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The 10 Best Holiday Season Restaurant Catering Packages

Now more than ever, diners are looking for restaurants to cater holiday celebrations. Get inspired to meet the demand with these festive holiday catering offerings.

a woman cutting a cake

Holiday season is advantageous for restaurants. An uptick in travel and celebrations provides more opportunities to fill seats and maximize profits. However, as restaurants learned from the pandemic, there are other ways to impact the bottom line than just in-restaurant dining. Digital technologies have opened up new revenue streams for restaurants. 

While catering has typically been a side operation for many restaurants, online catering platforms and growing demand from consumers has caused operators to expand and optimize their catering offerings. In doing so, restaurants are not just preparing for the long-term future; they are equipping themselves to maximize revenue this holiday season, when catering orders typically spike.

Of course, having the right technology in place is only half of the battle. Once restaurants have the tools they need to field catering orders in bulk, they still need catering offerings that diners will be enticed to order in bulk. From whole pit-smoked turkey and holiday pies to four-course Thanksgiving dinners, we compiled a list of the best catering packages to inspire restaurants this holiday season.

Hill Country Barbecue | Pit-Smoked Turkey & Sides Galore

hillcountry.com The website for Hill Country Barbecue

While oven-roasted turkey is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners, alternative cooking methods, like deep-fried turkey, have become more commonplace. Diners looking to explore alternative options, but hesitant to experiment on their own, can rely on professionals like Hill Country Barbecue. In years past, guests could browse an array of options on their website to pre-order for holiday dinner, including an entire pit-smoked turkey and a litany of side dishes such as mac and cheese, cornbread, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

La Rotisserie | Whole Rotisserie Duck

larotisserienyc.com instagram post

Speaking of alternatives: Some Thanksgiving dinners may still be spent with fewer guests around the table, as the pandemic continues to impact holiday travel. A smaller meal, like a whole duck, is a go-to option for more intimate gatherings. For this reason, La Rotisserie offers a festive Christmas menu for pre-order that features Duck à L’Orange as the main event, then promotes it with beautiful photography on social media. If your catering packages include a "showstopper" dish like this, social media is a great way to promote it within your community. 

Gramercy Tavern | Four-Course Thanksgiving Dinner for Pickup

gramercytavern.com gramercy taverns instagram

The pandemic popularized meal kits and accelerated takeout rates. Many restaurants, especially fine-dining concepts, adapted their tasting menus for takeout as well. Gramercy Tavern, Danny Meyer’s lauded New York City restaurant, offered a four-course holiday menu for pre-order and pickup. Each meal included kale and cabbage Caesar salad, Manhattan chowder, braised short ribs and ginger cake. For those stuck at home over last year’s holidays, the meal was one for the books — something all restaurants should strive for with their holiday catering offerings.

Daily Provisions | Holiday Favorites for Friendsgiving

dailyprovisionsnyc.com daily provisions instagram

Last year, Daily Provisions — part of Union Square Hospitality Group — offered various Thanksgiving staples for pre-order. The feasts included sides, desserts, lasagna and more, making family celebrations and Friendsgiving that much more enjoyable. Restaurants can learn by Daily Provisions example; using social media as a marketing tool promotes engagement and drive sales.  

Reign | Festive Meals To-Go

reigntoronto.com The website for Reign

Last holiday season, Reign, a French-influenced brasserie in Toronto, ran a catering promotion called “Festive Meals To-Go.” The prepared meals allowed diners to spend more time with loved ones, while still enjoying the traditional flavors of the holiday. Reign does an expert job marketing the packages with taglines such as, "We do all the work, you take all the credit," which playfully communicate the benefits of catering to customers.

Lost Larson | Delectable Thanksgiving Pies

lostlarson.com Lost Larson's Instagram

It’s not just restaurants that offer great holiday-season catering. Lost Larson, Chicago’s celebrated bakery, offered pies for pre-order and pickup last year. What better way to top off a holiday meal than with a seldom-seen salted honey pie from Chef and Owner Bobby Schaffer, who has led the pastry program at world-renowned restaurants like New York’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Chicago’s Grace?

Hearth | Holidays at Home “Feast of the Seven Fishes” Dinner

restauranthearth.com The instagram for Hearth

Different groups celebrate the same holiday in different ways — that's part of what makes the season so rich and fun. Last year, Hearth brought its casual-yet-elevated dining experience into neighboring homes with pre-order packages that celebrated the traditional Italian “feast of the seven fishes.” Celebrating culinary traditions creates deep connections with guests who share those traditions, while also allowing others to try an authentic version of something new.

Pies-n-Thighs | Fried Chicken Buckets, Fixin’s, Pies and more

piesnthighs.com The website for Pies 'n' Thighs

Pies-n-Thighs is known for two things: mouthwatering pies and ultra-crispy fried chicken. For a casual southern-inspired holiday dining experience in the heart of Brooklyn, guests can order an array of catered fried chicken buckets, pies, sides and more for pickup. It's appealing for diners who are looking for easy-going comfort food over traditional holiday meals.

Marlow & Daughters | Fresh Meat, Cheese, Produce & Provisions — even Dog Food

marlowanddaughters.com online ordering for marlow and daughters

While some holiday revelers will order catering to support their favorite restaurants, many will still cook at home. Those who do can support local restaurants in other ways, and restaurants would be wise to promote those options. For example, Marlow & Daughters, a beloved Brooklyn market that sells meat, produce, provisions and prepared foods, allows guests to do all of their holiday grocery shopping online for pickup. Even the family dog can celebrate with specialty holiday dog food.

Pasta Louise | Italian Holiday Kit

pastalouise.com the website for pasta louise

Holiday dinner tables aren’t always adorned with a large roasted turkey or ham. For some, pasta is the ultimate holiday staple. Pasta Louise in Brooklyn, New York sells “The Italian Holiday Kit” as an online catering solution for its guests. Each kit includes the restaurant’s special star ziti pasta, all of the fixings’’ and a bottle of festive Italian red wine.

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