The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is fast approaching, and this is set to be a big date for the hospitality industry across the UK. You are probably already planning for the influx of customer that you’ll receive over the bank holiday weekend, but have you thought about how to transform your restaurant into a venue befitting the occasion? This is a great opportunity to reinvent the décor of your establishment and create a Jubilee-themed space where punters can come to relax and take in the atmosphere of this historic date.
Here, kitchen supplies specialist Alliance Online have brought together some tips to make the most of this occasion within your restaurant business, so that you can look the part and create a memorable dining experience.
Choose a colour scheme
It might seem obvious, but the first thing you’ll need to organise is the colour scheme that you’re going to follow. The classic choice of Union Jack colours is probably best for this occasion, as it instantly calls to mind the Jubilee and will stand out to passing customers. You might want to combine the red, white, and blue theme with either silver or gold, as clashing them could be a little overwhelming and matching accent tones (such as black, gold, or silver) will give the overall décor a more polished look.
Once the colour scheme is chosen, you can work out what decorations you’ll need. Try to plan out how much of each decorative item you’ll need ahead of time, such as the number of flags or quantity of bunting that will work for your venue. Traditional décor can include flags, bunting, and balloons, as well as matching tablecloths and, if outside, a marquee and outdoor furniture.
Elevate your menu
As well as the colour scheme, your menu can be spruced up to suit the occasion. This is the perfect time for a classic British menu showcasing some of the nation’s favourite cuisine. Here are some quintessential dishes to consider adding to your menu:
- Bakewell tarts
- Prawn cocktail
- Cherry trifle
- Coronation chicken pies
- Strawberry jelly
- Victoria sponge
- Cucumber sandwiches
- Fish and chips
- Bangers and mash
- Ploughman’s sandwiches
You can either include some extra Jubilee dishes along with your regular menu, or replace the standard menu entirely with British-themed offerings. Judge which choice will work best for your clientele, and then make sure that you’ll have enough of the necessary ingredients prior to the day so you don’t run out of any of the Jubilee celebration dishes.
Include Jubilee-themed cocktails
Of course, this is also a perfect time to introduce some novelty cocktails to your drinks menu, and have fun with colours and flavours. You might want to experiment with coloured cocktails in blue and red, using natural colourants like hibiscus for red, and blue pea flower for blue. You could even attempt some layered drinks inspired by the colours of the Union Jack, including both red and blue sections together for real visual impact. Other visual things that can elevate your drinks menu are garnishes and accessories such as little flags, umbrellas, and novelty straws to add to your beverages. These can be used to decorate a classic jug of Pimm’s and make it extra special for the occasion too.
Giving any novelty drinks a name inspired by the Jubilee can really make them stand out and draw customers in too — and bonus points if the drink titles contain amusing puns! Create a new ‘specials’ board for the occasion that lists all the drinks so that punters will see them as soon as they enter your establishment. Taking the time to decorate it will really add to the celebratory feeling too, so it’s worth making sure the board gets a makeover with chalk paint prior to your opening.
As well as having decorations and themed menus, it’s worth considering some Jubilee events to draw in customers and make the most of the occasion. There are many forms that this could take, such as following the idea of a street party and setting up some red, white, and blue furniture and decorations up in your beer garden.
If you serve the food on a long table and encourage people to socialise, this event can recreate the street party experience with a gourmet menu. Or, you could hold a BBQ and add burgers, sausages, and a range of sweet desserts to your menu. While not classically British, this will certainly make the most of the summer weather and provide a unique experience. As well as events on the day, you could also hold a special Jubilee-themed pub quiz or games night in the lead-up to the occasion, thereby introducing a fun timetable of activities for your guests across the whole bank holiday weekend.
“It’s important to prepare for the Platinum Jubilee, as it represents a busy and lucrative weekend for the restaurant industry. Consider what your usual clientele might want from the celebrations, and incorporate some activities, menu items, and creative drinks that will draw them in and encourage them to spend more time in your establishment.
“As this will be a busy bank holiday weekend, take the time to do a kitchen check in advance of the Jubilee itself to ensure that you and your staff have all the equipment required to cook the dishes and mix up the drinks. This will save some stress on the day, allowing you to lay all the necessary utensils out the night before and get a head start when you come to serve everything up to the customers.
“Whatever you decide to do at your restaurant to celebrate the Jubilee, make sure you stay in-keeping with your brand, and play to your strengths. Then, you’ll have all the ingredients for a successful bank holiday weekend.”