As the weather cools down, your calendar of events is likely to heat up. Events like Christmas parties and New Year’s celebrations are a great opportunity to grow your business during the holidays and beyond.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money or do a lot of work to make your events unforgettable. Making some small adjustments to your normal event setup can have a lasting impression on guests. Here are a few simple ideas:
Offer a Festive Alternative to Alcohol
Don’t limit designated drivers and underage guests to ho-hum beverages like water, sodas, and tea. While celebrating with Champagne and cranberries and other holiday cocktails is certainly acceptable, giving guests who don’t drink a festive alternative to traditional beverages adds a merry touch to your events. Fill a beverage dispenser (Rosseto® and Cal-Mil offer a wide variety of attractive options) with sparkling water, cranberries, and oranges for a refreshing substitute to alcoholic beverages. Serve this sparkling infused water in Champagne glasses alongside bowls of extra cranberries and oranges for guests to add to their drinks.
Cater to the Kids (or Kids at Heart)
Capture the magic of the holidays into your events by incorporating your guests’ childhood favorites. Even if your event excludes children, adding whimsical elements to your buffet can lighten the mood and spread holiday cheer. Set up a cocoa bar to allow guests to customize their favorite cold-weather beverage. Use flavored syrups (Monin has hundreds of varieties) to create twists on classic cocoa like Chocolate Cherry Cocoa, Marshmallow Toffee White Cocoa, and Gingerbread White Cocoa. Guests can then top the cocoa with their favorite garnishes such as whipped cream, cherries, crumbled graham crackers, and marshmallows.
Sustainability is a huge concern for restaurant guests, as evidenced by the appearance of environmental sustainability at #3 on the National Restaurant Association’s annual What’s Hot Culinary Forecast for the last two years in a row. If your restaurant or catering business has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint, showcase it during your holiday events. Using sustainable disposables is a simple way to show your guests that you are concerned about the environment. Not only are these pieces good for the environment, but they also provide a more attractive (and memorable) way to present food than traditional disposables. SuppliesOnTheFly offers a large selection of eco-friendly disposables from Leafware®, VerTerra, PacknWood, and others. Choose from a variety of options, including dinnerware made from fallen leaves, bamboo and other sustainable materials.
Chalk it Up
Chalk is one of the hottest trends in food presentation. From traditional mini chalkboard signs to chalkboard glasses and chalk-friendly slate serving boards, chalk is becoming the new staple for identifying foods and beverages on buffets at nearly every type of event. Incorporating chalk into your buffet is a good idea throughout the year, but what better time than the holidays to get even more creative with this versatile tool? Hire an art student from a local high school or college to decorate your chalk displays with colorful and festive holiday images. These works of art not only add color to your display, but also serve as a great conversation-starter for guests.