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Should you Open on Christmas Day?

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 12 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Christmas Restaurant Business Profitable

Opening your restaurant on Christmas Day is a very personal decision. Many people with a background in the hospitality and catering industries do not feel the same about Christmas as those of us who work in office based jobs, as they have had many years of working over Christmas. They do not see it as a holiday with lots of lovely food and an old Bond film on the telly, rather one of the busiest times of their working year when they are serving others.

If your new restaurant is your first position in the hospitality sector, you may see Christmas as a great business opportunity. Indeed it is – many restaurant businesses enjoy the run up to Christmas as their most profitable time. Catering for office parties is a great way to be packed every night throughout November and December, especially if you carefully plan a set menu that minimises the hassles in the kitchen and maximises your turnover throughout the festive season.

What Else Is Open At Christmas In Your Area?

Before you make a decision about whether or not to open on Christmas Day, do a little bit of research about your local area. See what other restaurants open on Christmas Day and try to get a hold of a copy of their menu to see what they offer and how much people are prepared to pay. Ask around your friends and family to see if they have been out for Christmas dinner, or if they would think about it.

Some people would never dream of going to a hotel or restaurant for Christmas dinner – they love the preparation, the cooking smells in the home and all the leftovers for Boxing Day. Others think that it is far less hassle to pay for someone else to do all the running about and peeling of sprouts.

Can You Get The Staff?

There is no point opening on Christmas Day if you are unable to find a chef or waiting staff. Too many restaurants think they can get away with a rubbish Christmas dinner – cold turkey, soggy vegetables and instant gravy – and yet still charge a premium for it. Yes, you may be able to get away with this one year, but it will play havoc with your reputation and there is no way people will return next year.

In order to live up to Christmas Day expectations, your business needs to be geared up for it. Make an effort – after all, you can probably charge around £40 - £60 per head just for the meal and everyone will probably choose the roast turkey with all the trimmings (apart from a couple of vegetarians who you will make sure you know about it advance.) This means you need happy, smiling waiting staff and a chef that knows what he/she is doing.

What Is Your Family Situation?

Whether or not you open on Christmas Day is perhaps in large part dependant on your family situation. If you are the parent of young children you may feel as though any amount of profitable results is not enough to make you miss out on seeing your kids open their presents. If you are single, you may think that you would prefer the hustle and bustle of opening the restaurant and creating a magical, festive atmosphere for your guests.

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