Christmas is just around the corner and will be upon us in no time at all. This throws up several challenges for restaurant and hospitality businesses:
- Does your current crockery fit your Christmas menu?
- Do you have sufficient stocks to be able to serve everyone and have enough in stock for ‘emergencies’?
- Has some of your crockery seen better days?
- Are you expecting to see ‘new’ customers coming through the door during the festive season?
Make Sure You Have Crockery To Suit Your Christmas Menu
Lots of places will have had their Christmas menu out for a while now, but have you plated everything up as you would wish? Chef may have included some items on the menu but you may not have a plate/dish/bowl/platter that is up to the task.
This could come as a nasty surprise when you start getting the first Christmas parties in. So go through each menu item and make sure it looks as good as it can and on the correct serving base - remember you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Don’t be satisfied with ‘that will do’ as Christmas is a valuable opportunity to show off your kitchen and its culinary skills and the potential to snare some new ‘regulars’. Outlay on great plates will pay for itself quickly through helping to boost your trade. No one likes to leave with the impression that they have been underserved.
Keep More Than Enough Crockery In Stock
You have a good set of bookings for the festive season happy days. But what if an unexpected booking comes in that you can just fit in and its too good an opportunity to turn down - who would? Panic sets in in the kitchen though when they see that they are short of plates/bowls/platters to serve a full sitting! Disaster, do the diners get poor slow service due to kitchen waiting for crockery to return to pot wash so it can be plated up for the next customers? We have all been victim to slow service and it puts us off visiting a restaurant or bar again - don’t fall into that trap! You want customers to leave having had a meal (with service) to remember for the right reasons.
Stock up with enough good, correct crockery to serve a full sitting with extras - you will need stock waiting to be plated up and remember that there will be dirty plates in pot wash that can’t be used.
Replace Chipped and Scratched Crockery
So you have counted up and you have enough of all shapes and sizes to feed all of your Christmas bookings (and more) but as you start serving you see that a good portion of your crockery has become scratched and, heaven forbid, chipped! This reinforces the points above - chipped or scruffy crockery can indicate to diners that you perhaps don’t care as much as you should about the presentation. Some will then think that if the establishment doesn’t care about customer-facing presentation then what other things do they not care about? (Hygiene in the prep areas that are out of sight?)
Chuck out any tired pottery and replace it - always get rid of chipped crockery, it just will not do!! The Christmas period is a great time to do a crockery revamp. There are lots of different ideas, colours and textures out there to help you stand out from the crowd. Investment here will pay for itself as the festive season should be a time of plenty to food service businesses.
Christmas is a great time to show people what you can do. Impress new diners with your great food, service and beautiful presentation on great crockery. These diners are potential new regular diners and you only get one chance to make a first impression - make sure that it’s a fantastic impression.
It’s well known that bad impressions travel much quicker and further by word of mouth than good impressions, so don’t fall into this trap by scrimping on your crockery settings or a ‘that will do’ attitude.
We wish you all happy and prosperous festive season!