Ah – Christmas as a restauranteur…

While everyone else is winding down at the day job, frantically buying presents and nursing work do hangovers, you’re working harder than ever.

Despite what industry outsiders might think, business doesn’t come easy for restaurants at this time of the year, and if you’re nearing the end of the festive period with a less than satisfactory sales total, you may have missed a few key ingredients.

In this post, we’re going to help you plan successfully for next Christmas with five incredibly simple yet effective ways to prepare your restaurant for the festive season:

1. Start early and cater for all

One of the worst things you can do is start preparing for Christmas at the last minute. Ideally, you need to start planing a good three to four months beforehand to allow for staff rotas, guest special offers and menus to be formalised.

Equally, you should focus on catering for the masses as opposed to a narrow customer base. Think about allergens, vegetarian options and gluten-free festive treats. This stuff takes time!

2. Prepare the staff

Your team needs to be ready for the festive season well in advance. The rota will need careful consideration and anyone who decides to put serious time in over Christmas made fully aware of how stressful it’s likely to be.

You may even encounter some resistance to working over that period, regardless of any financial perks made available for doing so. Therefore, if you think you’re going to be thin on the ground, you may need to plan in advance for some temporary workers.

3. Promote the menu on social media

Use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to promote your festive menu on social media throughout November and December.

As December draws closer, both private and corporate guests will start scouring the web for potential eating spots, and the more you pump out beautiful imagery of your Christmas starters, mains and desserts, the more likely you are to play a central role in their search.

4. Consider going non-traditional

How do you stand out as a restaurant during Christmas? Well, with every other establishment offering slightly tweaked versions of the classic turkey dinner, why not be a little more inventive?

A Christmas curry, for example, would certainly spice things up and provide an alternative for anyone who feels like breaking free from the Christmas norm.

5. Don’t undersell yourself

Although not scientifically proven, many in the hospitality industry will agree that you can afford to be a little bolder with your pricing come Christmas time as a restauranteur.

As previously noted, there’s a huge amount of work you’ll need to put in and staff overtime that needs paying. The menu will also probably be a bespoke affair. Why shouldn’t you charge a little extra for this premium service?

Wrapping up

Christmas should be a profitable time for your restaurant. It’ll be stressful, sure, but if you follow our simple tips above, you’ll end up with a bottom line for December that makes all that effort utterly worthwhile.

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