FIVE WAYS TO MAKE ANY FESTIVE OCCASION A COMMERCIAL CRACKER
Any festive period is a brilliant time for creating quality memories with friends and loved ones. Parties, family reunions and work nights out mean there are opportunities aplenty. And for those of us working in busy bars and restaurants, this season of merriment also has the potential to be the most profitable time of the year. A win-win in my eyes!
In this article, I’m going to give you my top five tips for making the most out of the festive opportunities in your venue.
- Think beyond standard wine or beer options. By incorporating a cocktail on the set menu as a ‘Something to Start’ or ‘Something to Finish’ option, you’re introducing a new experience customers might not have considered.
- Hot and spicy festive cocktails can thaw the chill of a cold night and offer new flavour experiences. Serve on arrival, or post-dessert if you want to encourage dwell time. If turning tables is a priority, pre-orders can be taken when confirming reservations.
- Include a maximum of two aperitif and two digestif options so as not to overwhelm guests with choice.
- Seasonal twists are a great way to invigorate your offering e.g. a Gordon’s Hot Pink takes the crisp, fruity taste of Gordon’s Pink, but instead of combining with a cool tonic, add cinnamon-infused warm raspberry water.
- Dessert cocktails offer the bar and kitchen teams to work together to dream up wonderful cocktail serves that look great, taste amazing, and demand to be shared on social.
- The festive period is spread over some time - not limited to just one day. Take advantage of this opportunity by offering deals throughout the week – not just on core days – and try to avoid downtime.
- Expect a rush on lunch and dinner (when groups typically tend to dine) and consider the impact that nearby events could have on footfall e.g. could you offer a pre-theatre menu deal? Is there a festival close by?
Wishing you all a happy, fun-filled and prosperous festive period!
MARK moriarty - FOOD OCCASION TOP TIPS
50ml Gordon's Pink GinTop with Tonic water
1 sliced strawberry
Add 50ml Gordon’s pink gin to a highball/copa glass full of ice.
Top with tonic water. Stir to mix. Garnish and serve.
Tanqueray Sevilla & Tonic (w/ cinnamon & orange)
50ml Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla
150ml tonic water
Garnish: 1 wedge of orange and 1 stick of cinnamon
Fill the copa glass with ice. Pour 50ml Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla and top the glass with tonic.
Garnish with a wedge of orange and stick of cinnamon
Hot Johnnie Walker and Ginger
50ml of Johnnie Walker Red Label
50ml boiling water
25ml Ginger syrup
2 Strips orange peel
2 Dashes orange bitters
Rosemary and orange zest
Place the ginger syrup in a glass. Pour in the Johnnie Walker Red Label, orange bitters and boiling water.
Stir slowly and garnish with rosemary and orange zest.
Salmon Gravadlax, with blinis and sour cream
1 cleaned fillet salmon, boned and skinned
1 large bunch dill
100g sour cream
Place the salmon on a tray
Mix the sugar, salt and half the dill and cover the salmon fillet
Leave for 6 hours to cure, wash under cold water and pat dry
Chop the remaining dill finely, and cover the cured salmon
Slice thinly to order and serve with blinis and some sour cream
Fresh Pineapple on ice with lime and salt
1 large ripe pineapple
300g crushed ice
Peel and portion the pineapple into long fingers (approx. 7x3cm)
Season with some lime zest and salt and serve over ice
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:
ADVICE FROM A FLAVOUR PRO
Maximising the impact of a well-crafted meal with a corresponding drink, or vice versa, is a great way of elevating a guests’ experience, increasing spend per head and helping the venue’s bottom line.
FOOD AND COCKTAIL MOMENTS
Guests are looking for the ultimate food and drink moments and, if you’re not already providing pre and post meal experiences, then it’s worth thinking about how you bring these moments into the mix.
PAIRING FOOD & WHISKY
As the world of Scotch whisky continues to grow we caught up with Diageo Global Whisky Master, Ewan Gunn to find out more about how to create a match made in heaven when it comes to whisky and food.
CHEF TOOLS TO COVET
As bartenders, one of our biggest influences are chefs. Whether it's through flavour pairing or culinary techniques, many of the best modern cocktails have been inspired by food and cooking.
Sign up and become a member of Diageo Bar Academy today and unlock the latest industry news, trends and tips to keep your bar knowledge up to speed!