Holidays are busy. Family comes to town, no one wants to cook, and so there is only one option: head your favorite restaurant for dinner. For restaurant owners, Managing restaurants during a seasonal rush can be chaotic, stressful, and exhausting. However, it is certainly manageable and when done well, you can expect to be seeing an influx of green numbers.
Here are five tips for managing your way through a busy holiday rush:
1. Hire Seasonal Staff
When the holidays come around, there is always a staffing shortage as more businesses are seeking seasonal or temporary employees to make it through the holiday season. You will want to be sure that you plan to hire in advance of the season and not wait until the last minute to hire and start training. If you wait too long, you will find yourself with a limited pool of prospective hires.
Be sure to account for training time so you will not have a new server struggling with the basics among the crowds. Here is a tip: Millennials make up a large percentage of seasonal workforce, so aim your marketing at them!
2. Keep Inventory Fully Stocked
Review past seasons' sale logs and see what items sold like hotcakes and what flopped. The last thing guests want to hear is "sold out." Your restaurant's historical data or sale forecasting can help determine what items sell quickly in the seasonal months and what other items you should consider removing from your menu.
3. Offer More Online
Online services are not just convenient for customers, but for restaurants as well. If you utilize online reservations and ordering, you are freeing your staff to focus their attention elsewhere or being able to plan in advance for busy times. For example, you know you have a table of 12 coming in, you can arrange staffing in advance to better accommodate.
Utilizing a third-party food delivery is another great, simple way to reach new markets without sending off your own employees.
4. Upgrade Your Restaurant's POS System
If you are not taking advantage of today's technology in terms of POS software, you are surely missing out. An advanced restaurant pos can make managing a restaurant much easier. Not only would you be able to track sales, you will have a way to manage your inventory as items sell and manage employee scheduling, all with one system instead of multiple tools.
A decent system will not only help you operate your business, but it can also help you grow by adding customer loyalty programs and tracking reports to find areas to improve upon.
5. Prepare Your Staff
The holiday season is rough on staff. Take the time to meet with your team and work out any areas for concern before the rush. Go over your expectations and cover common issues they can expect to encounter as well as the steps you would like them to follow. A prepared staff can provide optimal service to your customers.
The holiday season is not for the faint of heart. Things will get busy, customers might get irritatable, and the amount of people moving through your restaurant will feel like a sweeping current. But if you make an effort to prepare your business and take advantage of your time and opportunities, you can turn a profit.