5 Ways to Prepare Your Restaurant for the Holidays
If you have not already started your restaurant plan for the holidays, you should get a move on. The holidays are fast approaching and you want to be sure you are prepared rather than trying to juggle events as they happen. For many restaurateurs, the next few months are going to be the busiest time of the year. Having a great plan and pulling off the holidays like a boss can lead to return business year after year and even throughout the year. Here are some key items you want to consider for your business’s holiday plans.
There’s No Staffing like Over-Staffing
No manager likes the prospect of calling in someone to cover a shift last minute. Whether it be to someone calling off or an unexpected rush, there always seems to come a time when they have to do it, though. During the holidays, this becomes even more problematic. Lunch and dinner crowds will ebb and flow. You want to be as prepared as possible to handle the maximum number of diners. It’s more likely for people to fall ill during the holidays, take vacation, or simply call off. Deal with this by scheduling more people than you think you will need. It’s a lot easier to cut labor costs and send people home than it is to try and get someone to come in last minute—especially during the time of year when people are likely to be busiest.
Showcase New Specials
During the holidays, people are out celebrating. They are out to have a good time and treat themselves, their family, friends, and co-workers. Swap out normal specials with Holiday Specials. These holiday specials are going to be more expensive items like prime rib, filet mignon, lobster. People are less likely to balk at the price while celebrating and are more willing to part with their money—or their boss’s money—during festive times.
Don’t Forget the Drinks
The holidays are a popular time for people to drink. It’s just the way it is. Make sure your bar is properly stocked. Also, run some refresher courses for your team to educate them about beers, spirits, liquors, and mixed drinks. If you have any particular house specials, make sure the team knows that and knows what you are trying to push as that can change between deliveries.
Double Check Dinnerware and Flatware
Breakage and shrinkage happens. It is a fact of running a restaurant. Do a thorough inventory of dinnerware including plates, trays, bowls, dishes and flatware including the various spoons, knives, forks and other utensils. You don’t want to be caught flat-footed during the holiday season, forcing customers to wait on clean dishes due to poor planning. Be sure to have extras, because the business of the restaurant during the holidays makes it more likely for people to bump into one another or rush a bit more than they need to, causing additional breakage.
Decorate for the Season
Get into the holiday cheer and help your customers do the same by decorating the restaurant for the holidays. This can include special holiday place settings and tablecloths, window painting, centerpieces, as well as standing and hanging decorations. Make it enough to be tasteful and spirited, but not enough to be gaudy and distracting. Also, be sure to keep an on putting the decorations up and taking them down. Your restaurant isn’t like a lot of people’s homes. You don’t want Christmas lights left hanging until July. Keep with the dates. A couple weeks before, but no more than a couple days after at most.