Pizza Today - October 2022 - 41

L
et's face it, the holiday season is busy.
With all the things that we have on
our to-do lists, sometimes it's all too easy
to lose sight of what's most important
about the holidays: our friends and family.
Packages and family-style options can
be a great way to help your customers
spend more time enjoying their friends
and family and less time in the kitchen.
The key to a putting together a
successful holiday package is to
remember that your customers want
to create a memorable experience for
their guests, and that is where you come
in. Food is often the focus of family
gatherings, so this is a great opportunity
for your restaurant to make a great
impression and potentially gain new, loyal
customers.
Think of your holiday packages as
a marketing opportunity. It is vital
to ensure that the food leaving your
restaurant is hot, fresh and travels well.
Consider options that can be reheated
on site as well as items that are ready
to serve. Ask yourself what will present
best at an offsite event? You may even
consider modifying some dishes so that
sauces or garnishes can be added at the
time the dish is ready to be served for
maximum freshness. Branded bags, boxes,
foil pan lids, serving utensils and chafer
heating instructions are a great marketing
opportunity as well as give a polished,
professional look to your restaurant.
Your customers may need to pick up
their food the day before their event.
Ensuring that you provide reheating
instructions for each menu items is
not only helpful, but that attention to
detail shows that you care about their
experience with your restaurant even
when it is outside of your four walls.
Holiday hours can be tricky,
especially if you are going to be
closed the day before the actual
holiday. Using Christmas as an
example, you can prepare your holiday
pre-orders in advance and schedule a
window of time on Christmas Eve for
pick-ups. This is a way to fill your orders
on the day closest to the event with
minimal staffing.
Pastas, salads and desserts are easy to
serve in bulk. Pastas reheat easily and
are a great option for family-style meals.
However, this is a pizza magazine, so
let's talk take and bake! There are many
different types of take and bake trays,
pans and options for baking the perfect
pie in a residential oven. Pizzas and
Strombolis are equally as easy to par-bake
and finish off in a 550 F oven on a baking
sheet.
Here are some rules of thumb that
I use when putting together packages.
I like party packages that serve 12,
(anything less than that can easily be
accommodated with a large take-out
order). In my experience, 12 is the sweet
spot. I can provide more value, better
options and variety for a party of 12.
On average, each adult in the group will
eat 4 ounces of cooked pasta (2 ounces
uncooked), three 1-ounce meatballs, or
2.5 ounces of grilled chicken breast,
4 ounces of lettuce (plus salad toppings),
1 piece of garlic bread or 1.5 garlic knots.
For dough products, you can usually
plan, on average, that each guest will eat
2 slices of pizza, or two 2-inch slices of a
" family-sized " stromboli.
With these tips in mind, I would
put together some packages that
would include the following:
Option 1
House salad (48 ounces of lettuce,
16 ounces of salad dressing)
1 half pan of baked ziti marinara with
broiled mozzarella on the top (48
ounces of pasta, 24 ounces of sauce,
14 ounces of cheese)
Add protein - 36 one-ounce meatballs
(assume 3 per person)
One family-sized stromboli cut into
12 equal slices.
18 garlic knots
Option 2
Antipasto salad (48 ounces of lettuce,
16 ounces of salad dressing)
1 half pan of Fettuccine Alfredo (48
ounces of pasta, 24 ounces sauce)
Add sliced grilled chicken (30 ounces)
18 garlic knots or 12 slices of garlic
bread
Option 3
House or antipasto salad (48 ounces of
lettuce,16 ounces of salad dressing)
2 family-sized stromboli, cut into 12
equal slices or two pizzas
Meatballs or sausage with marinara (36
meatballs or 1.5-inch sausage links)
18 garlic knots
Dessert Options
1 12-slice tray of Tiramisu
18 Cinnaknots with cream cheese icing
(recipe in previous issue of Pizza
Today)
1 tray of 12 cannoli or 24 mini cannoli
The holidays are a great time to
have fun with your menu and be
creative. But don't stray so far from
your niche or specialty, otherwise party
guests will be confused about what your
restaurant is all about. For example,
Wholly Stromboli features a Rueben 'boli
on St. Patrick's Day. It's still a stromboli,
but it's a special occasion offering and still
on-brand.
Also, the logistics of executing holiday
packages can be tricky when you have a
small kitchen. For that reason, I try not
to stray too far from the menu items that
I feature in my restaurant. I don't need
to special order ingredients that I don't
already have in stock, thus minimizing
the space and special preparation required
for these special items.
In terms of pricing, I like to keep
my cost of goods at 18 percent
or less. While that may not always be
possible with holiday packages, you can
make up for a slightly lower margin with
dollars to the bank. Consider that your
paper goods, labor and overhead is less
than if your team were to prepare
12 separate take-out orders or serve
those guests in house. Additionally, one
foil pan with a lid is more economical
than 12 individual containers. We should
always strive to provide value to our
guests without devaluing our product.
The sweet spot is where convenience and
value intersect. Make the emphasis on
providing those two things and you won't
have to give away the farm to build a
strong holiday business.
MELISSA RICKMAN is co-founder of
Wholly Stromboli in Fort Lupton, Colorado,
and member of the World Pizza Champions.

Pizza Today - October 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - October 2022

Pizza Today - October 2022 - CT1
Pizza Today - October 2022 - CT2
Pizza Today - October 2022 - Cover1
Pizza Today - October 2022 - Cover2
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 3
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 4
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 5
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 6
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 7
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 8
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 9
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 10
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 11
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 12
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Pizza Today - October 2022 - 17
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Pizza Today - October 2022 - 20
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 21
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Pizza Today - October 2022 - PPNE1
Pizza Today - October 2022 - PPNE2
Pizza Today - October 2022 - PPNE3
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Pizza Today - October 2022 - 36
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 37
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Pizza Today - October 2022 - Cover3
Pizza Today - October 2022 - Cover4
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