Put a Spin on Spring Holiday Traditions

Make get-togethers special with family-size meals to serve at home.
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While you can’t provide a dine-in experience this spring, you can offer memorable holiday meals. 

Operators should consider taking kitchen creations to the household table with a family-size holiday dinner—appetizers, entrees, beverages and desserts—that can serve up to eight people. It’s smart right now to choose menu items that are easy to produce and have a good margin, but don’t overlook easy flourishes. The impression a restaurant makes during the holidays will keep people coming back later

Here are suggestions to make it happen:

Offer a Brunch Menu

  • Make quiche and frittatas in individual or family sizes and offer traditional and seasonal ingredients, with a budget-conscious option.
  • Offer a build-your-own breakfast sandwiches bar that includes bread, rolls, meats, eggs, cheese and all the fixings. 
  • Suggest upscale ingredients to enhance the celebration. Some ideas include ramps, fiddlehead ferns, wild mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes and spring asparagus.

Supply Just the Starters

  • Offer dips (hummus, baba ghanoush and guacamole) with high-impact garnishes such as pomegranate arils, roasted garlic cloves, chopped nuts, fresh herbs, pickled root veggies (okra, carrots or tomatoes).
  • Dress up hand-helds (empanadas, meat pies, tacos, flatbreads, kebabs) with holiday ingredients like ham, lamb, leeks or Brussels sprouts. 
  • Provide a deconstructed salad with easy-to-assemble instructions that includes fresh fruit, diced vegetable, cheese cubes, nuts, seeds, greens and a signature dressing. 
  • Offer a variety of single-serve canned or bottled beverages or mixers.  
  • Sparkling water and juices add a touch of spring freshness. 

Think of the Add-ons

  • Offer fresh-baked rolls
  • Suggest a fresh fruit bowl or platter for a colorful, sweet spring treat
  • Provide the juices and sparkling waters to make mimosas or other cocktails

Plan Family-Size Meal Kits

Serve 4-8 people with meals packaged in foil for reheating at home. Some ideas:  

  • Ham, scalloped potatoes and spring veggies
  • Pork crown roast, asparagus, fingerling potatoes and croissants
  • Braised lamb, spring carrots, beets and sweet onions
  • Prime rib roast, roasted potatoes and glazed carrots
  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli
  • Biscuit-topped chicken pot pie 
  • Steak fajitas with peppers and onions, avocado and pico de gallo

Package for Success

  • Offer portions in half-size and full-size foil pans
  • Use sauces and/or gravies to keep products moist, when possible
  • Have a checklist for disposables—not every customer will need napkins, utensils and straws, so ask before including to save costs.
  • Add simple reheating or assembly instructions for at-home service

Think Beyond the Meal

  • Include a coloring book and crayons for children
  • Join forces with a local florist for one-stop meals and table flowers
  • Create a care package program to send a small meal a neighbor or loved one
  • Include an offer to encouraging people to return
  • Promote on social media by suggesting your customers share pictures of their holiday dinner service. 

Plan for Pickup/Delivery

  • Set an order cut-off time to help forecast inventory and staffing needs. 
  • Schedule pickups at a designated time to avoid customers from all arriving at once. 
  • Practice safe non-contact pick-up or delivery practices. 

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