While COVID-19 has put a wrench in the plans of many large gatherings this year, groups have been able to get creative and find new ways to celebrate special moments. The upcoming holiday season will be no different, and groups who normally gather at large venues surrounded by holiday decorations will try something new, either at home or in the form of a small off-site catered event.

No matter the size of the event, something that always makes an event extra special is the theme behind it. Take a look at four catering themes that your restaurant or catering company could create and promote this year.

1. Virtual tastings

The crowd at your clients’ events will certainly influence the theme and style of the event you create for them. The theme for a virtual company party will probably be different than that of a gathering with close friends and family, for example.

Many employers have already gone this route, but your restaurant can create a theme around sending a kit to all employees to participate in together via Zoom. This could mean sending a wine tasting set to the attendees and then participating in a virtual tasting together led by a sommelier. Employees can chime in via audio and video or else write to one another in the chat. A wine tasting could be paired with food that is included in the kit as well, either to cook on Zoom or simply to enjoy eating while tasting.

This type of virtual tasting could work in a fully virtual or hybrid format, if you have some employees in the office with others working remotely. Virtual tastings are not just for corporate customers though, and can be gifted to friends and family members to enjoy this holiday season as well.

2. DIY party

If you have crafty customers, offer the supplies and ingredients for a DIY party to celebrate the holidays. Create kits with food, drinks, ingredients, and include a themed activity. This could be in the form of decorating holiday cookies, decorating cupcakes, or building gingerbread houses, to name a few. Nothing is better than a gingerbread house-building contest with your best friends and a lot of booze! The holiday season is full of many traditions that can be turned into a themed party full of DIY projects.

On the restaurant side, try to cater to these interests whenever possible with the help of kits. Cocktail kits and cooking kits are the perfect staple for any DIY party. Freshen up your packages with pumpkin pie martinis for Thanksgiving, peppermint white Russians for Christmas, and all the accessories necessary to create the ultimate champagne presentation for New Year’s Eve.

3. Brunchmas

Celebrate Christmas morning this year by combining everyone’s favorite meal (brunch) with the holiday, and you will get Brunchmas! This is the perfect opportunity to offer a catered breakfast spread catered to your home to feed all of your clients’ family members.

The list of delicious breakfast foods to enjoy on Christmas morning is endless — pancakes, french toast, egg casserole, apple tart, banana bread, bacon and sausage, hot chocolate, and so on. Put together Christmas packages for pickup or delivery that include an added holiday touch. Encourage your customers to spend time with loved ones dressed in holiday pajamas and leave the cooking to your restaurant because 2020 has been a tough year and they deserve it!

4. The 12 courses of Christmas

We all know the classic tune about holiday giving, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Well, what if instead of (or in conjunction with) the tune, guests were to experience 12 courses of catered food? This would take some creative planning on the restaurant’s side and organized hosting on the host’s side, but guests are sure to enjoy a 12-course meal from home for the holidays.

If the host really wanted to go along with the feeling of a 12-course meal at a restaurant, he or she could have everyone seated at a table, and all courses are brought out in a particular order. If the restaurant is offering on-site staff, then the food could be served by this employee wearing PPE.

By definition, a 12 course meal consists of the following menu elements in this order: hors d’oeuvres, amuse-bouche, soup, appetizer, salad, fish, a first main course, a palate cleanser, a second main course, a cheese course, dessert, and mignardise (a bite-sized dessert). 

More resources

This year more than ever, it will be crucial for restaurants to use their marketing efforts to drive event and catering business for the holiday season. Check out this blog post to learn the best marketing tips to do just that.

Once you start generating holiday bookings, organize and plan every detail with Tripleseat’s event management features. If you’re not a customer and you’re interested in learning more about Tripleseat, schedule a demo at your convenience to take a closer look.

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