Customers don’t want the same menu all year round, which is one of the reasons ‘seasonality’ has become a buzzword in the catering industry. Customers now expect menu changes, not only when the seasons change, but also for events and celebrations throughout the year.
Events and special occasions are a great reason for people to get together and celebrate. During celebrations customer spending is usually increased, especially when foodservice establishments are promoting the events with adapted menus and themed packaging.
A recent report by Waitrose says that according to their research, one in six of us is now celebrating Thanksgiving, and their November turkey sales are up by 95 per cent compared with five years ago.
In the catering and hospitality industry, holidays like Easter, Christmas and increasingly Thanksgiving, present foodservice operators the opportunity to build sales and improve profits.
With Easter just around the corner, many operators will be looking to tempt new customers with an Easter themed event or new Spring menu, hoping to improve footfall and increase spend on food and drink. With twin bank holidays over the weekend, at the end of lent and for many New Year’s Resolutions are far behind them, customers often use this time to ‘treat themselves’.
Here are a few tips if you are planning on theming around an event this year:
- Look at what your competitors are doing. Take note of events that large foodservice establishments run and replicate in your own way.
- Think family friendly. Many seasonal events are marked by the children being off school. Turn this to your advantage by offering family friendly menus and extra activities to keep the kids busy.
- Plan ahead carefully. You are likely to need additional stock, and this will include your non-food consumables and hygiene supplies, not just food items. If you are looking at using branded disposables to promote your seasonal event, these will need to be ordered well in advance, as they will have a print lead time. Speak to your supplier of non-food consumables well in advance so they can offer you guidance to ensure you are well stocked for your event.
- Create a special menu, perhaps with food related to themes or more family friendly menus. Themed tableware and decorations can make a huge difference, and don’t forget themed disposables so customers can still experience the atmosphere when they are not dining in.
- Plan early and promote early to gain an edge on your competitors. Promote your event online by using social media to talk about the event and adding material to your website. Don’t forget to also promote the event offline by putting posters in the windows of your establishment and why not add an advertisement in a local publication.
At Bunzl Catering Supplies we have significant expertise in guiding our customers through seasonal events. If you are thinking of hosting something special for Easter, or planning ahead for Christmas contact us today and see how we can help you plan for success.