With the summer about to swing into season, many restaurants may want to consider the effectiveness that new menu trends could have in the next few months. Between customers' expectations of summery dishes and keeping up with the competition, looking ahead to the next big option will likely help businesses find more success.

Only the freshest
According to Restaurant News, appealing to customers' desires during the summer is the easiest strategy for success, and the latest trends have pointed to fresh ingredients as a growing option. Popular options have involved new salads that highlight fresh greens and unexpected twists, like one restaurant's summer salad that mixes kale with fruit and field greens. Other businesses are highly invested in sustainable and fresh proteins like seafood.

Seafood has a chance to truly strike a chord with a hungry audience, because it offers lighter alternatives to heavier meat dishes. With growing support for many operators to find local and sustainable salmon, tuna and shrimp – just a few possibilities – there's no doubt that these new opportunities can be especially effective.

The wonderful avocado
The Packer reported that another popular option that has appeared on many menus, in an attempt to better connect with health-seeking diners, is complementing this focus on freshness. Avocados have become extremely common on menus in the recent past, especially when they pertain to appetizers and condiments. More than 25 produce companies currently promote or offer items based off avocados, including newly exotic choices like avocado mayonnaise and even syrup for ice cream

Sprouting opportunities
Just as common in this recent freshness focus has been flowery produce, with broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts gaining attention on hundreds of restaurant menus. They may even soon reach the breakfast market, if recent breakfast sandwiches and paninis that feature spinach and kale catch on with a larger crowd. As a whole, this new market shift has only helped further influence the adoption of these types of vegetables, helping operators everywhere better align their attempts in the near future to connect with audience tastes.  

Hospitality and restaurant industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in food service equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.