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Holiday Comfort Food: A Seasonal Item for Every Season

November 23, 2012

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving dinner — I know I did. I can’t think of any food I much prefer eating, gustatorily-speaking. There’s just something about mixing together a plate of stuffing (dressing?), cranberry sauce, turkey, potatoes, and egg noodles in broth (my family’s weird; we don’t do gravy). And since I bet most people are spending today with their families rather than reading my food service posts, I’m going to go ahead and use Thanksgiving dinner as inspiration for a brief, seasonal item-related post.

Turn this into a sandwich and watch your customers light up.

We’ve gone over seasonal items before: the benefits, the limitations, the stats. Seasonal items are popular. Your customers often expect them, and chances are if they’re any good they’ll be ordered. The fall ones tend to be pumpkin flavored — lattes, coffee, pie, pancakes, ravioli, &c. For Christmas, people usually go peppermint.

But what about Thanksgiving?

For a Thanksgiving seasonal item that I’ve even seen restaurants offer successfully year-’round, consider a “turkey dinner” sandwich, sub, etc. A layered creation born of thickly sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce, all on some crusty bread. The turkey dinner sandwich at the sub store near my college apartment was a big seller all year — it seems like college students away from home take a lot of solace from holiday comfort food. Even in July, it’s desirable.

So here’s my brief holiday tip: don’t underestimate the value of comfort food, whether you’re serving it seasonally or all year. Looking for a new sandwich idea? Turn to Thanksgiving for inspiration.

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