Menu Ideas

It’s always a tough decision to change up a menu in any establishment and, if it’s not done right it can affect takings. But when menu changes and additions are executed well, the rewards can be vast.
We’ve put together a short list of ideas below that you may find useful when updating and refreshing your own menu…

Seasonal Specials Board:

Seasonal specials are a great way to maintain your classic menu whilst offering a few new variants as it demands little commitment or investment and is unlikely to alienate regular customers in the process. If one of your specials is in great demand throughout its run, you could always add it to your mainstay of offerings on a permanent basis, extend its run on the specials board or bring it back once a year to create even more demand for it. We’ve compiled a few examples, below to get you started…


Our pigs in blankets and gastro stuffing balls are the perfect festive menu addition to any catering business: We would suggest battering and deep frying them and serving with a dollop of cranberry sauce for an amazing Christmassy sharing starter/side (perfect for chip shops)

Halloween & Bonfire Night

Throughout October/November there are many items you could add to temporary specials like an autumn sausage bap complete with a Blakemans Cumberland ring, a smearing of apple sauce and some fried onions or a toad in the hole dish made with our pigs in blankets to make it extra special.


As ever, classic comfort food is a must in colder weather. Sausage and mash is one of the most popular dishes on many menus up and down the country, have you tried one of our Cumberland rings to add to the wow factor to this classic meal. Other sausage winter warmers include hot-pots and casseroles meaning that you can change up the menu without having to purchase more ingredients.


Hot dogs and burgers are a firm favourite throughout the summer months and can be premiumised in a heartbeat with the addition of some crispy onions, sauces and a brioche bun. Salads are so appealing in hot weather and our meatballs are the perfect accompaniment to any salad dish.

Appetisers / Starters & Sides

Appetisers, starters and sides are a brilliant way of adding some interesting and unusual dishes to your menu that your customers can try without the expense or risk of ordering as a main. There is a side that can work for any catering business and are a great way of creating extra revenue to each order via upselling.

International Flavours:

International flavours are always a great option here, like Albondigas, Spanish meatballs in a garlic tomato sauce, typically served in small clay dishes as a Tapas food. These can be served as a bar snack, side, special or even as a main menu staple. German street food classic, currywurst, is another international favourite – A premium hot dog served in a tomato sauce, flavoured with curry powder and chips on the side.

Using existing ingredients to create new dishes:

Versatility is in the very nature of the sausage. Utilising this within your offerings allows you to expand your menu without adding extra skews, which in turn reduces your initial investment in a new menu listing as well as reducing the risk of waste.

If you currently have a sausage on your menu then consider another serving option for it that would be suitable and achievable for your business.

Another great example of a multi-use menu staple would be our Italian style pork and beef meatballs: suitable for traditional offerings like a pasta or pizza dish as well as more unusual dishes; in a salad with couscous, as a starter with a dipping sauce, for example, or in gravy with chips and peas (like a certain flat pack furniture store phenomenon). Our meatballs are also a firm favourite with children, however they are served and are an easy way boost your children’s menu and your main fayre simultaneously. They are even a great ‘food on the go’ staple when added to a sub or sandwich, in a take-away pot with some BBQ dip or on a pizza slice. As they are pre-cooked and individually frozen, they can be regenerated in mere minutes, with perfect results each time.

New Frontiers:

A great way to extend your takings as well as your customer base is to capitalise on thriving trends and markets. One area of the catering and food service sector that has seen huge and continual growth over the past few years has been the ‘food on the go’ sector, especially prevalent for breakfast trade. We created our pre-cooked pork patty to help our customers to achieve a breakfast on the go service without adding mess, fuss or waste. These pre-cooked and individually frozen patties can be removed from the freezer portion by portion and regenerated in a matter of minutes, ideal for the fast pace required by morning commuters.

Tools and Resources:

In order to help our customers to update their menus and to advertise their offerings with as little expense as possible, we have a range of POS posters available to download for free from our website, to be used in conjunction with our products.

Download your FREE POS posters here

Training staff on menu updates can be made much easier when using our product specification sheets, which we have created for each and every one of our products. They contain all of the information you may need for your business including; allergens, storage and cooking instructions as well as nutritional advice. They are a great resource that you can download directly from our products pages in our trade log-in.

If you do not have a trade log-in then please contact either your Blakemans product supplier or, letting them know which products and information you are interested in.