Christmas Supplies for Your Café

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Ash Bennett

Whether or not you observe Christmas, December is a month of seasonal celebrations. Religious holidays, public holidays, the end-of-year break: this is the time to visit family, relax at home, or take a trip.

Of course, if you work in hospitality, ‘relaxation’ won’t be the first word that comes to mind. Retailers may have the worst of the Christmas rush, with customers realising they have mere weeks left to buy all their presents. But cafés, restaurants, and bakeries are also busy in the leadup to Christmas.

A cheerful, holiday atmosphere puts customers at ease. It’s bright and soothing and fun. Christmas is an opportunity to do something different with your business: rotate displays, play around with décor, update your music and menu. So, as you prepare for the busy weeks ahead, think about how you can make your café festive. (Yes, you’ll probably have to play carols. But it’s only for a month, so you can bear it even if you’re sick of Jingle Bells.)

If you dread cliché, don’t worry. You can exercise your creative side while embracing holiday traditions. Christmas decorations don’t have to be trite—although they also can be, if you like a little cheesiness in your holiday cheer.


Tinsel is a go-to decoration. It sheds, though—so string it up away from where you prepare food and drink, and prepare to dust beneath it regularly.

You can also hang up curling ribbon, baubles, bells, wreaths, or fairy lights. It’s surprising what a difference a few strings of lights and tinsel can make; you don’t have to make a huge effort to give your café a different look.

Christmas wrap and ribbon

Party supplies

If you provide catering or venue hire, you may host Christmas parties or lunches in the next few weeks. We’ve talked before about planning a party for your café, but there are extra things to consider if the event is Christmas themed.

Trees, reindeer, stars, and holly are just some of the patterns you’ll find on Christmas tablecloths, napkins, and tableware. If you’d prefer to invest in supplies you can use all year round, choose gold, red, and green rather than patterns. Coloured plastic or paper plates, cups, cutlery, and trays are not only festive but also easy to clean up.

Other party supplies include poppers, streamers, scatters, and confetti. Like plates and napkins, you can find these in Christmas patterns or simply bright, festive colours. Scatters come in lots of shapes and designs, including stars, trees, and snowflakes. (Snowflakes might not evoke an Australian summer, but the image of snow is still a Christmas favourite.)

Trees and wrapping paper

A classic symbol of the season, Christmas trees are popular decorations. A small one won’t take up much space in your café; you can squeeze a few things aside to place it in the front window, in a corner, or by the counter. To make it stand out, elevate the tree on brightly wrapped boxes. This is a great way to reuse cardboard scraps and leftover packaging. The boxes are less stable when hollow, so remember to stuff them full of scrunched paper or books if you’re using them as support.

Christmas trees

Another use for boxes is to surround the base of the tree with festively wrapped gifts. These gifts can be props, or you can use them to engage customers. For example, if your café sells tea leaves or coffee, wrap up some samples or place them in Christmas-themed gift bags. Label the ‘gifts’ with descriptive tags. Customers can then take or purchase gift-wrapped samples from under the tree.

Christmas gifts

Some businesses use trees as promotional opportunities, hanging pamphlets and advertising from branches. If you don’t want to use your tree for overt marketing, you can still give it personalised character by hanging it with plastic cutlery, handmade baubles, or menus.

Get creative

Remember that, although Christmas decorations often follow a theme, there are no rules for how you celebrate the season. Use your supplies however you want to. Experiment with tinsel, wrap, scatters, and napkins. Revamp your décor in shades of red and green. String up scarves and tinsel and hand-made decorations. This is a chance to get creative.

Of course, you’ll also need to take your decorations down in a few weeks. So stick to napkins, wrap, and confetti—you can always install that life-sized Santa sculpture next year.

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