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How to Prepare your Restaurant for Christmas Day

Businesses all over the UK are preparing for the festive period - and for restaurants in particular, Christmas is the most important time of the year. Preparing your restaurant for Christmas Day means everything will run smoothly at one of the busiest times.

According to surveys, around 308 million slices of turkey are eaten over the festive period, along with 205 million portions of Christmas cake or pudding, washed down with 205 million glasses of champagne!

Cooking in a restaurant

© Koldunov / Shutterstock.com

The number of people choosing to dine out on Christmas Day has trebled in recent years. A poll of 20,000 Brits, carried out by the AA Hotel and Hospitality Services, revealed 10% of people were eating out on Christmas Day 2018, compared with 3% the previous year. This equates to around 6.6 million dinners.

There are regional variations, with Londoners more likely to eat their Christmas dinner at a restaurant than their northern counterparts. One-quarter of people in the south-east were planning to dine out on the big day. Last year, pubs and restaurants made £6.5 million over the festive season, with the average cost per person totalling £18.

Customers said they preferred to eat out because it was less hassle and cheaper than buying in their own food and having to cook it. The primary reason for dining out was not having to cook,  39% of respondents said this was why they ate at a pub or restaurant. One in five respondents said it was cheaper to eat out.

The festive period offers a host of business opportunities to the restaurant trade, from the corporate Christmas parties, starting at the beginning of December, to the traditional Christmas dinner on 25th December. It's no wonder preparations start early in the restaurant trade.

So, what do restaurants need to do to get organised over Christmas? The key is to prepare the kitchen so that it enables an efficient service for diners, with plenty of choices for everyone, as well as providing a safe working environment for employees.

 

Varied menu

As a restaurant owner, you want everyone to have a pleasant experience over Christmas, so make sure you provide plenty of different food and beverage options, so you're catering for all tastes. As well as the traditional festive fare, have options for people with allergies, such as gluten-free food, or vegetarian and vegan meals.

Try adding something a bit different - as well as the turkey roast dinner, Christmas pudding and mince pies, ask the chef to create a house special, such as a Christmas curry. That will spice things up a bit!

 

Memorable experience

Some people dining at your establishment at Christmas may never have set foot in the place before, but if they enjoy the experience, they may become repeat customers in the new year. You should be aiming to please everyone with great food and service, as Christmas is the perfect time to impress new customers and turn them into regulars.

Don't underestimate the importance of the drinks too. Christmas is a time when lots of diners wish to try a traditional festive beverage, such as mulled wine, egg nog or Christmas cocktails. As well as a good selection of alcoholic drinks, have an equally wide choice of non-alcoholic drinks on the menu.

 

Social media

Use social media to promote your Christmas menu and take some appetising photos of the dishes. Do a festive photoshoot of your premises and the meals to make it look as appealing as possible. Write some text to go with the photos, highlighting the quality of the food. Think about its unique selling points, such as food produced with locally sourced ingredients.

 

Preparing staff

Prepare your staff for the Christmas rush by ensuring they are properly trained and briefed. Check that they are ready and able to handle the seasonally large volume of bookings. Encourage great service with a smile and make sure you use your whole team as effectively as possible. Preparing your restaurant for Christmas takes a lot of work – you can’t afford to have any weak links!

Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your staff and customers this Christmas with Coruba's range of high quality restaurant matting, which is slip-resistant, shock absorbent, durable and water, oil and chemical resistant.

 

Have fun

There is no doubt about it: working over the Christmas period can be exhausting. The go, go, go can be both physically and mentally challenging! Although it’s vital that you give the job your all, it’s equally important to have some fun – just feed off your adrenaline.



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