What are you going to do? Have you made the decision yet? Is there a special menu in the works? What are the hours going to be? Special menu during the day, r, are you just going to have people order ahead of time and pick them up by 11:00 so you can enjoy the day with family? This is also a plus for your staff.
I´m referring to Thanksgiving.
It flew in faster than a flock of wilds can trot from one ranch to the other in Carmel Valley. The questions are too complex to discuss here, we all have reasons for opening, closing, special menu, regular menu. I will attest that there is money to be made, and appreciation from customers if you offer the pre-ordered roasted- to-go Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner.
The success of your promotion are the preparation specialties you use to attract customers.
Here´s a few tips-
1). Begin to promote early. Have a menu ready by Monday.
2). Sell a better brand of Turkey and charge accordingly. Forget the Butterball, or the Tyson´s. Those can be picked up at the local grocery store. Break out of the box.
3). Be creative in your preparation. Use a gourmet rub or a marinade on the bird. I have a special fondness for Made in Napa Valley products. You can order these online or can find them in many local gourmet stores, Whole Foods, Lunds, and Byerly´s. Be creative in your thinking, both when near the over and stove, and when you are writing the copy for the promotional piece.
4). A turkey is for the birds without great stuffing. Offer traditional, cornbread with cranberries, and possibly an oyster stuffing. Create something new and use it as a signature. Apricot pecan stuffing is a tremendous way to introduce a nutty tartness to any stuffing mixture.
5). Think about rock concerts. Nobody ever wanted to sit through the opening acts until we were sitting through the opening acts. Often they were as good as or possibly better- depending on state of mind- than the headliners. Thanksgiving follows this thinking. The impressive introduction of a whole roasted turkey on a platter is unmatchable at Thanksgiving. We all know, however, it´s the sides that bring the flavor to the table and the life to the meal.
6). Potatoes, carrots, yams, squash- all great guys. And let´s not forget the Trans fat casserole-the canned string beans with the Durkee Onion Rings on top. Give these the boot. If you want to sell Thanksgiving, be traditional in a creative sense. Add some herbs, look for special produce items. Talk to your vendor and ask what they think they will be able to get in three weeks. Put it on your menu. People will pay for quality at Thanksgiving if they can share it with their families.
7). Take orders early. Don´t wait until the Tuesday before even if Mrs. Carisch comes in and begs for special stuff-unless of course she is your best catering customer- than accommodate her.
8). Organization is a major ingredient. Make sure you order containers to package the food. Print out an order form on your computer. Number them. Name. Address. Phone number. Have a central clip board for orders. Keep a running tally of how many birds you need to roast. Oven space directly correlates to the amount of orders you can accommodate.
9). Pies. Know you limitations. Unless you have enough space to feed the troops forget about the pies. Find that special person- Aunt Nettie- if you happen to rent space from Peter Dwares- is in Santa Cruz and bales the best pies in the country. Otherwise go to your pie source and offer them for Thanksgiving. Aside from the traditional discuss the creation of something special.
10). Give "em something special. Deviled eggs are hot right now. And, they are easy to make. With a bit of mayo, a hint of mustard, a few capers on top and a sprinkle of herbs they are a great way to launch your dishwasher´s career to the prep table. Give every turkey order a dozen of the little devils as a complimentary passable while the home chef is unwrapping the dinner and pretending to burn a hand or finger on the hot stove in their kitchen.
Remember one other thing: the beauty of pre order is that you are just testing the waters. Nothing lost. Nothing gained. And whatever the outcome the promotion will lead to other business.