5 tips for an explosive Bonfire Night

From sparkling displays to fiery drinks, here’s how to make a big event of 5 November

1. Safety first

Follow this best practice government guidance when putting together your plan so you can ensure everyone has fun and no one is harmed:

  • Only buy fireworks from reputable suppliers
  • Don’t use category four fireworks unless they’ll be used by professional firework operators
  • Light the firework at arm’s length and stand well back – never return to a firework once it’s been lit
  • Don’t let anyone into the area where the fireworks will fall – or let anyone other than the firing team into the firing zone or safety zone around it
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.

Find more official government advice here.

2. Winter warmers

Keep your patrons happy with full bellies by serving comforting food. Classics like jacket potato and bean chilli are cost-effective, tasty, and nourishing. For the kids, offer mini hotdogs (meat and veggie) with a dollop of ketchup.

Roasted carrot and coriander soup is delicious and the perfect accompaniment for an evening outside. For a meaty alternative, try spicy sausage and lentil for a filling, flavour-packed option.

Once prepared, slow-cooked beef brisket is quick and easy to dish out. Cook with chillies, paprika and treacle for a rich and smoky flavour. The brisket can also double up as a street-food style snack – pile it on chips or serve over tortilla chips with grated cheese.

Another great handheld dish is these Meatball Marinara Loaded Fries – customers won’t be able to resist!

Chilli with tortilla chips

3. Put the fire in their belly

Entice customers with a range of warming, winter-spiced drinks. Upgrade hot chocolate with zesty orange for kids and pile on the marshmallows.

A simple Gelston’s Blended Single Malt with Ginger Ale requires minimal prep. Dress it up with a wedge of lime or a curl of orange peel.

For something a little different to the usual mulled wine, why not try an apple pie punch? Heat apple juice or cider, rum, cinnamon, and maple syrup together. Serve with a cinnamon stick and top with a dusting of nutmeg.

4. Get your snacks right

Just a week after Halloween, Bonfire Night helps kick off the winter festivities, drawing punters into the cosy recluse of cafés, pubs and restaurants. According to CGA, a huge 86% of customers impulse-buy bagged bar snacks, so make sure your offerings are well stocked. McCoy’s Fire Pit range – Flame Roasted Peri Peri, Flame Smoked Chorizo and Flame Smoked BBQ Rib – would fit right in with the 5 November fiery vibe.

During times of table service, make sure your bar snacks are positioned in view of your customers as a recent CGA survey showed that 37% of customers purchase snacks because they noticed them while at the bar!

Mulled spiced drink

5. Embrace the outdoors

When in doubt, look to the Scandinavians for inspiration. Recreate Scandi vibes in your outdoor areas and keep customers cosy and comfortable with fire pits or heaters, warm blankets, and comfy seat cushions. It’ll encourage them to stay longer to enjoy the food and drinks on offer. Customers are used to braving the elements after Covid-19 restrictions so will likely come prepared! Ensure you’ve got safety signs around fire pits and heaters to keep the kids safe.

Table of friends talking outside
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