Summer Salad Days for Restaurants

There’s more farm at the table in summer. The humble salad gets elevated to its highest and most flavorful version. So, step aside Caesar. Everybody’s going to branch out on restaurant menus right about now.

Salads Taste Better Out

Your guests know it. Chefs aren’t afraid to use fats, salt, or creativity in ways home cooks don’t. They balance seasonal ingredients with smooth and crunchy textures. It’s the combination of raw and cooked ingredients plus herbs, grains, proteins, and dressings that works. Pros tantalize the eye too. Many restaurants spiral veggies or pattern them diagonally, horizontally, or even scatter them artfully. Why not frame a salad by fanning thinly sliced veggies across the top? Then, drizzle a balsamic glaze.

A Field Guide to Summer 

Off-the-vine heirloom tomatoes take center stage and the Caprese salad is one of the season’s stars. Many restaurants source local cheeses and herbs and even grow their own. So, this salad likely gets more flavorful the closer it stays to your restaurant’s home. Consider it a winner.

If you’re making a main dish salad, step up proteins for umph. For instance, a Crab Louis salad, featuring crab meat always impresses. Or your own creative salad with spiced chickpeas or cold grilled tenderloin makes it a meal too. 

Fruit and Veggies Team Up 

The dried fruits of winter are history. Think watermelon and cucumber with feta and mint. Baby greens with grilled chicken, walnuts, blue cheese, and raspberries. How about endive with mixed greens, nectarines, and sliced grilled beets? Right now, balsamic vinegars with fruit overtones work well with olive oil too. 

Seven Summer Tips

  1. Beware. Hangry and cranky go with heat and humidity. So, keep the water flowing early and often. 
  2. Mentioning that your salad ingredients are locally sourced often earns extra customer loyalty. 
  3. Keep delivery going in case your customers don’t want to work up a sweat going out to lunch. 
  4. Language on your summer menu makes a difference. Sprinkle in crispy, magical adjectives. Is it lettuce or tender local baby greens? Croutons or sourdough croutons?
  5. Chilling a plate is a nice trick to keep greens lively.
  6. Edible flowers are in now too! Add nasturtium on top for a wow. 
  7. Greens can never be too clean. When in doubt, rinse again.

Crisp Greens. Fresh People

We can all wilt right about now. Did you know that specialized solar shade materials can block up to 95% of the sun’s heat and rays? When they get added to a patio enclosure system, restaurant guests feel a 10-degree temperature drop right away. Pair them with misting fans and air conditioning to cool things down even more. Ask our experts how to design a patio enclosure that makes it easy to enjoy any salad in the perfect outdoor setting. We’re here for you.

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