How to Prepare Your Restaurant for Holiday Catering

With the holiday season quickly approaching, preparations are already underway for office parties and family gatherings. Make your restaurant the centerpiece of this year’s celebrations by offering catering services in and around the holiday season.

From an increase in sales to greater awareness within the local community, catering just a few events could quickly turn the holiday season into the most wonderful time of the year for your restaurant. Here are a few tips to get started.

Hire seasonal staff

Between in-house diners and catered events, your front- and back-of-house staff may be busier than usual. Bring on a few temporary staff members to ensure your restaurant is prepared for the holiday rush. If you’re not sure where to look for help, try posting positions on college job boards. Students who are on break may be looking for ways to earn a little extra cash before classes begin again.

Whether it’s washing dishes or delivering food, the extra hands should help things run as smoothly as possible in your restaurant.

Invest in proper equipment

Before booking your first event, check to see if your restaurant has the equipment needed to keep food at just the right temperature for hours at a time. If not, start stocking up on hot plates that diners can use to quickly warm up platters of food at a moment’s notice. You should also consider picking up a few extra plates, utensils and napkins so that diners can dig in the second your restaurant’s food arrives.

When diners place a catering order online or by phone, take a few seconds to ask whether they need help finding a place for the food. Renting out a few holiday-themed tables might help bring in a few extra orders while also boosting customer satisfaction.

Spread the word

Get the word out about your holiday catering service by attaching paper menus to each delivery and takeout order. You should also consider asking your front-of-house staff to hand menus out to in-house diners as they head out the door. Once you’ve received some interest, print out a few more catering menus to bring along to events. The bigger the party, the better the chances  some guests are trying your food for the first time. Handing out catering menus to guests as they leave will help ensure your restaurant is considered next time they throw a party of their own.

You can also spread the word about your holiday catering offerings through your online channels. Consider promoting holiday catering through your email marketing and social media efforts, and you’ll see the orders line up in no time.

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