Holiday Menu Tips
Chances are that your restaurant’s holiday menus have already been decided. However, there is still time to make some tweaks or add some items that will entice customers to make last minute reservations or change their plans.
One if By Land
Between Thanksgiving and all the holiday parties leading up to Christmas, turkey and ham have been on repeat and maybe has lost their luster. Look at offering a pork tenderloin or a filet as a speciality main course. Focus on the accompanying sauces, marinades and spices to have it stand out from Grandma’s oven roasted turkey.
Two if by Sea
With it being a bountiful crab season, guests are looking for ways to enjoy crab as much as possible. Add it to soups, appetizers or feature as a main course. The Holiday season screams speciality dishes like Cioppino and seafood pasta. Feature local seafood in dishes that allow it to be the star of the show.
Explore Different Formats
Maybe your restaurant doesn’t warrant a price fix menu or multiple courses. Try still offering a special holiday menu option by creating a “Appetizers All Around”. Feature some new and current starters that can be shared and are crowd pleasers. This lets your guests enjoy a variety of appetizers throughout dinner without having to choose on any one specific entree.
Do your business a favor and offer a festive cocktail (or two). Its a chance to experiment with seasonal flavors and fun names and will make it hard for guests to pass up. Try new barware to add interest while servers deliver drinks to the table.
Add the Ambiance
Create an experience for your guests. Turn on the festive music, switch out your table lights and flowers and maybe even print up a special menu insert with your holiday special and cocktail. When presenting the check, add some candy canes or chocolates to the table. It is a nice touch that won’t go unnoticed.
Already know you will be doing something special at your restaurant for New Years and/or Valentine’s Day? Add the dates and times to a chalkboard at the hostess stand or in the window of the restaurant. This is a prime opportunity to promote upcoming events.
Don’t Forget to Share
Know someone who can take nice photos? Snap some pictures of your holiday dishes and cocktails and share on your social media accounts. This is the perfect way to help drum up awareness that you have something special to offer. At the very least, take photos of your holiday decor and staff. Guest love to have a connection to a place they plan on visiting on a holiday.