Over the festive season, alcohol intake in Australia triples and restaurants enter one of the busiest times of year when it comes to bookings.

However, customer expectations over this busy period are a little different than they are at other times of the year. For instance, the crowd that you draw in on New Year’s Eve will most likely be rowdier and want a different type of service to the customers you get on Mother’s Day.

So, what can you do in the lead up to New Year’s Eve and how can you handle things on the night to ensure your customers get the New Year’s celebration that they want?

We take a look in more detail.

Be Prepared for Bigger Crowds

Do you have enough seating and enough extra staff to cater for any extra demand on New Year’s Eve?

Planning for New Year’s celebrations should always begin early, especially since most customers will be making bookings – it’s not really a just walk-in kind of a night. Take a moment to think about your restaurants realistic capacity, as well as how many people you can legally have inside, and schedule in bookings accordingly.

It could also be worth re-arranging your table arrangements or catering for more cocktail-style functions and removing some dining tables to allow for the type and quantity of the demand coming through your doors.

Also, make sure you plan your rosters out and give your staff plenty of notice. Many of them will have to give up their own New Year’s plans to work their shift, so try to make them feel valued on the night, regardless of how busy it gets.

However, whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s within your capabilities. The last thing you want to do is over promise and under deliver.
Plan Your Alcohol Needs in Advance

It’s no secret that Aussies love a cold beer – or any form of alcohol for that matter. And when it comes to drinking, New Year’s Eve is the biggest night of the year. This means that you’ll probably go through a lot more alcohol than you would on an ordinary night – so make sure you order extra.

If you’re running an established venue, look at past New Year’s Eve sales to determine how much you will need. However, if you’re operating a new business, this could be a little trickier. Do some market research, and start taking bookings in advance and you should be able to gage roughly how much extra you need. At the end of the day, you’ll be better off having too much than not enough on a night like New Year’s Eve.
Get Creative with Your Menu

Depending on your typical customer demographic, you might need to offer a different type of service than you do on a regular night. If you’re drawing in larger group bookings, an appetiser package with plenty of drinks flowing will work well, while a full three-course menu with Champagne might work better for more intimate celebrations.

There’s no rule saying you can only offer one or the other. If your customer’s wants/needs vary, offer different packages to suit different bookings. However, if you’re offering an appetiser and drinks package, it could be worthwhile putting a minimum guest count on it to ensure you’re not serving up only canapés to people dining in pairs.

New Year’s Eve has the potential to be one of your most profitable nights of the year. So, make sure you get the word out there to draw in a big crowd, and do plenty of preparation in advance to make sure you’re ready for a big night, and you’ll be laughing all the way into the New Year!

To make sure you have the latest POS equipment to deal with all of your restaurant’s needs, and increased demand during busy events like New Year’s Eve, talk to Vectron about your point of sale system today!