Holiday Catering

Holiday Catering Tips for Restaurants
Holiday seasons bring many catering requests for hotels and restaurants. There are many unique, community and private events that take place during holidays. The holiday season can be a lucrative period for restaurants that focus on seasonal favourites and those which create a cheery mood.
Little preparations can go a long way in creating memorable experiences for your clients as they bolster your bottom line. How then will you prepare your restaurant for holiday catering? Below are some tips that will get you started.
Hire additional staff
Since there will be catered events and in house dinners, your back and front of house staff might be busier than they usually are. To overcome this challenge, you can add some temporary staff members to ensure your restaurant is ready to offer the holiday services.
If you do not know where to get additional staff, you can post in college job boards. You might get some students who are on holiday and are looking to earn extra money before classes resume.
The extra staff might be doing the least work like delivering food and washing dishes, but the extra hand will ensure things are going on smoothly in your restaurant.
Get the right equipment.
Before booking any event, first, confirm whether you have the right equipment needed to keep food at the right temperature for some hours. If you lack such equipment, invest in hot plates that can be used to warm up food in a brief period.
Also, you can add the number of napkins, utensils and plates so that your clients can get attended to as soon as they arrive.
When your client makes a catering order by phone or through online means, remember to ask them whether they have an ideal place for their food or they need help. You can also rent out some themed tables to attract new clients as you boost the satisfaction of your current clients.
Market
People might think that you are closed because it is the holiday season and you have to clear the air. To inform people, you are open during holidays; you can share images of your decorated restaurant in Instagram and Facebook, send emails to your customers and tell them the hours you are available during holidays or even share pictures of mouthwatering delicacies for your holiday menu in your social media channels.
Spread the word everywhere that you are offering catering services during holidays by attaching paper menus to each takeaway and delivery orders. You can also request your staff to hand out menus to all customers as they head out.
Once you gain interest, print more menus which you can take to events and distribute to people. Try to market in bigger parties because if a party is significant, they are higher chances that some guests are trying your food for the first time and if they like it…
By handing out menus to guests as they head out of an event or restaurant helps in ensuring that your services are considered the next time they want a party.
You can also market your catering services through online means. Social media and email marketing are ideal for promoting catering when the holiday season is nearing.
Decorate
During the holiday seasons, people tend to choose restaurants that cheer them upmost. To get the attention of your clients, and to cheer up the most, decorate your restaurant and let it have a feeling of belonging. It does not matter whether you are a come as you are a brewery or a sophisticated fine dining establishment, bring on the festivity period with some decorations.
While thinking of what to use as decorations, choose décor that is in line with the atmosphere and design of your restaurant.
You can make the next holiday an event to remember by following these easy holiday catering tips.
Remain Professional and be keen
If you are catering for a big event or an event with many people, remember always to provide good service. Small events need outstanding catering services, but significant events are most likely to be poorly serviced. Always ensure you are on time and leave enough time for your food to set and have enough traffic.
When you get to your clients, double-check the number of people, the hours you will be serving them, the place, the time and take note of any special requests. It would also be recommendable to ask your clients what they would like to be done with any leftover food. Some clients might want to take the food home while others might want to donate- always ask. Since you don’t know what your client wants with their leftover food, ensure you have boxes or cartons in hand to pack leftovers at the end of the party.
Look for special requests and have an outstanding menu.
Since this is holiday catering, people will not want to eat the obvious meals they have been seeing in menus all year long. Have a unique menu with seasoned dishes so that your clients can have options to choose from.
To come up with an outstanding menu, you might add a seasonal drink which is liked by many like hot chocolate or apple cider. You can even ads seasoned cakes or dishes to your menu. You can be extra and add mulled wine or warm egging to your menu.
Try to go the extra step and offer something out of the normal to prove to your clients that your chefs are fantastic to your guests and clients. To make the holiday memorable, you can sell the glasses and mugs as you sell drinks.
When serving, choose unique dinnerware. You can go for a punch of eye-catching colour plates or simple cream-coloured plates. However, remember not to be so traditional with the colours because your guests are looking for a classy meal and an outstanding experience.
In all rush holidays, you should never forget to check for any special requirements. Your clients are from all over, and some might have health complications while others have unique preferences.
You might have clients who want Kosher meals, meals without peanut, vegetarians or clients who don’t consume gluten. Your client might have told you they don’t consume some meals, but it wouldn’t hurt if you checked the menu with your client before cooking.
Be extra with table décor and settings.
If you are in a position where you can provide table decor and settings to your client, do it. By providing your client with tables, you will be saving them some task and give them time to concentrate on other areas like security and invites.
Great food might be an excellent way to catch the attention of your clients but decorating their table makes you earn even a better reputation. To create a good impression, you can pit some festive decorations from a party store.
Inform clients if you have other services
During holiday seasons, restaurants make most draws with extra services like parties and games. It does not matter whether you want colleagues to visit your restaurant for an after-work celebration or you want to be involved in workplace parties, let everyone know you offer holiday parties and get together.
The holiday season is also the right time for you to inform clients of any food specials and holiday drinks. You can use social media channels to inform them of such offers.
Follow-ups
Now that everything is done and you have served your client ask them for an online review and let them rate your services. Also, it would be best if you had a flyer or a stack of cards on your business table, which show the services you offer and your rates. To further your business, you can offer small discounts like a free brunch for people who set up catering services with your restaurant.
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