The run-up to Christmas gives you the opportunity to increase footfall and profit before the big day.
Brief all your permanent staff – especially senior – on how busy (and important) the next few weeks are going to be, and have all temporary staff you need in place. A recruitment agency can be used – but that costs money, so recruiting via word of mouth or posting on your social media accounts are great options – and free! Newly opened Holmes Mill in Clitheroe started to recruit seasonal staff via their social media pages in July, so if you haven’t started by now you need to. Help keep staff morale high during this season by making sure you have your own Christmas party booked in the new year. That way it gives staff something to look forward to.
Stocking up on Prosecco and mulled wine is a given but make sure you order enough to cover not only your bookings but walk-ins – the last thing you want to do is run out! Having a variety of festive cocktails is essential – you could also make a seasonal menu. Bertram’s Restaurant, the adult-only dining venue at Crow Wood leisure in Burnley has a Christmas cocktail menu. Red Nosed Paindeer – Sauza golden tequila and crème de cassis, fresh lime juice and Fentimans ginger beer, The Candy Apple – Stolichnaya salted caramel vodka, angostura bitters, apple juice and Fentimans ginger beer, Santa’s Getaway – Brugal golden rum, coconut rum and amaretto almond liqueur, with fresh orange and pineapple juice, and The Grinch (who stole Christmas) – Stolichnaya vodka, Midori melon liqueur and peach schnapps, with fresh lime juice and lemonade. Making it fun and festive will not only make the customer order more, it will leaving a lasting impression on them
long after the tinsel has been stored away.
Jazz up your tea and coffee servings or to add premium to your tea offerings tea cocktails are an impressive touch. Hot Caramel Apple Tea is a rich and warming drink, for a fruity twist opt for Earl Grey with orange, and for a more refreshing drink (perfect post meal) green tea with mint. Or just make mocktails from your own cocktail menu. “We can tweak all our cocktails to be virgin (alcohol free) and our bar team is always happy to try new things if our guests suggest it!” said Olivier Foucre, food and beverage director at Bertram’s Restaurant. “Virgin strawberry daiquiris and Mojitos are the most popular.” Daytime diners may prefer something different to complement their meal so how about a smoothie? Bertram’s Restaurant have added them to their drinks menu as they offer a healthy alternative to a low-calorie soft drink or water. Make sure you stock up on a good range of soft drinks suitable for adults and children.
Start your festive offers in November. Christmas gets busier each year, so it makes sense, and is perfect for those families are who can’t meet up in December – or have to work! The popular Turkey & Tinsel breaks that numerous hotels run start as early as October and some pubs that start their festive menu mid November are offering a complimentary glass of Prosecco for everyone in the party if a threecourse festive menu is booked before 1 November. If you have the amenities add a B&B deal – especially for a Monday evening when trades tends to be quieter.
“The festive period is definitely one of our craziest period and the success has grown tremendously year on year,” said Olivier Foucre. Depending on the size of party pre-ordering food is a definite to ensure the smooth running of a busy kitchen. But what about the bar? “We offer a discounted drinks package on pre-booked parties to help with service at the bar and stop everyone coming up at once,” added Olivier. “That way, the bar staff are ready and organised – especially when it comes to our themed cocktails!”
Spread the cheer
From chalk boards, signage to a specific link on your social pages and website, you should be shouting: festive, festive, festive! If you have a last minute party night to fill or your daytime bookings are still available, then shout about it!