Tea time is generally associated with the British tradition of having a small snack and cup of tea in the late afternoon, usually around 4 p.m. Though tea time has always been a great excuse to have a social hour, today it is gaining attention as an extra meal, creating an opportunity to split meals to improve health. Many health studies have shown that eating many small meals throughout the day helps people reduce their caloric intake and prevent overeating at meals due to hunger. Due to the health benefits of light fare, the Food Channel is predicting that split meals, or tea time, will be one of the major food trends this year. Conveniently for restaurants, tea time has the potential to boost business and restaurant profit, similar to the way happy hour specials do.
Tea Time Restaurant Meals
Customers who seek out healthy eating at restaurants often look for ways to reduce portion sizes or split meals. While having half their meal packed up to-go, or ordering appetizers, are options, offering tea time restaurant dishes with smaller portion sizes and light fare, is a way to increase restaurant profit while providing calorically reasonable or healthy menu options to these health-conscious customers. Tea time restaurant meals also have the potential to increase restaurant business by making the venue an appealing place for customers to enjoy a light snack, during hours which are usually slow for food businesses. Unlike happy hour specials, which often include alcohol and fried snack foods, tea time restaurant options should include light, brunch-like dishes such as croissant sandwiches, scones, fruit and sliced cheese plates, and, of course, tea and coffee. Offering customers the option to buy coffee and tea by the pot, rather than per cup, will encourage and increase restaurant business by making the event almost hassle-free for customers and restaurant staff.
With a rise in the demand for healthy menu options, offering light, split meals, such as tea time, is a great way to keep up restaurant profit by drawing in even customers concerned with healthy eating at restaurants. Though tea time is typically accepted as being in the late afternoon, what time is tea time is not so important as tea time restaurant menu options, where the trend is concerned. By aiming to increase restaurant business by offering tea time restaurant options, restaurant profit can increase and businesses can create a platform in which to show off their skills. Though healthy menu options are likely to draw in health-conscious customers for off-peak hour meals such as tea time and happy hour specials, offering unique, even unhealthy dishes in small portions can be attractive to a wide range of customers who like split meals, small portions, and light snacks. Current culinary trends are undoubtedly focusing on healthy eating at restaurants. However, any tea time restaurant options can please health-conscious customers because they are small portions, by nature. By creating a tea time restaurant menu, “What time is tea time?” can become a trivial question because of the increase in restaurant business.