For most pubs, I know, all this information is of little value so close to the festive season. Menus have been printed, prices fixed and the bookings diary filling up for months as customers try to make sure they don’t miss out on a venue for the office do or the darts team annual festive bash.
Thankfully spuds, like sprouts, are in much stronger supply this year. And however healthy the Christmas bookings are looking, there’s still time to boost the bottom line a bit more with some last minute festive food ideas:
- Big up the buffet: For customers looking to book close to Christmas, offer a buffet option if you genuinely can’t fit any more in for sit down meals. Many buffet items can be prepared in advance and served ready plated, so needn’t take up valuable kitchen time;
- Give yourself room to manoeuvre: Menu descriptions such as ‘served with seasonal vegetables’ give you some leeway if prices for some produce change;
- Share and share alike: Sharing plates and snacks appeal to customers who are meeting friends informally for a Christmas drink, and like buffets, can be assembled quickly and simply;
- New Year deals: Target local businesses such as shops that may be too busy for a staff party pre-Christmas with a deal on group bookings for January. This has the added advantage of bringing in business at a traditionally quiet time.
This 'Kitchen Porter' column appears in the November 2013 of Fuller's Tenants Extra