There is no better time for restaurants to redesign their menu for the perfect revenue boost than the holidays. Around Christmastime, people are more than happy to take out their wallets and open their belts as they celebrate the festive season with their family and friends. Giving your Christmas menu a good makeover can help restaurant owners and operators take advantage of the festivities to bring a boost to your year-end bottom line.

1. Serve the classics but don’t be afraid to add an innovative twist.

This year, bring out that special seasonal menu offering traditional Christmas fare. Many people will no doubt want to feast on nostalgic annual passengers, such as roast turkey, mince pies, and Christmas puddings. However, just because you’re serving classics doesn’t mean your menu has to be boring. You can spice things up by adding a holiday touch to standard fare by adding holiday flavours to standard fare. For instance, you can add cranberry sauce to a regular turkey sandwich or serve gingerbread brownies for dessert. Other Christmas ingredients you may want to add to your dishes include peppermint, cranberry, and chestnut.

2. Go local.

Many customers are starting to prefer restaurants that team up with local food producers for sourcing the ingredients for their dishes so you won’t go wrong opting for seasonal local fare this Christmas. Focus on seasonal fruits and vegetables such as pumpkin, squash, and mushrooms as well as clementine and pineapple. For meat and seafood, consider serving quail, duck, or rabbit and freshly caught cod, sea bream, or haddock. Protip: When storing raw meats over the winter, make sure your commercial ice maker is fully serviced to accommodate your needs. Choose high-quality ice makers such as Manitowoc ice machines to make sure you have no breakdown problems come wintertime.

3. Don’t forget the drinks

Get your commercial freezers ready to hold up all the ingredients needed to serve celebratory drinks this Christmas. With people feeling festive, this is the best time to offer pre and post-dinner display fridge for cold drinks to your customers, ranging from mulled wine and eggnog to cranberry margaritas and candy cane mojitos. Also, in keeping with the spirit of putting local first, see if you can team up with local craft beer breweries and artisans for the season. Many of them produce holiday-themed brews that you can offer to customers who prefer beer over cocktails.

4. Take stock of your inventory.

Take a look at what you already have in your pantries and see if you could fashion a new food product out of it that you could offer as a new commodity that customers could purchase as holiday gifts. For example, if you have extra boxes of apples, pears, and cranberries from autumn’s harvest, you could make your own fruit vinegar and package it in bottles with cork toppers and your own branded label.

5. Prepare menus for parties.

The holidays is high-time for big groups of people dining together so why not provide special group packages for them? You can offer a fancy five-course meal that starts with the appetiser and ends with dessert and wine-food pairing suggestions for a fixed price. Or you can also provide group meals ala carte to give your guests more flexibility in choosing their meals. If catering to groups, ask for reservations and consider adding a prepayment option to avoid last-minute cancellations.