With Christmas Day just over 13 weeks away and the festive season starting several weeks before that, restaurants, hotels and pubs will need to make a proper plan and promptly if they want to make the most of the traditionally busy period.
Last December, sales at many restaurants and pubs were worse than expected as heavy snowfall around the country and lack of cash kept customers at home ,
Although the economy remains shaky, Kerry Foods development chefs Gerard Murphy and Adrian Coulter believe operators could drive sales by having the right plan in place and recommend asking a host of questions about your business and its expectations for the Christmas period, even if some may seem obvious.
"Apart from feeling organised, there are other benefits to getting everything ready in advance," they said. "Many wholesalers and distributors offer price incentives for buying core Christmas produce as early as possible – so if your menus are in place, so don’t be afraid to stock up early and make the most of the deals available, to further drive your menu profitability."
Once you have a plan, the pair also recommend mixing innovation with tradition, advertising your offer in as many places as possible, highlighting provenance of ingredients on menus and making the most of core ingredients.