From company parties to friends and family soirees, the holidays are the busiest time of the year for private events and banquets. We talked to the teams at two very different concepts that consistently pull off standout private events: Stephen Lee, the Private Dining Manager at San Francisco’s Perbacco, and Chef Thomas Bellec at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Here are their top tips for executing memorable holiday events that keep guests coming back.
Archives for November 2015
Holiday shopping is in full swing! It’s the ideal time for restaurants to spread the word about their gift card programs and build business in the final weeks of the year. Here are six tips to grow your holiday gift card sales.
1. Market to a national audience.
70% of gift card purchasers live outside the restaurant’s zip code, so extend your reach beyond your local area. Often people buy gift cards for their friends, family or even clients, and although they may live in different states, they know what their favorite restaurants are. At Stella’s Fish Cafe in Minneapolis, Managing Partner Gary Windschitl says he recognizes many of the names of the gift card recipients when they come in. “They’re regular guests and their son or daughter knows that their favorite place is Stella’s.”
2. Give buyers the right incentives.
Parasole Restaurant Holdings, which operates 14 bars and restaurants in the Twin Cities, offers those who purchase $100 worth of gift cards a separate $25 gift card for themselves. Even with those incentives factored in, their programs are generating a strong ROI for the group.
Every week we’re rounding up some of our favorite articles with trends and tidbits from the world of restaurants. Tell us: what made your reading list this week?
Inside the NYC Restaurant Where All the Servers Wear Air Jordans — First We Feast
Marco Canora Gives Hearth a Healthy Tuneup — The New York Times
In Defense of Tipping — Medium
Top London Restaurant Goes Gluten and Dairy Free… and No One Notices — Evening Standard
The Art of the Cheese Plate — The Wall Street Journal
Sam Fox Is Building a restaurant Empire in the Desert — Food Republic
When it comes to major dining days, there’s an art to creating a menu that guests will love and staff can execute easily. Especially around the holidays, diners want to savor flavors from their childhood, but they also want an elevated meal and a standout restaurant experience — a tall order for the front and back of house.
We talked to two of New York City’s top chefs — Jesse Schenker of Recette and The Gander and Chad Brauze of The Back Room — to learn their approach to Thanksgiving menus and how they prep and execute the meal successfully.
In the months and weeks leading up to the winter holidays, we’ll be sharing tips to help restaurants prepare for the busiest time of the year. Check back for more ways to make this your best holiday season yet!
We know the final months of the year are the busiest time for restaurants: houses are packed, parties are big, hours are long, and check averages are (hopefully) high. With friends and family traveling to spend time together and celebratory spirits high, it’s the perfect time to reach a new audience of diners.
But what’s the story on the holidays themselves, from Thanksgiving and Christmas to New Year’s Eve? Do guests want to spend those special occasions at restaurants?
We looked at our 2014 data for the United States to gauge the volume of holiday diners, looking at covers on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve compared to the four corresponding weekdays leading up to the holiday. (In other words, comparing Thanksgiving volume to the four Thursdays before the holiday.)
Here’s what we saw: