A new guide released by Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) is packed with top tips and helpful hints on how to pull in the punters during the festive season – one of the most important times on the pub calendar.

Written in partnership with UFS’ pub food expert, Chris Barber, the guide offers a wealth of practical advice and useful insight. The trade pubs generate over the festive period can be the difference between profit and loss for the entire year. So get it right and there’s no better time to maximise your food and drink sales.

In a competitive market where many pubs begin promoting their Christmas menu as early as September, staying ahead of the game is essential according to the guide. Pubs need to keep one eye on their competitors’ prices too, for while you can increase your prices and margin you won’t want to price yourself out of the market.

Among the advice contained in the guide is the importance of good promotion. Making the most of last Christmas is a good start – so use photos and customer testimonials from last year on your website and in your marketing material. Another top tip is hosting menu tasting nights. These are a great way to get people excited about your food. Remember to publish your Christmas menu on your website early and print extra menus for your customers to take away.

When it comes to your Christmas menu planning, Chris Barber is a firm believer in less is more. He said: “The golden rule is to keep it simple – set menus are easy to sell at a fixed price. Have a maximum of three starters, three mains and three desserts. And don’t be afraid to give customers a treat by including highly priced fine food items on your menu.”

The new How to Guide has been launched in time to help pubs promote and maximise their Christmas food and drink sales.