Menu Management

How to Spice up Your Holiday Menu

By Zesty Pear

Holiday decorations laid out on a dark wooden table

It’s time to get ready for holiday parties to kick into full gear and patrons to be looking for seasonal flare in your fine establishment. There are lots of ways to incorporate a little ho-ho-ho, besides a new holiday playlist and running some restaurant holiday gift card promotions.

But don’t get out the sharpie just yet. We’re not talking about completely revamping your menu. You work hard all year to ensure that your menu is tight and your vibe is unique. But when the weather is cold, holiday spirits are high, and Christmas is just around the corner, there’s never a more perfect time to add a little seasonal flare to your menu.  

Here are some simple ways to spice up your menu this holiday season ahead of the restaurant holiday rush.

Have a Cup of Cheer

There are many opportunities to add some holiday and New Year’s Eve restaurant cheer to your existing drink menu.

For example, how about featuring a White Christmas Sangria? You can serve this drink feature by the pitcher or by the glass, and most of it can be prepared before your doors open. In fact, the more the ingredients blend together, the better it will taste. So make it in advance, store it in the fridge, and garnish for the season.

With a Cherry Cranberry on Top 

Using seasonal flavors and ingredients like peppermint, cinnamon, rosemary, and cranberry can add a hint of the tastes customers crave around this time of year.  

For drinks, try frosted rosemary. Drench a few sprigs of rosemary in water, roll in sugar and place in the fridge to. Patrons will love the look of snow on their drinks! Another option for a tasteful Christmas touch is to infuse simple pitchers of water with rosemary and cranberries.

Festive Finishers

Now, let’s talk about dessert. For all things sweet, try adding the ultimate holiday garnish: candy cane. Classic red and white stripes can add some festive zing to a simple brownie, cake or ice cream dish.

Crushed candy cane can do the trick (tip: use a meat mallet and a Ziploc bag), but we suggest you go the extra mile and garnish with candy cane bark. It’s super simple to make in advance: Simply pour melted semisweet dark chocolate onto a foiled pan and add a layer of melted white chocolate mixed with crushed candy cane. Add more candy canes on top and freeze until hardened. Bonus: leftovers can keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks!

Remember, the holidays are a busy time, so make sure to keep it simple! Build on your existing menu by adding small, thoughtful touches to share the holiday spirit with your customers – from start to finish.

Looking for more holiday inspiration?

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by Zesty Pear

Sarah and Scott (aka The Zesty Pear) are newly-weds who love exploring hot spots across North America and discovering the latest and greatest in food and drink. Their favourite moments occur when they are enjoying a new dish or sipping on drinks while laughing away with friends and family. In their eyes, the simple things are the special things.

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