When designing any menu the most important thing to remember is to know your market! says Andrew Scott, Managing Director of Victus Consultancy. What appeals to younger guests doesn’t always tickle the older generation. For our more mature customers we offer a slightly simpler menu with special festive touches to give the food a celebratory nature.
You should always include the turkey and Christmas pudding that your customers will expect to see as a minimum, from there you can build with more creative and innovative dishes. Although your guests may not choose them, it is good to demonstrate a choice of imaginative and exciting options.
If in doubt, ask. There’s nothing wrong with completing market research by asking your regular customers for feedback before finalising a menu. Your regulars will look for an element for familiarity. They keep coming back for a reason, so make sure that your Christmas menu is a reflection of your normal offerings and stays true to your brand.
Offering different menus for outside parties and in house guests is great if you can. There are a number of benefits to doing it this way. For larger parties it lets you control the amount of work needed, by asking for pre-orders and simplifying the menu to ensure a smoother service. For your in house guests and regulars, they will likely experience both menus over the festive period and as before it’s always good to demonstrate variation.
Any good menu should attract new bookings with seasonal and local produce. Following food trends can also be handy, as this helps your menu develop from year to year.