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
- 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.