Schwartz September 2019

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead for the new year is critical to maximising the sales opportunities presented by key events on the calendar.

Burns Night
Many people in Scotland and around the world hold a Burns supper to celebrate the life of Robert Burns. Next year, it falls on a Saturday.

What to do
• Offer a three-course meal complete with Scotch broth or smoked salmon to start, haggis served with neeps and tatties as the main dish, followed by the traditional dessert cranachan.
• Stock up on whisky! Malts or blended will do, and how about offering a whisky or wine pairing with each course? Laphraoig 10-year-old whisky is perfect to accompany dessert.
• Toasts and readings such as Selkirk Grace, the Address to a Haggis and Toast to the Haggis are an essential part of the supper.
• Dress staff in traditional attire for the evening and encourage guests to do the same. Men tend to wear kilts but a tartan bow tie and Cummerband is acceptable. Ladies wear a full length fluted tartan skirt with matching tartan. A tartan sash or wrap over a dress is fine too.
• A piper welcoming guests is the formal procedure for a Burns supper, or you could play traditional music instead.
• For those who can’t make the evening, why not have haggis as a special on your Friday evening and Saturday lunchtime menu? You could even have a piper playing to make it extra special.

Chinese New Year
Chinese is one of the nation’s favourite cuisines. With the celebrations falling on a Saturday next year, this is the perfect opportunity to make a weekend out of the event.

What to do
• Having a Chinese option on your menu will lure customers away from a takeaway.
• Offer an early bird menu, 2FOR1 or an all you can eat buffet to attract customers.
• Host a Chinese night, complete with food, decorations (red is the customary colour of Chinese New Year, along with gold or vibrant colours) and even a fireworks display to really welcome in the Chinese New Year.
• Cater for all tastes by serving a mixture of dishes. Simple dishes like sweet and sour chicken and chow mein are popular choices, dim sum are delicious and more adventurous, stir-fries are quick and easy and a healthier option, and Cantonese-style roast duck is a firm favourite.
• Stock up on Tiger and Tsingtao Beer for those who drink alcohol, and for those who don’t, tea is a must! The traditional options are Pu-Erh (black tea), Chrysanthemum tea, green tea and Oolong.
• Offer doggie bags. Not only will it help to reduce your waste it will impress your customers.

Valentine’s Day
A major opportunity for every venue. The romantic event falls on a Friday, so why not make a weekend out of it?

What to do
• Create a special two or three course Valentine’s menu for Friday and Saturday evening.
• Have a lunchtime menu offer on the day itself and Saturday too.
• An early-evening ‘quick dining’ menu will appeal to those couples short on time.
• For smaller venues, little touches like heart-shaped cut sandwiches or love hearts on your coffee froth will help spread the love.
• Host a singles night. They too want to celebrate with friends, or hopefully find love!
• Stock up on Prosecco!
• Offer wine by the glass, bottle and half bottle.
• Serve special cocktails and mocktails for the occasion – visit takestockmagazine.com/recipe/categories/cocktails
• Complimentary gifts like flowers, chocolate or a glass of bubbly will impress the customer and leave a lasting memory. It will also encourage a future visit.
• Keep your regular menu alongside the special one, so customers can choose and don’t feel like they are being charged extra for the event.

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