“The festive season is the most important time of the year for caterers, as consumers look to enjoy the Christmas period by going out and having a good time. Along with drinking and socialising, diners will also be looking for great tasting, quality food. It is therefore imperative that caterers construct a detailed plan for creating innovative menu alternatives to the traditional Christmas lunch, to drive sales and maximise profits, throughout the day.
“Traditionally, the festive dining experience has been a formal occasion, usually involving family and friends. Popular foods normally include a Sunday roast dinner or turkey with all the trimmings, however in recent years, there has been a continued rise in consumer demand for a more relaxed and informal dining experience.”
Convenience is key
“Being aware of what’s on trend can maximise footfall and boost profits, but this requires caterers to suitably adapt their menus to provide a variety of dishes. Quick and easy to eat, on-the-go foods can help caterers cash in on the rise of casual dining. In addition, with the increase in footfall over the festive period, outlets will become very busy, putting pressure on kitchen staff to cook and serve large quantities of food without delay. So, as well as traditional Christmas food, other versatile non-traditional dishes that can be served quickly and eaten conveniently should also be made available to meet demand in peak trade.”
Hot selling ‘dogs’
“The trend of convenience, has seen many foods, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, open sandwiches and tapas grow in popularity, and we have also seen a significant rise in the demand for street-style foods as consumers look for more innovative, easy-to-eat hand-held dishes.
“And, as consumers continue to become more adventurous in the flavours they are choosing to try, the base ingredient of a gourmet hot dog, the frankfurter, lends itself perfectly to adapting to an array of flavours. Caterers choosing to source frankfurters as a primary ingredient can add value and different taste combinations by producing a wide range of toppings and sides.
“Try serving up dishes such as the Monte Christo, a pork frankfurter with Swiss cheese, strawberry jam, gherkin and mustard; or the Mexican Pork frankfurter with chilli, jalapeno, sour cream and Monterey Jack Cheese or, alternatively for a twist on the traditional Christmas meal, the delicious Christmas dog accompanied with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce can all be prepared and served quickly and offer diners a wide selection of unique and tasty meals.
“Frankfurters are an ideal option for caterers looking to create a number of appetising dishes that can be served throughout the day and night to drive sales.
“Westlers premium frankfurters are ideal for offering consumers a great tasting, good quality eat. Made from 90% pork, Westlers frankfurters are naturally smoked over beechwood to give them that flavoursome, authentic taste. Quick and easy to prepare, Westlers frankfurters offer the perfect solution to operators looking to capitalise on the demand for more casual gourmet products over the festive period.
“Recent research has shown that offering quality food is a key driver in attracting more diners, which is vitally important over the holiday season. By reacting to consumer trends and sourcing a premium ingredient such as Westlers frankfurters, caterers can increase their opportunity of attracting extra custom and greater sales over the Christmas period.”
“Along with the premium frankfurters, Westlers can also offer cooking equipment packages to help caterers prepare and present their frankfurters in the best possible way. Bain maries, roller grills and steamers allow caterers to offer hot dog dishes directly from the counter as both the frankfurters and the pre-prepared toppings can be kept at optimum temperature throughout service. POS materials such as posters and flags as well as sundries such as Westlers branded hot dog boxes can also be provided, which are designed to create a bit of theatre and a more engaging dining experience.
“Offering diners tasty food that can be served quickly and eaten conveniently is key to meeting demand in peak trade. As party season approaches, bars in particular will be looking for simple ways to retain customers, who may otherwise depart for a late night bite. Frankfurters are the ideal hand held bar snack to fulfil this need as they are a simple, quick to serve late night option that can help grow wet sales by offering late night ‘meal deals’.
“Traditional Christmas food can often be tricky to prepare and can be very time consuming, and it doesn’t always appeal to every customer. By offering different, innovative and creative alternatives that are convenient and easy to eat and serve, caterers can provide diners with a range of tasty fast food options, increasing the chances of further sales over the busy festive season.”