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How To Get Ready For Your Busiest Ever Christmas

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As the nights begin to slowly draw in, we're reminded that winter is on the horizon. For most people this time of year is about soaking up the last of the summer sun, but for you it should be about one thing: planning for Christmas!

The season where the nation goes into a spending frenzy will soon be upon us. So what can you do to make sure your business is the place to be?

1. Christmas Parties

Book them in early!

Across the country, social groups from office workers to old school friends will be heading out for food and drinks together.

It's a special occasion and therefore people are willing to spend a bit more money than during the rest of the year, but in return they want an experience to remember.

You can contact the people who booked with you last year and ask if they want to book again, run social media promotions and take out advertisements in local newspapers.

Getting booked up early will take the pressure off, giving you time to converse with your guests and ensure you can deliver what they need well ahead of time.

A good way to liven up the traditional January slowdown in trade is to offer cheaper parties into the new year. This is a great way to increase demand and satisfy more customers who would otherwise miss out on a fully booked December.

Click here to visit our extensive guide on preparing your business for Christmas for more in-depth advice.


2. Equipment

To keep up with the festive demand you'll need equipment that can be relied upon to do the job.

  1. Soup kettles or soup warmers are perfect for Christmas as they easily store hot holding soup, gravy, Christmas roasts and mulled wine.
  2. With a busy festive period on the way, make sure you have crockery, cutlery and glassware in reserve to cope with the extra demand. 
  3. Chafing dishes are often used in static buffets and have a large capacity, which is perfect for a fully cooked festive period.
  4. Bains marie are vital for quick service - making them essential pieces of equipment when you're busy. With office parties occurring both in the afternoon and evenings, you need equipment to cope with the demand.
  5. Electric food warmers are perfect when presenting multiple dishes in a single sitting. They are typically designed to hold one or more gastronorm pans, and keep meals consistently heated from above and below.
  6. Bar blenders are great for making festive cocktails. They're always a high margin sale, which customers are usually happy to spend a little extra on - especially on special occasions like Christmas! 

3. Menu

Host tasting sessions in advance to show your food off and assess reactions. This is a great way to ensure customer satisfaction and secure that all-important repeat booking next year. Incentivise tasters by offering a small discount with on-the-spot bookings, making sure to pitch the experience on offer as well as the tasty menu!

Including plenty of vegan, vegetarian and free-from dishes on the menu will open your business up to a broader range of customers. And don't forget the veggie gravy!

In August 2018 it was reported that 70% of diners avoid a restaurant due to lack of meat-free dishes, proving that non-meat eaters are dictating where the group goes. If you don't satisfy the minority, the majority won't be walking through the door!

Find out how to profit from vegetarian and vegan food to ensure your front of house is busy and profitable this Christmas.

4. Booking System

Using an online reservation system will take the pressure off staff having to process bookings and assists you with table management. A major benefit of reservation systems is they are accessible 24/7, meaning you aren't limited to just accepting bookings during working hours.

You can also take bookings through TripAdvisor and social media channels to increase your exposure.

Visit our Christmas Shop for everything you'll need to give guests a memorable experience this year.

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