Company dinners ‘in slippers’ and baskets of traditional dishes: restaurants looking to save the Christmas season

Restaurants are searching for alternative ways to offer festive dinner experiences to customers

One of the baskets of Christmas dinners on offer at Cal Carter (by Nia Escolà)
One of the baskets of Christmas dinners on offer at Cal Carter (by Nia Escolà) / ACN

ACN | Igualada/Mura

November 19, 2020 04:01 PM

Undoubtedly, this will be a completely different Christmas compared to normal years for families, friends, and businesses alike. 

With no pandemic, restaurants would already be busy preparing for the annual Christmas party dinners of groups of friends and companies. In some cases they are, but in a way that requires much different thinking. 

Various restaurants have started crafting original ways to try to make the most out of what is usually one of the strongest times of the year for the sector, and with a lot of imagination in some cases. 

Games and slippers

This is the case, for example, of the Somiatruites restaurant in Igualada, which offers companies the chance to celebrate their staff celebrations "in slippers." A home-cooked dinner that includes a game for each diner to do from home. 

"December is very important for us and we have looked for alternatives so that Christmas meals or business dinners can be enjoyed at home," Xavier Andrés, one of the people in charge of the Somiatruites restaurant in Igualada, told ACN.

Somiatruites wants to reinvent the company dinner and offer it in a different and original way. It has been dubbed the “business dinner in slippers” and the goal is for companies not to give up organizing traditional meal celebrations among staff, one of the main sources of income for restaurants. 

On the agreed day and time, the Somiatruites restaurant will deliver the personalized dinner to the company's headquarters so that everyone can take it home ready and not have to cook anything.

The dinner will include a game that diners can play at home and which consists of combining and serving the different products in the most creative way possible, posting a photo of the dish on social media and competing with co-workers to see who can craft the best presentation. 

Somiatruites are even offering prizes for the winners, ranging from a meal in the restaurant to a hotel night.

Traditional dishes in a basket

On the other hand, the Cal Carter restaurant in Mura, with almost half a century of experience, offers Christmas baskets with some of its most traditional dishes.

Their quality has become a culinary reference and they’re offering vacuum-packed versions of their dishes for the diner to finish preparing and serve at home. 

"I can't conceive of a croquette if it's not freshly fried. I offer you the perfect croquette and you have to fry it at home so that it is really good," explains the restaurant's head chef, Jordi Perich.

According to the local manager, the numbers will not be arriving in-person to their establishment, and as such making these baskets is an “obligation” not only to keep in touch with customers but also to keep suppliers afloat too.

"We exist because they exist, and they are families, farmers, wine growers ... without them, Cal Carter would not exist," says Perich. The baskets are presented in great detail and can be customized.