St. Patrick’s Day Meal

Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Foods and Celebrations

Although not a national holiday, the United States holds huge celebrations around St. Patrick’s Day. This holiday, held on the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death, commemorates the famous Irishman. St. Patrick was known for his noble missionary work in Ireland and some historians believe he introduced the island to Christianity. Nowadays, many of America’s largest cities hold St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and parades. On March 17th, Americans everywhere dress in green, drink beer and eat Irish food. In fact, many American celebrations are larger than the Irish celebrations. In order to attract customers to your restaurant, create your own St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

St. Patrick’s Day Origins

Interestingly enough, the Irish did not make this holiday a major celebration until the 1970’s. Before, they simply attended church in the morning and returned home to a large family dinner of cabbage and bacon. The Irish immigrants celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the United States beginning in the 1700’s. In 1845, when the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland, many more immigrants ventured to the United States. Seen as a nuisance, the Americans portrayed Irish immigrants as drunken monkeys when celebrating the holiday. Years later, these immigrants discovered their political influence through their large number of people. The Irish-Americans used St. Patrick’s Day parades as a showcase of strength and became a must-attend event for political candidates.

Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Food

By the mid-1900’s, St. Paddy’s Day developed into a major celebration for all Americans. While residents of Chicago turn the river green, many cities hold parades and restaurants serve traditional Irish meals and beer. The most famous meal, corned beef and cabbage, became popular when Irish immigrants could not afford bacon. They turned to corned beef, a cheaper yet flavorful substitute for bacon. Although not as common, serve bangers and mash for the non-cabbage fans. As a side dish, serving a variety of potatoes in addition to Irish soda bread gives a nice Irish touch. For those of legal age, serve Guinness, Ireland’s most famous beer. For dessert, add whiskey to a chocolate cake or make bread pudding with leftover soda bread.

To celebrate St. Paddy’s Day at your restaurant, add Irish specials to your menu. Many consumers have never made traditional Irish dishes and often take this holiday as an opportunity to eat Irish fare. In addition, meals like corned beef and cabbage take hours to prepare, hours that customers do not want to spend cooking. Take this holiday as an opportunity to serve your customers delicious Irish meals.

Throughout the years, St. Patrick’s Day has developed into a massive Irish tradition that Americans love to celebrate. Whether through parades or food, consumers are constantly looking for a way to enjoy the holiday. Add Irish meals like bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage and soda bread to your menu for the celebration. When you serve your customers traditional Irish foods and drinks you will certainly drive traffic to your restaurant on St. Patrick’s Day.

 

Valentine's Day

2017 Valentine’s Day Trends

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and although not a national holiday, restaurants treat this day more special than most. Valentine’s Day is celebrated across the globe, with origination in Rome back in the 3rd Century. Although the legends of Valentine’s Day beginnings differ, today we have come to know February 14th as a day for lovers. Here in the United States, restaurants see this as a huge day for sales. The holiday is the second busiest day of the year in the restaurant business, only behind Mother’s Day.

Valentine’s Day Statistics

American’s spend $147 each year on Valentine’s Day, 7 million of that towards dining out. The average couple will spend $147 on February 14th. Singles spend money too. On this holiday single men on average $40 while single women spend an average of $71. This increase in dining from both couples and singles gives restaurants everywhere an extra $$$ on the bill than a usual night out. No matter the relationship status, Americans are willing to spend a few more dollars on this holiday than the average Tuesday. With such an increase in sales, restaurants must take note as to what customers want to eat.

Valentine’s Day Dining Trends

Remember also, Valentine’s Day is not just for couples anymore. “Galentine’s Day” and single’s parties are cause to celebrate as well. However, couples and singles celebrate different. AaronAllen and Associates state that couples would rather have an experience on Valentine’s Day than receive gifts. A great way to incorporate this preference is giving your customers an amazing night at a restaurant. Fill their dining out experience with great service and food. Couples gravitate towards ethnic foods like Italian, French and Spanish cuisines. However, cuisine is not always the deciding factor on where to eat. 42% of diners will choose their favorite restaurant to celebrate this special day. Singles however, tend to order take-out or delivery. Eater states that  pizza, wings and egg rolls dominate their orders. Do not forget about dessert. Chocolate reigns supreme on Valentine’s Day as 50% of consumers prefer some sort of cocoa treat as dessert.

This February 14th, take both singles and couples into consideration when planning your restaurant menu. Remember to incorporate a great experience for those who dine in and a carry-out option for those eating at home. As diners flock to restaurants this year, remember your customer’s needs and you will have a very successful Valentine’s Day.

Van Eerden Fall Food Show 2016

Every year, Van Eerden hosts an assortment of food shows across the state. This year’s Fall Food Show brought in hundreds of customers as a last hurrah of the food show season. We held this year’s food show at Soaring Eagle Casino on October 11th and featured new items, promotions and a Holiday Party the night prior. A total of 179 vendors in took the booths and hundreds of customers attended. With so much action the casino walls buzzed with excitement during the entire the two-day event.