We are known for our over-the-top Christmas Tea experience. Pre-Covid, we would close for a week each November and have our entire crew, plus a few willing friends and family members come in to help us decorate our tea room from top to bottom. Each of our three dining rooms were decorated in a different color scheme and theme, with trees and garlands, table runners, and even dishes to coordinate. We offered our special Christmas Tea, as the only menu option for the whole period between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve, and even at a premium price of $55 (in 2019), we sold out nearly every day, the exceptions being a few weekdays in early December. People began calling to get reservations and pay their deposit on October 15th, and we would take in excess of 50 calls that first day, with many, many folks telling us it was the one tradition their family simply had to keep each year.
As Christmas 2020 loomed with Covid ravaging on across the world, we knew we would need to think of ways to make our to-go Christmas Tea extra special. We found some cute red striped boxes and used one for sweets, scones, and sparkling cider, and the other for savories, which included a wild rice salad in a silver bowl (Dollartree), brie with a jalepeno cranberry spread in a little cup with some nice crackers, tea sandwiches and a rosemary caprese skewer. Tied with green ribbon, the stacked boxes made a very pretty and gifty presentation.
So we had the food part handled, but what could we do to help create the Christmas ambience that people expected when dining in our building? We found a company that sells fillable English Christmas Crackers (www.oldenglishcrackers.com). The crackers come in a variety of patterns (we chose silver) and they come filled with the traditional paper crown and a joke. We added a small packet of one of our Christmas teas, one of our tea ball infusers, a foil wrapped chocolate, a tea themed joke, and a coupon for a free scone with any purchase between January 2 and February 28th. Topped with a sticker that coordinated with our red and white striped boxes, these turned out super cute, and were a fun way to get the tea party started as well as help decorate the tea table. Many customers commented on how fun the crackers were, and we had 10% of the coupons redeemed, which may have driven a few additional sales during the redemption period.
This year, as we see the Covid cases rising beyond even the worst levels of last winter, we made the difficult decision to remain closed, and with no end in sight, decided that we had better plan another Christmas Tea for pick up. We changed gears quickly and designed Christmas packaging for our paper tiered stand, along with a little coordinating pillow box for their loose leaf tea, and a gift tote that will hold their sparkling cider, soup, salad and Christmas Cracker.
The Christmas Rose Tea Party pattern features a bit of gold in the design, so we opted this year for a gold cracker, which will be filled again with a foil wrapped chocolate and tea themed joke, and this year we'll include a little demitasse tea spoos with a crystal on the top, a teapot shaped molded sugar "cube" and one of our new magnetic bookmarks, available in our gift section.
We love the enhanced value of the tea set, and the opportunity to "sell" more merchandise by including this gift in the tea set enhances our bottom line.
We know that many tea rooms will be open for the holiday season, so the to-go option might not be a priority, but including a Christmas cracker filled with little tea gifts would be a way to bump up your bottom line this year as well! Call or message us if you have any questions, or would like a file of our tea themed jokes to include in your own crackers.