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Christmas preparation Take Stock Magazine

Getting your Bar in Order

Christmas and New Year – plus of course the run up and aftermath is a critical time for hospitality and catering businesses. Get it right and it’s the icing on your 2018 financial cake. Get it wrong and 2019 will start on a low.

Make it simple

According to Marshall Kingston, senior brand manager for Tetley Tea – Out of Home, “Over the festive period, customers have a much more relaxed approach to their eating habits, taking the opportunity to socialise and indulge in festive treats.” So, make it easier for them – and you – by having cut back menus and drinks listings. This speeds up choice, makes service faster and puts customers who just want to chill, at ease.

What to do

• Have you got a simplified drinks menu ready, to speed up selection?

• Does this cover children, non-drinking adults and alcoholic suggestions?

• Do you have food and drink matches on your drinks lists?

• If your licence allows, have you got a ‘take-out’ menu for customers heading off to a party elsewhere?

• Have you got carrier bags available too?

Spirits &Cocktails Listings

There are more sales of spirits in December than any other month. What’s more, customers are willing to trade up.

•Have you got a spirits menu ready?

•Does this cover entry level, premium and super premium options?

•Do your staff know these options – as staff recommendation is a major driver of sales?

•Do you have a Christmas cocktails listing ready – and staff trained to make them?

•Does this cover both alcoholic cocktails and mocktails?

•If your listing has more than 12 choices – cut it down!

Champagne & Sparkling

•Champagne is the ultimate festive drink, but Prosecco, Cava and other sparklers are firm favourites too.

•Have you got your stocks ordered and sufficient cooler space organised?

•Have you trained your staff howto open Champagne safely? If not, check out our feature on

•Have you got sufficient ice and ice buckets organised?

•Are your goblets and flutes ready?


•Have you simplified your wine list?

•Does this include food pairing information?

•Have you trained your staff about the wines available?

•Have you ordered a low cost red that can go into your mulled wine?

•Do your staff know what other wines you have available? Some customers will want to impress by ordering something special!

After Dinner

•Have you got a short list of sherries, liqueurs and ports ready?

•Does this include liqueur coffees and cocktail suggestions?

•Have you trained your staff to present this menu to your customers?

Tea & Coffee

Tea and coffee are synonymous with relaxing and socialising – making them essential menu items. Tea drunk out of home is dominated by black tea, making Earl Grey and English Breakfast vital. Then it’s a case of adding festive flavours, with Marshall Kingston of Tetley recommending fruity raspberry and pomegranate, and a zesty, warming lemon ginger too. Garnish both with fresh fruit, star anise or cinnamon to really get the festive flavours running. Use tea in mocktails too. Earl Grey goes brilliantly with orange juice, or for an interesting take on the classic Mojito, pair green tea with mint and lime.

Feed Your Eyes

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