Corporate Christmas parties - how to prepare for the festive season

Corporate Christmas parties are as much a part of the pre-Christmas season as cinnamon stars and mulled wine - but in the catering industry, this time can quickly become stressful! The rule here is: good preparation is everything.

Golden-gedeckter TIsch vor schwarzem Hintergrund

Festive for large companies: good organization is everything

This way, you can provide your guests with a company party that they will remember for the next year. After all, the organizers of these corporate parties appreciate smooth processes just as much as a cozy ambience and delicious catering. And last but not least, Christmas party guests often acquire a taste for it and visit your restaurant privately as well.

Company Christmas parties: Ask the right questions!

From when can the first reservations come?

Be prepared for the first inquiries as early as September. Because: HR managers or other organizers of company Christmas parties know that good restaurants are booked up quickly. For good planning, it is worth clarifying the most important facts during the first meeting. These include the standard questions:

  • For how many people will reservations be made?
  • When will the guests arrive?
  • What is the scope of the catering?

If you have capacity for the celebration, clarify the questions as early as possible:

Verschiedene weihnachtlich gedeckte Tische

A la carte menu, platters or buffet?

Food is the focus of the classic Christmas party. So the first thing you should talk about is the food you plan to serve. Some companies wish to have their own menu, others would like to spoil their employees with a buffet. In addition, it is possible to put together a small menu especially for Christmas guests. Clarify in advance whether vegetarians or vegans are expected, whether food intolerances are known or whether there should be alternatives to fish and meat. If the organizer decides on a menu, ask about the schedule. Is there a show interlude, a speech, or a musical performance planned? Be sure to keep the kitchen informed of any delays in the evening's program during the celebration.

How many additional seats do I need to reserve?

Christmas party of the entire company or small departmental Christmas party: Depending on how many people are announced, the further procedure is decided. Because whether you focus exclusively on the booked celebration or normal day-to-day business continues depends on your premises and the capacity of your kitchen. Some organizers insist on reserving a venue entirely for the Christmas party anyway. Discuss in detail whether only company employees will come or whether they will also bring their partners. At least one week before, your kitchen should know the final number of Christmas guests.

Our tip

Why not propose a Swedish buffet! Matching Swedish delicacies like Graved Salmon and Red Groats you can decorate with wood and natural materials.

What drinks are offered?

Every employer handles the calculation of the company Christmas party differently. Food is usually completely covered by the company, but there are various options for beverages. From drinks à la carte to a certain extent, to designated table wines, to individual beverage packages, everything is possible.

How long does the group stay?

Fewer and fewer Christmas parties actually stay in one place. The joint meal is either the prelude or the conclusion - young companies come from the Christmas market or go night sledding or dancing after dinner. Talk through the evening's planning with the person in charge so that you don't unnecessarily cancel later reservations.

Our tip

Festive table displays inform about the food and beverage selection, if necessary also with price list.

Furnishings & other preparations in your catering business

Company Christmas parties usually evoke mixed feelings among invitees: celebrating with superiors is the highlight of the year for some, while others are plagued by worries about embarrassing themselves or not finding a topic of conversation. You should be aware of this semi-formal, uncertain mood when hosting Christmas parties. You can create a pleasant Christmas atmosphere with atmospheric decorations.

Drei verschiedene, weihnachtlich dekorierte Tische

How do I arrange tables & seating?

Classic, long tables look especially festive; however, guests tend to sit the entire evening and talk only to their immediate seatmates. Individual tables are a bit more communicative, as guests can walk around them and sit with other colleagues. Suggest different variations to the organizer that fit your setup options.

What options do I have for the table decoration?

Christmas mood comes up already in November, when candles burn and Christmas accessories decorate the tables. As a special service, you can also offer the celebrating company to record the set menu on place cards and embellish them with the company's logo. Also available beverages or the master program finds place on these maps. The discreet marking with the logo also eliminates the need for reserved signs if the Christmas party is not held in a separate guest room.

Who is the main contact person?

When making the reservation, you have already clarified the most important key points. However, close contact with the organizer is also important shortly before and during the party. If an organization team takes care of the company Christmas party, insist on one main contact person. In this way, you can avoid questions remaining unanswered or having to wait a long time for decisions. If something goes wrong on the evening of the celebration, there are time delays or something is missing, you can settle these problems quickly and without red tape.

**Can I ask my staff to work overtime?

In some businesses, the Christmas party grows into a raucous celebration. Get your service staff and kitchen team in the mood for a long night beforehand. In addition, set a time with the organizer after which the party is really over. As with normal business, the law and the local residents set limits to the party mood of your guests - the closing time also applies to company Christmas parties!

Our tip

Christmas decoration does not always have to be classic! Let yourself be inspired by our decoration trends.