Looking to add a little "great" to your season's greetings? Take a peek at the list below to punch up your skills with the holiday mainstays of greeting cards and seasonal food baskets. After all, as Santa himself knows well, what's holiday gift-giving without a little list-making?
FOOD GIFTS: Breaking Bread Better
1. Advertise the Menu
Depending on how you promote yourself to your clients, it may not always be obvious to them that you sell food gifts. After all, from an outsider perspective how logical is it that the person who provides their uniforms and calendars would also sell food? To boost up your food sales for the season, take the proactive approach. "Don't wait for clients to call you asking for food gifts," said Tom Riordan, president of Maple Ridge Farms, Mosinee, Wis. "They won't. They don't even know that you can provide food gifts," he stated. "Call every client and explain that you are their best source for food gift programs."
2. Be Up-front with Ingredients
Because of the potential seriousness of food allergies, all ingredients in your food gifts should be explicitly clear to end-users. "Make sure any item that is shipped clearly lists all ingredients," said Sheila Shechtman, CEO and founder of Gifted Expressions, East Hartford, Conn. "That way, people with food allergies will be informed." She cited nuts especially as an allergy concern, mentioning peanuts in particular.
3. 70 Degrees, Ship as you Please
Shechtman and Riordan gave a safe temperature range of 70-to-78 degrees for shipping heat-sensitive foods like chocolate. Under that, the items will be fine, but over will require the use of special packaging, such as insulated polystyrene cartons and liquid ice packs. Expedited service may also be required. Suppliers will of course provide such packaging before shipping and likely be aware of the relevant weather conditions, but it can't hurt to know the limits yourself for the sake of double-checking.