Like many things in the year of 2020, Thanksgiving is going to look drastically different from years past. Record high levels of COVID cases have prompted health experts to encourage families to embrace smaller, more intimate celebrations this year with just their immediate families and advise against going out for Thanksgiving dinner. However, this does not change the fact that there are many Americans who simply surrender themselves to the daunting task of shopping for and cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Further, those who have prepared Thanksgiving dinners in the past likely had upwards of 5-15 people to serve and might not be prepared to scale their recipes significantly down. As such, you should anticipate an equally high demand, if not higher than years past, for a restaurant provided Thanksgiving meal. Here are some things to consider when preparing your operation for the big day:
Planning on offering on-premise service? Here are some things to consider:
- If weather permits, outdoor seating is always the safest option. Read our recent blog post on “winterizing” your outdoor seating offerings here.
- If weather does not permit and outdoor dining is not appropriate, consider buying air filtration systems for indoor seating and opening windows. This will help promote air circulation.
- Offer individual dishes instead of family style to eliminate contact points.
- Prepare a pre-fixe menu to streamline back of house processes.
- Be prepared for lower demand.
Planning on offering off-premise service? Here are some things to consider:
- Offer pre-fixed menu based on party size: Thanksgiving spread for 2, for 4, etc. in addition to a-la-carte options.
- Start to promote your offering ASAP to maximize inventory efficiency.
- Offer “cook it yourself” meal kit options for those more confident in the kitchen equipped with raw ingredients and recipes. This is a great way to use your inventory and alleviate stress of scaling traditionally bulk purchased ingredients, and create a foolproof plan for culinary success for your customers.
- Consider offering individual meals as opposed to traditional family style serving for those families who do gather with their extended relatives– less people handling the same utensils.
- Give your customers the opportunity to place their orders in advance to optimize efficiency and procurement processes. Order ahead capabilities are now available on our platform: click here to find out more.
We hope this was a helpful and informative resource as you prepare for an unprecedented holiday season. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns and we’d be happy to help in any way we can! If not, happy Thanksgiving from our team to yours.