the Restaurateur 5 Tips for Restaurants during the Holidays December 09, 2016 Increased staff and inventory is not the only thing restaurateurs need for the holiday season—Read up on 5 helpful tips The holidays promise two things for the restaurant industry—increased business, and long, demanding hours. As your restaurant is in the midst of its hectic holiday season, it can be easy for stress to take over and make operations difficult to manage. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to maintain momentum and increase sales during the busy season. 5 ways restaurateurs can make the most out of the holiday season After you have increased your staff numbers to prepare for large holiday parties and family gatherings, think about implementing the following items: Special holiday promotions- Promote gift cards to your business—there is always someone looking for a last minute gift. Keep gift cards out on your hostess’ stand, and send out postcards to your community. Social media can help significantly in this area—Reach out online about any holiday deals you’re offering and mention gift cards as a thoughtful, but easy gift for a loved one. Promote catering services- Once the holiday season is in full swing, it may be difficult for large parties to land a reservation at your establishment. Promote catering services for this reason—many office parties are held right in the office, so consider offering catering or delivery specials, and a unique seasonal menu. Décor- Make holiday parties special by enhancing your restaurant’s décor specifically for the holidays and make sure that your servers are well-read in menu items and specials. If possible, consider setting up your private dining rooms with special holiday-themed decorations for large parties, and think about hiring musical entertainment for the occasion. Drink specials- With New Year’s Eve being the most popular night out for a lot of people, how will you make your restaurant stand out? Offering specialty holiday cocktails through this month will most likely increase your sales, and making sure you are stocked up on champagne and sparkling wine for New Year’s Eve would be smart. Prepare for big crowds and more alcohol consumption through this month, and especially on the last night of 2016. Server etiquette- Guests will appreciate a server who can make suggestions and confidently answer questions on drinks and menu items. December is the most popular month for office parties, as they are fully tax deductible, so be prepared for busy days and nights and, if you haven’t already, make sure your staff is aware of the need for longer hours and a more demanding schedule. Thinking of throwing your staff a party after the holiday craziness? Read our recent blog, “Ins and Outs of Office Parties ” for more information on tax-deductible parties. Provided you have planned ahead with staffing, inventory, and reservations in the last few months, these last minute suggestions should help your restaurant succeed through the hectic holiday season. Questions? Contact any member of our Hospitality Services Team.