As the Christmas period approaches, restaurants, bars and pubs around the country are beginning preparations to dazzle their customers.
Traditionally, a Christmas tree in the entrance, a redesigned menu and some wreaths or baubles scattered around a venue would be enough to get visitors in the festive spirit. However, as customers continue to opt for an experience with a greater wow factor, it’s becoming increasingly important to create memorable Christmas displays which leave a lasting impression.
Here are just a few ways hospitality venues can stand out from their competition through simple, yet often overlooked, Christmas venue dressing techniques.
Choose your theme
You should choose a theme which can be continued throughout the venue, ensuring a coordinated appearance as guests move from area to area. These motifs can be imagined from scratch, or be an adaptation of existing themes. For example, while floral displays have emerged as a popular style in 2019, they can be adapted for Christmas – coloured flowers replaced with wreath-style greenery, holly, twigs or wood.
Begin with the entrance
The first area your guests will see, it’s vital to excite with the dressing of your venue’s entrance. Remember not to only put thought into the inside entrance, but the exterior of the building and the customer’s journey from the outside as well. This is your opportunity to set expectations for your Christmas guests, so make sure you dress to impress!
Keep this in-fitting with your theme, whether it’s bold lighting and daring Christmas displays, or subtle, soft lighting and traditional wreaths.
Lighting a log fire in the entrance is not something every venue is able to do, but where possible, it adds a festive, cosy feel from the moment guests arrive.
Many venues may have to overcome factors such as tight budgets or a lack of space when dressing for Christmas, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. Get staff involved and listen to their ideas for inspiration. Whether it’s adding a Santa hat onto your branding, or introducing festive scents to the venue, there are plenty of ways to make an impression without having to spend a lot, or use large amounts of space.
Adding festive artwork, candles, holly, mistletoe and tinsel are cost-effective, space-saving ideas for dressing a venue which can make a huge impact. Each of these can be adapted to fit your chosen theme.
Focus on atmosphere
While dressing your venue to look fantastic is important this Christmas, its equally important to think about your desired atmosphere. This should, of course, be inkeeping with your brand.
Create a welcoming venue with festive scents filling the air, warm lighting and strategically placed candles to invite customers. Tempt customers with warm mince pies and mulled wine; a guaranteed way to get people feeling festive. Why not brighten customers’ days with festive messages, puns or menu specials on chalkboards?
These changes for the festive period, no matter how big or small, make a huge difference to the way customers view your business this Christmas. Don’t be afraid to introduce festive ideas which your competition aren’t doing, as it will create a unique memory for visitors, making you stand out from other hospitality venues.