Where to start: Throw it back to Christmas 2019

Christmas 2020 was somewhat hit and miss for many in the hospitality industry, so if you’ve got sales data from back in 2019 to work from then that’s a great place to start. The world might have changed a little since, but it’s unlikely that people’s appetites have shifted too far from the Christmas classics. In fact, insight suggests that the old familiar favourites and returning to a sense of normality will be what people are looking for this December.

Once you’ve pulled your sales data from December 2019, plot your dishes and pricing information into our ‘Star/Dog’ analysis template. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and our handy Excel chart will do all the hard working out for you. Download it here.

Your Star/Dog analysis will tell you which dishes were most profitable and most popular for your business over the Christmas period – and which weren’t. Start shaping your menu by maintaining the ‘Stars’, and consider how you can improve the popularity and profitability of the ‘Dogs’ – or whether to remove them completely.

Spice up your menus for Christmas 2021

Spice up your menus for Christmas 2021

Why not add something different to your festive lunch menu, with this Carrot, chickpea and red pepper Wellington.

And to meet all your customers needs, why not take a look at this meat-free version of the American classic Philli Cheesesteak sandwich.

Mix up your festive dessert offering and treat your customers to this indulgent Chocolate Creme Brulee brownie.


Now make your life in the kitchen a little bit easier

Dish complexity refers to the amount of effort and skill required to execute a dish successfully. This can include factors like prep time, number of steps in the recipe, number of stations required to prepare the dish, margin for error, etc.

Use our ‘Star/Dog’ analysis template to measure dish complexity too, and you’ll soon start to see where you could benefit from making some changes.

Decreasing dish complexity can help make your operations more efficient, offer your guests a more consistent product, and often decrease your food cost – especially if labour is a challenge for your business in the run up to Christmas.

Finally, consider how much to charge

Christmas might be a time when consumers don’t mind splashing out, but most will still want to feel that they are getting value for money. It can be a tricky balance to strike when setting prices for your menu. 

Set menus will likely have a better perceived value amongst consumers, especially when dining in groups at Christmas (they’re also easy to prep for and manage during a busy service in the kitchen!). Consider how you can maximise your margins with upgrades, add-ons and drinks to help elevate the dining experience for the consumer, along with your profitability.