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Party Prep Brings Payoff

Fabio Ingrosso [CC BY 2.0 (]


The holiday season is upon us. Businesses across Pennsylvania will be celebrating the season with office parties. Some will need catering services to their location. Others may want to move the party to a local tavern, pub, or restaurant.

Regardless the location, it’s a great opportunity for tavern and restaurant owners to boost earnings late in the year.

And, it isn’t necessarily a hard sell when you reach out to your local businesses. They likely want to support other local businesses, and that could open the door for you.

First step is to get the job! Here are some suggestions …

  • Call some of the local businesses and ask to speak to someone in charge of their holiday party.
  • Work through your local chamber of commerce.
  • Send a direct mailer to human resource departments at nearby businesses.
  • Advertise availability through your own signage.
  • Network, network, network.

Once you have the job, we suggest the following so that your pub or restaurant shines so much that they can’t wait to come back next year …

  • Create an experience! Set the holiday mood. Make it festive with holiday music, lights, and decorations.
  • Ask what type of party they expect? Does it include a sit-down meal? Is it a mixer with light fare? How is alcohol to be handled … by the company or the employee?
  • Make sure you have the right number of servers dedicated to the party. Good service will be remembered.
  • Be clear with the business regarding the menu, and what to do if there is a special on-site request from one of their employees.
  • Speaking of special requests, ask the business if any employee attending has dietary restrictions associated with food allergies, gluten, or other health-related situations. If so, find an option in advance so those employees can fully enjoy the celebration.
  • Come to an agreement with the business regarding the party’s hours. In scheduling, allot time for early arrivals and those leaving late. Parties are social events, so anticipate guests showing up in advance of scheduled hours and guests lingering after the designated party hours.
  • Some holiday parties include activities such as employee recognition awards or holiday-themed games. Know if the local business has any such plans and understand if additional space or equipment (ie speaker system) would be needed.

Remember employers host holiday parties and other fun employee activities to increase morale, improve the culture within their business, and promote teamwork. You’ll want to do everything within your control to help that business reach those goals. Make sure their party goes off without a hitch.

Finally, sometime after the holiday party, follow up with the business and thank them for spending their holidays at your establishment.

This story was republished from the November 2019 edition of the Pennsylvania Observer, the official monthly magazine of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.

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