Restaurants that offer catering services know that there are a few holidays during the year when catering is extremely popular. The king of catering holidays is Thanksgiving as many people don’t want to deal with the hassle of cooking for huge parties or the cleanup that comes with cooking. That being said, the queen of catering holidays is New Year’s. People love being able to have their New Year’s Eve parties catered so that they don’t have to deal with meal preparation, and can enjoy their party as much as their guest. There’s also the opportunity to have New Year’s Day parties that are also catered. Your New Year’s catering plans need to account for whether or not your restaurant will be open for this holiday.
Open or Close
You’ll have to decide whether your restaurant will be open or closed for the holidays. With catering, you can always just keep the kitchen open long enough to prepare the catering menu that needs to be delivered by your staff. You can also prepare the catering menu in advance to be picked up or delivered. The choice of whether or not to keep your entire restaurant open or closed is a personal one, but even if you are closed, it’s important to not neglect this revenue stream.
If you want people to be aware of your catering business being available for this holiday season, it’s vital that you get the word out with promotions. You have to find ways that get the attention of your patrons. You can utilize the Internet in numerous ways to get the word out about your New Year’s catering options with your current online ordering system, social media, and advertisements. You can also use physical flyers that are at your counter that your patrons can take with them or even add a mention in your menu. Create buzz with word of mouth ideas that get people talking about your catering offerings for the holiday. People are not going to utilize your catering service for their holiday festivities if they are not aware that your restaurant is offering it. This will help you get the word out.
A great way to prepare for the holidays with catering is by insisting on pre-orders. Most people will have a general idea of what they’d like to serve for their holiday party, so select a menu in advance for them to choose from for their catering options. You can set up a certain day for when all of your catering orders need to be in by or offer an incentive for pre-ordering that keeps people from waiting until the very last minute, such as free delivery when ordered by December 24. Creating a way for your customers to pre-order their menu will make it much easier for your kitchen to keep up with satisfying demand for the holiday catering idea. You’ll have a better idea of what staffing needs you’ll have to be able to cope with the additional load of catering for the New Year holiday, what ingredients need to be ordered to fill all of the orders, and create a delivery plan if you’re offering delivery as an option. Not going with pre-orders may stick you with a large number of last minute catering needs that you didn’t plan on handling.
Online ordering is an option that many people enjoy as it allows them to play around with the different options available to them for holiday catering. They can log into your website, go over your catering menu with pricing, fill the cart with items to see what can fit their budget and then checkout with being able to choose different delivery options. Some people feel more comfortable with checking out their options online rather than calling in to speak with a person as they may feel like they are wasting a real person’s time on the phone asking questions about the menu and prices. It can be good to have an option where they can call for questions that weren’t answered online but make it possible to complete an order online only if that’s what a patron desires.
Stop missing out on the sales you could be seeing if you were to ring in the New Year with catering for your restaurant. Even if you choose to be closed on these two days to allow your employees a chance to spend time with their families and friends, there are still ways you can get your piece of the proverbial pie. Start promoting your restaurant’s catering in advance of the new year to get people interested. You need to enable pre-orders where you can ensure that your staff will be able to prepare the catering orders in time. You can also create online ordering that makes it easy for patrons to order their catering menu in advance.
Having problems with your online presence for your restaurant? Contact us today about how we can get you on track for the holidays and beyond.