5 Nostalgic Menu Items to Attract New Event Guests


When looking back on your childhood, some of your fondest memories probably revolve around food. Think: mixing up a fresh batch of cookie dough and licking the back of the spoon, or opening up a beloved relative’s cookbook and going straight to the spaghetti sauce recipe to get some inspiration for a family dinner. 

Nostalgia is making a big comeback — especially when it comes to food. More and more, bars offering fancier versions of your favorite childhood eats, from pizza bites to sugary cereals. The decadent milkshake trend is all over Instagram. So, why not capitalize on the trend of old-school menu items to attract new event guests to your restaurant? Read on to learn about five classic menu items impacting the food industry in a big way.

1. Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Whether your go-to iteration was of the blue-box variety or bubbling over the sides of a casserole dish, it’s an item that stands the test of time. Now, chefs across the country are looking for ways to include this item on their daily menus. We’ve spotted it in deep-fried appetizer form or as a high-end entree infused with truffle oil. This is one item that will be hard for your customers to resist.

2. Breakfast treat classics

For many kiddos, toaster pastries were the perfect on-the-go breakfast to eat while rushing to catch the school bus. So, it’s no wonder that shops dedicated to our favorite breakfast foods keep popping up. Kellogg’s NYC is on board — who could say no to a Pop-Tart ice cream sandwich? Figuring out how to incorporate nostalgic breakfast items into delectable menu additions is a fun way to mix up your traditional event offerings.

3. Hot dogs

When it comes to hot dogs, your mind may wander to fond memories of baseball games or summer cookouts. You can leverage that nostalgia to enhance your events menu. Get creative by offering a hot dog made of high-quality meat, with inventive toppings like crispy onions, aioli, or a Wellington-style bratwurst surrounded by puff pastry crust. Not only will this dish bring back fond memories and please the palate, but it’s something that guests are likely to talk about. Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools out there!

4. Milkshakes

Ah, the viral dessert that’s taking over Instagram. These desserts were once found in a diner-like setting for a quarter. Now, they’re blowing up on social media. Chefs are finding fun ways to elevate this simple dessert. Gone are cherries and whipped cream. In their place are toppings like chocolate doughnuts, mini cheeseburgers, and scorched marshmallows. Want to impress event guests? Consider adding a DIY milkshake bar to your private events menu. It will surely wake up their taste buds — and your social media accounts.

5. Cookie dough

What is it about cookie dough that has caused it to become the latest dessert trend? It’s likely the thrill of being given the go-ahead to snack on something that was once a no-no. (It can be dangerous to eat raw cookie dough that’s meant to be baked). Cookie dough bars are becoming increasingly popular with millennials and older generations alike. Elevate your private events menu by adding this unique dessert as an option. It could be a hit at birthday parties or a fun addition to a summer celebration.

Your creativity will lead to more event bookings

Start using these tips and get the right menu in place right now to help you drive more business and bookings. And, if you are a Tripleseat customer, we’ll help those new bookings for events and catering orders run smoothly. If you’re not a Tripleseat customer and you’re interested in learning more about Tripleseat’s event management tools and CRM features, schedule a demo at your convenience to take a closer look.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the Gather blog and written by Holly Edwards.