The decorations are up, the stockings are on the wall, and the unmistakable sights and sounds of the holiday season are all around; yes, it’s Christmas. Of course, 2020 is a year like no other, and the festive period will be different to anything we’ve experienced in the past.. What was once a time defined by hustle and bustle has now become a somewhat quieter affair – but there is still time for businesses to maximise their offering for what’s traditionally one of the most lucrative spots on the calendar.
And while the switch from dine-in to take-away is one that many in the hospitality industry have made throughout the year, there are more tweaks to be made to make Christmas a resounding success – including shaking up your offerings for the season that’s in it. Our Delivering Christmas campaign aims to support businesses throughout the country during the coming weeks, so here’s a handful of ideas to incorporate in your takeaway menu.
ENOUGH TO FEED THE WHOLE HOUSEHOLD
Laying on a spread for a close-knit family celebration, or simply filling the bellies of friends and loved ones living under one roof, requires pretty significant quantities – so consider adapting your takeaway menu to satisfy a variety of portioning options. Whole cuts of meat are one option here; curries, pies and other meals made in bulk are others. If you’re going to go this route, pay attention to your range of side orders; while they may choose to share the main dish, many customers will fancy grabbing their own choice of accompaniment.
THE DIY OPTION
While at-home kits have proven extremely popular throughout this year, they’re worth special consideration at Christmas time – especially if you plan on taking a seasonal break for a few days over the holidays. You might choose to supply the ingredients for budding home cooks, or instead assemble lasagnes and tray bakes ready to be popped into the oven; whichever way you go, options that offer a little flexibility will be a godsend to many families at this time. Remember to carefully compile instructions, too. Not every customer will have the know-how of your head chef!
THE TRADITIONAL FAVOURITES
From turkey and ham (and all the trimmings) to mince pies and mulled wine, we indulge in the same favourites every year – so why not go with what works? Whether crafting a full Christmas lunch to-go, or adding a few little touches here and there, sticking with tried and tested festive foods is guaranteed to strike a chord with lots of customers. Remember, it can be incredibly simple, too; incorporating turkey instead of chicken in mealtime staples like curry, or even lunchtime favourites like sandwiches is an easy change to make, and it certainly lends a more seasonal twist to things.
MAKING THE UPGRADE
Despite Christmas being scaled back to its simplest form, customers may be in a celebratory mood thanks to some well-deserved time off – and therefore open to the idea of pushing the boat out and making their order a little more extravagant. Depending on your offering, your menu could be designed with premium options for those ready to trade up. Collaborate with your chefs and make a plan to incorporate some high-value items into your range; from prime cuts to elaborate finishing touches, it’s a great way of making your menu – and your customers! – feel that little bit special.
INCORPORATE SOME MEAT-FREE OPTIONS
At a time when turkey and ham feature heavily, those going meat-free will be in particular need. Allow your kitchen team to flex their creative muscles; while both traditional and premium options might jump to mind immediately for meat dishes, a little invention could bring the same type of seasonal excitement to your veggie dishes. Garlic butter roasted brussels sprouts? Save some for us…
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