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Summer has officially begun. With school holidays around the corner and Christmas only a few weeks away, we are well on our way to welcoming another great festive season. For many in the hospitality industry this is prime time and their turn to shine. With crowds flocking to tourist destinations and others choosing to eat out rather than at home, it is the perfect opportunity for cafes, restaurants and bars to take advantage of the increased patronage and maximise sales, profits and position themselves for an even better 2016. 

Here are 5 key tips to help you maximise profits this festive season:

House Keeping

Make sure you are ready for the influx of diners. Ensure your dining area is all in order and that you have completed a stocktake of supplies to ensure that everything is well stocked and prepared. Talk with suppliers regarding supply and delivery through the festive season and ensure your accounts are paid so you avoid any issues or interruptions to supply while you are busy. Ensure all your bookwork and other internal record keeping is up to date, so you can focus your attention on making the most of your busy season with your diners and not worrying about the books.

Maintain a solid online presence

Keep your customers updated through the use of social media and your website. You can advise of any changes to your menu or trading hours, or perhaps special events through the festive season. Keeping the communication open through these online channels is essential. If you have online booking capability, ensure it is always open so you don’t miss out on those spontaneous last minute bookings.

Have the best team on board

Having well trained and knowledgeable staff is essential at any time throughout the year but is even more valuable in the festive season. Ensuring your team are available, know the menu back to front and are delivering the best customer service creates great first impressions to first time diners and keeps the regulars happy too. High quality service promotes great feedback through websites such as trip advisor and also repeat customers.  

Maximise Diner Spend

The nature of the festive season means that many diners are more relaxed than usual and are therefore inclined to spend more time at a venue, especially in groups, so it’s important to maximise spend once you have a diner in your venue.  By maintaining great interaction with diners your staff can suggest additional beverages or food to diners, which, without the suggestion, they may not have ordered. This traditional art of up sell can do wonders to maximise profits. The trick is to not be too pushy.


Create a budget for the festive season. Use staff roster’s to budget staff costs, sit down with the kitchen team for estimated food spending, bar staff for alcohol and review bookings for income. It is also good to review the historical trading for the same period last year.  The goal is to keep costs low without affecting trade to build a cash safety net for the period post seasonal rush.

Utilise these 5 key tips to maximise profits this festive season. It’s important to stay calm and be well prepared. Make the most of this holiday season to build a cash safety net to continue on strong in 2016.

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