Gearing up for Christmas? Whether you’re booked out already or not, now is the time to get your venue ready – so you can best capitalise on this time.

With an increase of 6.5% of customers coming through your doors in December, planning for the Christmas rush is imperative. And we all know the key to being joyous – it’s all about the plan!

There’s no need to stress. We’ve got you covered. Here are five ways to prepare your venue.

1. Have a good chin-wag

Why not send out an email or broadcast on social media to tell them about any Christmas offers and packages. If you’ve created specials for businesses to host their Christmas lunch, let them know. Pop into local businesses, chat to them on the phone… whatever works!

2. Stay open!

Think about increasing your opening hours. Most bookings only happen the day before, so it’s important to keep availability for last-minute bookings. Don’t fall into the trap of being understaffed, just because you don’t have many bookings in. The groups get bigger during Christmas time too, so keep this in mind.

3. People = profit

You’ve got your favourites. Your star staff. Use them! Make sure you roster on staff who know the menu like the back of their hands and can handle being on the floor, with extra customers coming through the door.

4. New menu, specials, upsells

You’re going to have groups coming in, so spend the time creating a special Christmas menu. This is a great way to maximise their spend, add new food to your menu and make it easy for your groups. Make sure you invest the time into training your staff. They should know the menu well and be able to explain it even better. Pair seasonal food with special drinks, for even greater spends.

5. Keep the conversation, and drinks, flowing

Things don’t always happen the way you plan. Groups might cancel, staff might call in sick. You might get so busy that your customers are waiting an hour for their food. Whatever happens, keep the conversation going with your customers. Make sure they’re happy. Attend to them. Keep the drinks flowing.

Businesses will soon to be closing their doors for the year, and heading to the pub to let them hair down.

This is your time, now. Make sure you’re ready… will bells on.    Jingle all the way… to the bank!