The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2017

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The last quarter of the year is when businesses make a large percentage of their profit. Stores, theaters, stadiums, and most of all, restaurants, thrive around the holidays. How can you capitalize on this time of good cheer? Here are a few simple steps: Start with decoration I'm not talking about garish plastic snowmen and reindeer—just something subtle and understated that says, "This is a nice place to celebrate the season." Serve some special holiday drinks Perhaps your mixologist can come up with four to eight holiday- themed concoctions and you can print up a festive drink menu. If the drinks are special enough, you can charge a few extra dollars for them. Ask the chef to come up with new, festive dishes In addition to the regular menu, feature some special, seasonal dishes such as goose, crown roast, or standing rib roast—and, of course, don't forget to pile on the sweets, baked goods, cakes, and pies. A separate, small printed menu of specials should definitely increase revenue. Welcome large parties Reorganize the dining room to accommodate parties of six, eight, or even more, as people like to celebrate the holidays in large groups. If you have the space, make it easy on them—their checks can be huge. Don't forget Hanukkah Offer a traditional Jewish celebratory dish like brisket, as well as a good selection of kosher wines. Many of the kosher offerings these days are as good as the best non-kosher wines you might have on your list. Be flexible If customers make unusual requests, do the best you can to satisfy their needs and desires. You want to have a reputation for being accommodating, particularly during the holiday season. Be of good cheer Avoid earning a reputation as the Grinch by being friendly and warm to your customers, and ensure that your staff behaves the same way. If you follow these simple rules, you'll be sure to have a happy and financially-rewarding holiday season. Anthony Dias Blue Making Your Restaurant A Center Of Holiday Cheer LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 4  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2017

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