With the frenzy of the festive period over, January can often be a comparatively lean month for venues, but Burns Night offers a welcome opportunity to drive a footfall, sales and profits spike to add a little sparkle to the month.
While Burns Night has long been a major feature of the calendar in Scotland, it also presents a great chance for venues in England and Wales to lure any local Scots out for the evening, as well as encourage everyone else to join the fun.
The sooner you take bookings, the better – and social media can be a great way of driving awareness.
Decide on whether you want to host a formal sit-down dinner or something more relaxed.
Add theatre by decorating your venue. Encourage your staff to wear kilts or tartan clothing.
Add a simple haggis dish to your menu or go for a full Scottish-themed menu if you are able. Consider hosting a ceilidh or live traditional Scottish folk music.
Stock a good range of whiskies and great Scottish beers like Belhaven Best, Belhaven Black and Deuchars IPA.
While Burns Night celebrations come in all shapes and sizes, setting your venue up for a celebration of Rabbie Burns can be as simple a task as you like. You could simply stick some haggis on the menu, or you could go the whole hog and organise a full Scottish- themed menu, have your team dress up in kilts, deck your venue out in tartan and organise a traditional ceilidh with live music and dancing.
If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you could even hire a bagpiper for the evening and find someone who can recite Ode To A Haggis by heart!
One thing is key however: the sooner you start taking bookings the better, and social media can be a great tool here.
BEERS AND DRAMS
For many customers, of course, Burns Night is inextricably linked with a dram of whisky or two – and Rabbie himself was known to be fond of a wee whisky. So, it’s important to have a good range of Scotch whiskies and perhaps run a special promotion on a single malt.
Not everyone is a whisky fan though, so a great option is to make sure you have some top- quality Scottish beers available to help revellers enjoy their evening.
Belhaven Best, Belhaven Black and Deuchars IPA are all fantastic options and are sure to be popular on the night.