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Make your hotel more memorable during Hari Raya by brightening up the restaurant with a touch of bold colour or by keeping the decor fresh. Here are a few simple Raya updates your hotel could try.

1. Photo-ops

Feature interesting art pieces that guests would love (and even line up!) to pose with and take a photo. A colourful piece of artwork can add dimension and create a distinctive mood to any space.

One of the most important considerations with art is the lighting around it. Natural light can create a glow which brings wall art to life. The setting could result in transporting guests into a “storybook” – where the sights are beautiful and resplendent, accompanied by the melodic sounds of traditional instruments.

The hotel could also dress up a photo booth where guests can take photos. These mementos will certainly garner top-of-mind recall for both tourists and locals. 

The universal rule of serving the three food groups – protein, carbs and vegetables.

2. Raya activities

To heighten the Raya mood, hotels often hold activities that both tourists and locals can enjoy. Apart from melodic sounds of traditional instruments (live or piped-in), hotels could host lantern-making sessions, sarong-folding how-to, colouring for the kids and even allow guests to make their own ketupat at one of the stalls (and even consume it later that night). Nothing beats something handmade!

Plus, the hotel can create a hashtag and own it by encouraging guests to share their best Raya memory on social media. It could be a contest or just for fun! 

The universal rule of serving the three food groups – protein, carbs and vegetables.

3. Cookies

Take a leaf out of Christmas and create Raya-themed bites such as camel-shaped biscuits. Perhaps, pack them and treat them as giveaways. 

The universal rule of serving the three food groups – protein, carbs and vegetables.

4. Go healthy

It sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? A buka puasa usually means traditional Malay dishes galore. There’s no need to give up on serving traditional indulgent fares like lemang and rendang, but what hotels can do is make these healthier. Make a conscious effort to tweak the recipes, such as using less coconut milk, sugar, salt and oil. More often than not, you may realise that these little tweaks hardly make a difference to the delicious flavours.

Why not serve roast chicken instead of fried chicken? Cooking methods can make a big difference, so opt for boiling, roasting, steaming, baking or braising where possible. If the hotel is serving coffee or tea, make them black. Offer sugar and milk on the side so that guests can choose their preferred sweetness for the drinks. The little things count and you would be doing well looking out for guests and their health. You could also provide smaller plates to discourage guests from taking too much. Smaller plates automatically mean less food taken, which will also prevent food wastage. Guests can always refill their plates if they need more.

The universal rule of serving the three food groups – protein, carbs and vegetables.

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