Ideas For Informal Dining Occasions
Whether it’s for a family reunion, a night out with friends or even just a late dinner after a long day of work, dining out has quickly become one of the most popular social activities in many countries. To tap into this large market, let’s take a look at the different dining occasions and how to best cater for each.
These are occasions for families to catch up and spend quality time over good food. Family meals are casual affairs where the atmosphere is relaxed and kid-friendly. Make sure to have something in your menu for everyone because food is often the deciding factor when families choose where to eat.
- Satisfy every member of the family with a varied menu that includes family favourites and children’s menus.
- Keep menu items simple and offer communal dishes to promote sharing between diners.
- Provide high chairs, colouring books and crayons to keep children entertained.
- Cater to special occasions like Chinese New Year or Christmas, with set meal packages that can be shared by the whole family.
Socialising and Fun Meals
When friends come together to have fun, it’s often over good food and drinks. Be it a birthday celebration or just a night out, these meals often take place in casual restaurants where the atmosphere is vibrant and energetic.
- Part of the fun of social meals is sharing food with friends. Offer assorted platters of classic bar food (chicken wings, nachos etc.) to keep the conversation going.
- Put on a show! Keep these diners entertained and maintain the vibrant atmosphere with televised sports, a live band or even the right selection of music.
- Make sure there’s enough space for everyone because a night out usually means big groups. Keep extra chairs on hand to ensure there’s a seat for everyone.
- Service staff should be friendly and easy to approach. Add to the overall light-hearted mood by greeting diners with a big smile and a chirpy “Hello!”
Late Night Meals
With most diners working longer hours, late night meals are an opportunity to have a hot, filling meal without the trouble of cooking at home. Serving simple, well-prepared favourites will appeal to late night diners.
- Keep your dishes simple and quick. This group of diners are looking for a hearty meal to fill their stomachs, so well executed old favourites are bound to hit the sweet spot.
- Create a welcoming atmosphere and avoid loud music. If you happen to have a rowdy dinner crowd, reserve a section to keep late night diners away from all the noise and let them enjoy their meal in peace.
- Attract the late night diners by putting up signs at the entrance, on the table and even on the menu to let your diners know that you’re open till late!
Quick Fix Meals
Sometimes, diners just want a quick bite and this is where local eateries and fast food restaurants come in. While speed of service is key, flavour and quality can still make a difference.
- Freshly prepared favourites made with quality ingredients can give you an edge over fast food chains.
- Keep your menu simple with dishes that are easy to assemble and execute. Buy ingredients that you can use for multiple dishes.
- Provide extra services like take out, delivery or counter dining to set yourself apart from other quick service restaurants.
- Focus on delivering quick, efficient service. Train your staff for specific roles and make sure they fully understand what they are responsible for (e.g. a staff that only takes orders, another for drinks).
Catering to the informal dining occasions can help you take advantage of this popular trend and attract new customers. For more on the trends and opportunities in Asia’s dining scene, see here.
Want more articles and recipes like this?
Subscribe to our newsletter now!