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The 2019 Hospitality Guide to Christmas

Management 8 minute read 16 December 2019

In 2016, research revealed that millennials were transforming holiday dining. This resulted in the profits for US independent restaurants that opened on Christmas and New Year’s Day increasing by 40 to 50 percent.

It’s a similar story in the UK, where Christmas Day restaurant dining rose by over 200% between 2012 and 2017.

hospitality guide to christmas

Hotels should be braced for an increasing desire to stray from traditional Christmases, too. For instance, last year, it was revealed that a third of Brits were checking into hotels to avoid family dramas.

Hyperbole or a flash in the pan? We’ll let you decide that, but, clearly, preparing for a bumper Christmas is something that should be at the top of every hospitality operator’s to-do list.

The early preparations

preparing restaurant for christmas

How early should you start preparing for the festive season in hospitality? Many will say as soon as the summer ends, but there’s no harm in doing so as soon as you’re ready to - even if that’s January!

When you’re ready to start planning, take into account the following key areas:


how to decorate your venue

The good news? You don’t have to do loads to make your establishment as festive as possible for the holiday season. The key lies in finding smaller things you can change that have a big impact.

A decent-sized, well-decorated Christmas tree is an obvious starting point, but it’s also worth investing in seasonal napkins, cloths and centrepieces. They’ll make a bigger difference in your dining room than you might think.

Remember that decorations can - and probably should - extend to your branding, too. So, give your logo a dusting of snow, and if you really feel like properly going for it, add a festive character to your social graphics to give them real identity. There’s a reason John Lewis uses a cute dragon in its 2019 commercials.

How to undertake festive hospitality advertising

christmas hospitality advertising

This is your chance to strike while the iron is hot.

When you’ve done all of your early preparations, the fun can really start - advertising all of the festive goodness you have to give.

Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

And finally: getting the team Christmas-ready

Preparing team for christmas

You could have the best Christmas marketing and decor plan in the world, but if the team don’t buy into it, you won’t deliver the best guest experience.

Christmas should be an enjoyable - if occasionally stressful - time of the year to work, and you can ensure that’s the case with your team by getting them on board early.

Pay close attention to the rota and get the thorny topic of holiday working out of the way, first. Find out who is willing to work during that period and those who would rather not and work the rota around that.

Then, the rest is simple: just involve your staff as much as you can in the planning. Get them in on the marketing ideas, promotional aspects and, if Sarah in the kitchen is a great digital designer at home, why not ask her to spruce up the logo?

The more your team is encouraged to get involved with Christmas preparations, the more likely they are to enjoy working when it finally hits.

The festive season is a brilliant time of the year for hospitality businesses, so make sure you spruce up yours and make it fit for the increasing number of people who are dining and staying out at Christmas.

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