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How to Create Irresistible Seafood Specials for Lent

Reeling in Success: Crafting Tempting Seafood Delights for Lent

‍As the season of Lent approaches, restaurant operators have a unique opportunity to attract more customers by offering mouthwatering seafood specials. With many individuals choosing to abstain from meat on Fridays, it’s the perfect time to entice both Lent observers and seafood fanatics with innovative and delicious offerings. Here are effective strategies and ideas for creating irresistible dishes that will reel in more traffic and keep your customers coming back for more.

1. Lean on Value-Added dishes

To save time and labor in the kitchen, consider incorporating value-added dishes into your menu. This includes portioned cuts, breaded fish, and cleaned and filleted products. By using these convenient options, you can streamline prep without compromising on flavor.

Remember, the focus should always be on the quality of the seafood itself. A quick char, a perfect sear, or a strategic squeeze of citrus can elevate the taste and appeal of any dish. To round out your offerings, consider serving speed-scratch sides like Sysco Imperial Cheese Grits, Sysco Classic Spinach and Artichoke Dip, and Sysco Classic Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese to complement.

2. Light, Nutrient-Packed Dishes Appeal to All

In addition to catering to seafood enthusiasts, it’s important to attract health-conscious diners as well. Highlight lighter preparation methods and fresh components like herbs, citrus, and vegetables to make your dishes pop. Simple cooking techniques, such as cooking seafood “en papillote” or poaching can help bring out the natural flavors of the seafood while keeping it moist and tender. You’ll appeal to a wider range of customers and provide them with better-for-you dining choices.

3. Cross-Utilize Ingredients Across Cuisines

Inject creativity into your menu by incorporating seafood into popular dishes from various cuisines. For example, you can add salmon to bowls, tacos, wraps, or flatbreads, or bake cod into mac and cheese.

By cross-utilizing ingredients, you can save on costs and reduce labor while offering unique and flavorful options. Consider adding items like masala-spiced pollock tacos, potato-crusted haddock, miso-glazed salmon, Mexican shrimp ceviche tostadas, or crab cake sliders to entice your customers with exciting flavor combinations. Experiment with the ingredients you already have on hand to reduce waste and create both innovative and cost-effective dishes.

4. Offer a Variety of Seafood Options

To cater to different preferences and dietary restrictions, it’s important to offer a diverse range of seafood options on your menu. Include a mix of both popular choices like salmon, shrimp, and cod, as well as other varieties like mahi-mahi and tuna, that can pique the curiosity of adventurous diners. No matter the application, our Portico brand offers a wide variety of seafood solutions with the right product in the right tier to meet your needs.

5. Create Appealing Seafood Platters and Combos

Increase the appeal of your seafood specials by offering platters and combos that showcase a variety of flavors and textures. Seafood platters can include a selection of grilled, fried, and baked seafood options, accompanied by a variety of sides and sauces. Get creative – mix and match seafood and land-based proteins, catering to customers with different appetites and who prefer a variety of options. Plus, as an operator, it gives you flexibility in building out menu items at different food costs and price points – a win-win!

6. Incorporate Global Seafood Trends

Stay on top of the latest seafood trends from around the world and incorporate them into your menu. Whether it’s the poke bowls of Hawaii, the ceviche of Peru, or the street-style seafood snacks of Southeast Asia, drawing inspiration from global cuisines can add excitement and variety to your offerings. Stay informed about emerging trends through industry publications, social media, and attending food expos and conferences.

7. Promote Your Seafood Specials Effectively

Once you have created your irresistible seafood specials, it’s crucial to promote them effectively. Utilize various marketing channels such as social media, email newsletters, website banners, and table tents to highlight your seafood offerings.

Capture enticing photographs of your dishes and share them on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to attract attention and generate excitement. Consider partnering with local influencers or food bloggers to showcase your seafood specials to their followers.

By effectively promoting your specials, you can increase awareness and drive more traffic to your restaurant. Visit solutions.sysco.com to learn how we can help your business with menu design and marketing, menu engineering, and tools to help you maximize your online presence.