BOOST YOUR PROFITS THIS FESTIVE SEASON
The busy festive period is a massive opportunity to boost sales and attract new customers. So, how can you maximize this opportunity? Giulia Cuccurullo, from The Artesian Bar, outlines what aspects to look at including stock, a festive menu, and food and drink combinations.
THE EXTENDED PERIOD
In the UK the festive season starts in September when you start to see the first few mince pies making their way into the supermarket’s shelves. Let's be honest, we all feel a bit more joyful when we see the festive lights being lit up in late November!
AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE NEW CUSTOMERS
From September until December there will always be a reason to celebrate, and that’s why this time of the year represents a great opportunity to increase your profits, not only for that period but also for the future. Usually, the festive period is the busiest for the hospitality industry, and this means that you have the chance to engage with guests that might have never been to your bar before, allowing you to make connections with potential new guests.
Christmas is the season where everybody is happy to go out and have fun, and this is the season where you should show what's your style of hospitality and your drinks in a way that people want to come back also in the future. Offering gift vouchers or ready-to-go bottled cocktails for guests to give as presents will put your venue top of mind.
THE FESTIVE MENU
Decide if you want to have a theme or only a couple of drinks on the menu for the festive season. The key to success is providing a mix of much-loved winter flavors, with some modern additions or techniques, even starting with a twist on your classic cocktails list. Maybe you can create some Christmas twists on one of your signature serves or create a short new menu for the month which is dedicated to the season.
Additionally, from my experiences, hot winter drinks sell well in December, especially with dark spirits and sweet flavors. So, my advice is to get ready for these types of orders and maybe decide to put your own spin on them, a twist on eggnog, or hot toddy.
CATERING FOR ALL
Remember to consider everybody when creating your menu, so a couple of non-alcoholic drinks need to be included, for example, non-alcoholic mulled wine, or non-alcoholic eggnog. We, at The Artesian, have our festive theme and a corresponding selection of drinks on offer.
If you serve food as well, it’s worth considering a special festive menu that pairs well with cocktails. For example, a mince pie and a twist on a Manhattan or a festive champagne cocktail with a smoked salmon appetizer. During December, people go out more and they want to have the whole experience. They are also willing to spend more, so think about luxury - they want to treat themselves and you want to help them do that.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR STOCK MANAGEMENT
You don’t want to spend January and February trying to get rid of any excess stock, so you have to be prepared and try to only order what you will sell during the festive season. Don't order massive stock of anything, especially if the items are part of your menu only for one month. If you do find yourself with leftover stock in the new year, think about ways to promote it or include it in a deal to ensure you still sell and make a profit.
Think local for your fresh ingredients, doing this will make your serves more exclusive as customers are only able to drink them at this time of year and it will also be more economically friendly. What is the product that is in season during your festive months? Build a relationship with local producers who can supply in small quantities for the winter months.
SELLING ON SOCIAL
Whatever one-off show-stopping serves you decide to create for the festive season, they will count for nothing if you don’t promote them. Invest in promotions that draw on what you are doing over the festive period and how you are doing it. Professional pictures and themed posts will help boost engagement.
Remember to not only promote your venue and what you do but try to give back to your guests in line with the festive spirit. Post about your regulars and what makes them special and what they like about your bar, that can be a nice touch to go away from the millions of posts only focused on drinks or food.
Making noise about your menu will attract more people, and help you acquire some new long-term guests.
Five Key Takeaways
-The festive season is an opportunity to engage with new customers and build connections for the future
-It’s crucial to prepare as far in advance as possible for how you envision your festive season panning out
-Think about your menu – review what drinks your customers like to order during this period and consider putting a new twist on them.
-Ensure you are accurate when it comes to ordering stock for the season, and if there are any leftovers look at deals and offers in the new year
-Shop locally for ingredients to save money whilst simultaneously making the most of them while they’re in season