What is in this article?:
- Holiday party outlook good for restaurants
- Buyouts and catering bounce back
Hospitality Holdings and Starr Restaurant Organization are among the restaurant operators that are seeing increased business during the holiday season.
Buyouts and catering bounce back
In-home catering is up, too, he said, adding that this season his company has handled many house parties with specialty cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres and roll-to-order sushi and dim sum stations, along with a classic holiday buffet. He charges about $150 per person for such events.
The Starr Restaurant Organization also has seen an increase in restaurant buyouts this season, Powles said, although the norm this year is parties of between 25 and 75 people. “People are looking to create fun,” he said, noting that there are fewer seated dinners and more cocktail parties. “They want to be relaxed and experimental with good food and drink,” he said.
Chrystyna Kassaraba, guest service and event director for The Beehive restaurant in Boston, agreed. “I think just one of our buyouts is a seated dinner,” she said. The rest are cocktail parties.
“I think the perception of a cocktail party is a little lighter,” she said. “People get to mingle more, and it has a different energy than a seated dinner.”
Business at the Beehive is definitely up this season, she added. “We’re actually having a good year,” she said. “Everyone feels their employees deserve a nice evening out, and we’re getting progressively busier. Last year I think people were still filling a little bit guilty about spending money for holiday parties.”
Brian Sirhal, co-owner of Cantina Feliz in Fort Washington, Pa., and La Calaca Feliz in Philadelphia, said he has booked nearly twice as many holiday parties this year as last year, “and the holiday traffic that we do see typically translates into opportunities for us at other times of year,” he said.