With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to ease in the lead up to Christmas, venues across Australia can increase their capacity. Whilst this means more people gathering for lunches, dinners and socialising outside their homes, it doesn’t necessarily mean the festive season will look the same as other years. With many people still working from home and exercising social distancing, Christmas this year will focus on a healthy, light and relaxed vibe for smaller groups.
For most businesses, Christmas is the busiest and most stressful time of year, filled with corporate Christmas parties and family celebrations. With gatherings set to small numbers and the pandemic highlighting the importance of eating well, customers are leaning towards fresh and local ingredients for the festive season.
Australians are looking to bring back the ‘normal’ with a traditional Christmas meal featuring roast meats, seafood and sides of roasted vegetables and salads. After a challenging year, most Australians are keeping a closer eye on their budget and attempting to minimise food wastage. The end of year celebrations will see businesses stocking up on all the usual essential staples as customers start to settle back into their pre-COVID routines.
A newfound love of cooking was discovered during the pandemic, and many groups will opt to prepare their own Christmas meals. However, a significant number will choose to book their Christmas function at a venue or choose to have food delivered for convenience and to relieve the stress and treat themselves for simply surviving 2020! Customers will look for Christmas meals and platter boxes to their door – a play on the Christmas hamper.
For social gatherings within the home, customers will look to pre-order food bundles and DIY meal kits. Businesses are encouraged to continue diversifying their services by experimenting with their food offerings. Offering restaurant-quality ready-made roast meats and vegetable side dishes for pre-order and delivery will provide Australians with an alternative to dining at a restaurant and a hygiene friendly alternative to the grazing platter and charcuterie.
Group bookings at venues will see businesses replace Christmas buffets with fixed menus and small share plate service to comply with regulations. Diners will be on the hunt for venues that offer a healthier, greener and affordable menu.
Christmas will look different this year but that does not mean Australians can’t still enjoy a festive meal surrounded by close family and friends whilst supporting their local food service outlets. Now is the time to start stocking up on the festive staples from your local Countrywide distributor to create your 2020 Christmas menu!