Preparing Your Restaurant for New Year's Eve Celebrations



New Year’s Eve Restaurant Preparedness

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and it is no secret that people enjoy going out and having a good time on the last day of the year. If you own a restaurant or plan on hosting a private event with a bar, you can’t ignore being prepared for this night of festivities. Running out of supplies, failing to draw people in, being understaffed, or otherwise being underprepared is a surefire way to ruin people’s night. After that, good luck building up hype for next year’s parties. Here are a few tips we have learned along the way that will help you prepare for New Year’s Eve like an old pro.

Plan it All Out

There is no easy way to say this. Without a plan for New Year’s Eve dining and entertaining, you are going to fail. You still have a little bit of time. If you already have a plan from last year, that’s a great place to start. If you have started working on a new plan for this year, even better— but time to finish it up. If you have not yet planned out everything, it’s time to get to work.

There are a number of key components you will need to keep in mind when creating your master plan for New Year’s Eve:

  • Staffing
  • Food & Drink Stock
  • Menu Items & Specials
  • Dinnerware and Glasses
  • Decorations
  • Entertainment
  • Brand Messaging

Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but let’s talk about brand messaging for a moment. A lot of us get caught up in planning the ultimate New Year’s Eve experience. We want everyone to have a great time and love us for giving it to them. Keep in mind though, that you want to be sure to stick with your brand. If your restaurant is known for their burgers, don’t break the mold and push steak that night. Instead, come up with a special burger or three just for the holiday. “Available for one night only!” has a powerful draw. Keep yourself recognizable. If your establishment is known for their family-friendly atmosphere, keep that in mind. Don’t turn yourself into a wild bar for just one night—families need somewhere to celebrate, too.

Promote the Events

As the old saying goes: promote early, promote often. This is not the world of “if you build it, they will come.” You have to make sure that people know there is going to be a special event at your home, club, or restaurant. Sure, people might guess or assume because they know your place. But, what about those new customers you have a chance to draw in. Plus, your competitors are going to be advertising. Don’t get caught off guard by preparing for a deluge of customers only to find out that they all went over to that place down the street for the night.

Put out fliers. Take out radio ads. Decorate your windows. Add a message to receipts and menus. Make sure there is no doubt that people know what your restaurant or bar is doing on New Year’s Eve and that they’d be bummed forever if they missed it.

Dinnerware, Dishes, Glasses, and More

You have a few ways you can go with this. You have a few ways you can go with this. If you run an establishment known for being fancy and classy, maybe you want to stay with the same quality plates, bowls, restaurant silverware, glasses, and serving trays as usual. Be sure you have enough as this could be a crazy busy night for you. When is the last time you did an inventory check? Don’t let breakage sneak up on you. Also, if you’ve been waiting to update your place settings, doing so on New Year’s Eve to signal a change is kind of symbolic. You might want to add a new flair to your beverage service with these stylish glasses by Libby.

However, if you’re really going to get into the party atmosphere of your New Year’s Eve event, you might want to consider disposable plates and cups for the night. They do have a certain amount of tradition attached to them for the night. What about disposable bowls for a special New Year’s super bowl dish? If you go that route—be sure to have plenty of trash bags on hand.

What About the Party?

Let’s not forget that people are looking for a party on New Year’s Eve. Don’t fall short on that. How are you going to show them a good time? Are you bringing in live entertainment or a DJ? Do you have two-for-one drink specials? Maybe some bottle specials or house mixes that you’re going to push that night? If so, be sure your staff is aware and familiar with it. How are you going to decorate? Are you going to have a countdown at midnight? What happens when the clock strikes 12? Will you have a balloon or confetti drop? Remember, you are serving up more than food and drinks on New Year’s Eve. You are providing an experience, and everything else both plays into and comes second to that.

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