How to add variety to your Festive menus this Christmas season.
Festive season is fast approaching and that means it’s time for festive prix fixe menus that attract and delight Christmas diners. Anna Mitchell is the bookings and events manager at Lost and Found in Birmingham and is tasked with promoting the restaurant’s festive menus. “We get a lot of repeat business during the festive season,” Mitchell says. She credits it to the menu of ‘traditional dishes with modern flavours’. “Our menu works for a large group of people because of the wide selection.”
Distinguishing your restaurant’s festive offerings from other restaurant festive menus is key to attracting diners this season. Here are four questions to ask yourself when planning for the festive season.
What does your clientele need this season?
Lost and Found is located right near Cathedral Square in Birmingham meaning there’s a lot of foot traffic. “We’re based right in the centre of Birmingham,” Mitchell says. “We get a mix of work colleagues coming out for a drink, shoppers and families.” The restaurant kept this diverse clientele in mind when creating their festive prix fixe offerings. Guests can choose between a three-course prix fixe menu or a festive canapés menu served family style. “We wanted to offer our guests a more formal or informal dining option, “ Mitchell says. The festive canapés menu works well for large groups because it includes 10 different options featuring traditional flavours and is less formal so guests can mingle while enjoying. “It’s a nice fit because we’re a bar and it adds something extra to just going out for a drink,” Mitchell says. If there are lots of holiday shoppers in your area you could try adding an afternoon hot beverage and dessert special or if there are families who get together at your restaurant you could add a family style dessert or appetiser to the festive menu.
What other festive events are going on near your restaurant?
“The German Market is right outside of our doors in the festive season,” Mitchell says. The market brings throngs of tourists and shoppers to the area so it’s important for Lost and Found to mirror the feeling of the season inside of the restaurant. “We get decorated top to bottom and it adds a festive cheer,” Mitchell says. Guests love to see the restaurant decorated and it adds to their experience. Research Christmas events in your town to see if there’s a way to attract event goers to your restaurant for a meal before or after.
What extras can you offer?
Mitchell says that the team thinks about ways to provide value for guests coming in during the holiday season and what they can do to add to their guests’ experience. “People want to be able to treat their loved ones and friends to a special meal during the festive season and we want to make it as special as possible,” Mitchell says. Every festive diner gets a Christmas cracker to add to the festive spirit. Trinkets like these add to the guest experience and are a small expense in exchange for creating a great holiday memory in your restaurant.
How can your staff get involved in the festive fun?
At Lost and Found the staff gets into the festive spirit. “We encourage our staff to get involved and be a part of our guests’ festive meals,” Mitchell says. “We’ll make sure that the staff knows if someone is coming in for a secret santa or a more formal family dinner,” she says. Making sure that the server knows this means that the team can make their meal as special as possible. The team also hosts a festive jumper party for the staff that helps them get into the spirit.
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