Advice column: Get your Christmas planning wrapped up early, says Lynx Purchasing

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Rachel Dobson, managing director of Lynx Purchasing, provides advice on preparing for Christmas

Christmas and New Year is the peak trading period for almost every bar, and operators who aren’t already focusing on planning their offer for the end of the year may find they are already behind the curve.

Industry analyst Horizons also reports that 72% of consumers ate out at some point during the two week run-up to Christmas 2016. Add in New Year’s Eve parties, and the opportunity for operators who can gear up early enough to secure their share of bookings is clear.

The challenge is to plot a careful course between offering seasonal menu options that create that all-important sense of something special, while also offering a range of price points in order to accommodate different customer budgets.

However, with competition fierce, consumer confidence uncertain as the rate of inflation continues to outpace wage growth, and wholesale prices for food and drink rising, a disciplined approach to buying is essential.

Whatever the approach, the sooner you can have a menus and pricing in place, the better – and don’t keep the news to yourself. As well as having menus visible, post them online and highlight the options through social media, as well as emailing or dropping off menus with local businesses and organisations, to secure bookings.

It’s also not too late to consider switching suppliers in order to get the best deals and counter the challenge of rising prices. The newly-launched Lynx Purchasing Savings Calculator, on our home page at www.lynxpurchasing.co.uk, enables operator to work out the average annual savings that can be achieved by buying at prices negotiated by Lynx Purchasing, based on the operator’s annual purchasing budget and our proven track record working with a whole range of businesses.

When planning seasonal menus. keep track of costs and maintain margins using the Lynx Purchasing GP Calculator App, available FREE for Apple and Android devices. You can download from the App Store or Google Play, using the links below:

For iPhones: Lynx Purchasing GP Calculator App for Apple iPhone and iPad
For Android: Lynx Purchasing GP Calculator App on Google Play

Lynx Purchasing works with more than 2,200 hospitality and catering operators to match them with the best suppliers and get the best possible prices on food and drink, as well as a whole range of essential products and services. Lynx’s buying experts help operators buy better and save time and money, year after year.

For more information on Lynx Purchasing, visit www.lynxpurchasing.co.uk, email savings@lynxpurchasing.co.uk or call 01325 377 845.

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