We all know that the holidays are stressful, but 2020 is bringing that stress to a whole new level. With the pandemic in mind, your customers have to not only make holiday plans in advance but also consider a few backup plans as COVID rates change and guidelines about traveling and gathering are updated.

You’re probably going to have some customers who will come to you for help when Plan A looks like it’s going to be canceled and they work to make Plan B happen. Here are a few ideas you can use to make sure customers have exactly what they need for a successful holiday season.

1. Provide COVID-friendly menu items

The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that families skip the potluck dinner to reduce the spread of COVID, so customers may turn to you for catered meals that are prepared safely in your restaurant’s kitchen.

Offer single-serve items, like a bento box containing Thanksgiving dinner, mini pies, or salads in a jar. The chefs at Vestals Catering in Dallas have become experts at creating COVID-friendly food. Their menu includes caramel and dark chocolate tartlets, micro cheese boards, charcuterie bites served on individual forks, mini salads served in water goblets, and mini raspberry parfaits served in shot glasses with a tiny spoon.

2. Give small groups some options

It’s possible that families that are planning large holiday gatherings now may change their minds later and opt for smaller group celebrations. Be ready for them and give them a few choices for their holiday meals.

The Beehive in Boston is helping these small groups with their “our place or yours” promotion. You can book a table for six and have a three-course Thanksgiving dinner or purchase a meal to go that includes appetizers, an entree, sides, and dessert. 

3. Make it fully customizable

Some people love cooking and have no problem making their entire holiday meal at home, while others would rather make some of the dishes and rely on the experts — your restaurant — for the entree, the sides, the desserts, or some kind of combination. 

In other words, they want customizable options.

The Thanksgiving menu at The Bindery in Denver has plenty of options, from two types of Thanksgiving meals with everything to just the entree, individual sides, bread, desserts, or even wine available for pre-order. 

4. Try something completely different

If there’s been one consistent part of 2020, it’s that normal rules don’t apply anymore. You don’t have to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in the house you’ve been quarantining in for the better part of the year. Give customers something new and different for the holidays.

Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi in Belleville, Wash., has planned a new experience for the holidays this year. Customers can join them on the 31st floor at the Lincoln Square South Tower for a tableside experience while also being socially distanced. They’re serving up a contemporary table buffet-style brunch, where the meal comes to diners via revolving trollies and carousels of food and beverages.

Make it easy with DirectBook

Tripleseat’s newest feature, DirectBook, allows restaurants, venues, and hotels to provide an easy way for customers to select and complete the booking and payment process for any of the catering, private dining, meal kit, pickup, and delivery orders you are offering this holiday season. 

If your venue isn’t currently using DirectBook to book in house events and catering orders, there’s no better time than the present. There is no additional fee associated with DirectBook. You must be a Tripleseat customer and have online payments set up with one of our online payment partners: CardConnect or Stripe. For help setting up your DirectBook feature, reach out to our support team. You’ll be on your way to generating holiday revenue with DirectBook in no time.

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