Restaurants are beginning to prepare for the colder season – they are seeking out heat lamps and other seasonal amenities to help maintain outdoor dining revenue that meets customer comfort levels. With this seasonal shift comes holiday celebrations and the innovations that need to be made in order to safely see them through. Gift sets and holiday-specific off-premise offerings can help your restaurant gain an edge this winter.
Consider offering indulgent meals geared for the celebration season on your to-go or take-and-bake menus. According to Eater Chicago, “Three Michelin-starred Alinea has gotten a jump start, as the fancy Lincoln Park restaurant has begun selling Thanksgiving meals on co-founder Nick Kokonas’s reservation platform, Tock.” While this example includes a traditional Thanksgiving turkey, why not go out of the box and offer steak dinners with your signature sides?
This innovation gained popularity over the grilling season, but with a twist it can pivot through the holiday season. Ditch the bratwursts, burger patties, and kabobs for indulgent cuts like tenderloin and tomahawk steak, or seafood selections. These packages can include house seasonings, marinades, or sauces for dining – that way, your customers are ready to entertain at home with higher-quality cuts they can’t prepare easily at home.
For those who are planning to celebrate with family at a distance, try gifted deliveries to surprise and delight family members. Individuals could purchase and schedule a delivery on behalf of their loved ones as a way to celebrate the season of gifting. These deliveries might be from your dinner menu, or a limited-time holiday-specific menu suited exclusively for this activation.
If diners aren’t comfortable celebrating in-person at your establishment, meet them where they are with house-curated gift sets. This selection of goods could include house-smoked jerky, signature rubs, bottles of wine, cocktail kits, and gift cards – a great gift to inspire the home cooks out there!
While these options aren’t what is expected of a normal holiday season, they meet the needs of customers in today’s climate while offering new streams of revenue for your establishment.