Foodservice workers often sacrifice time with their own families and friends to help others celebrate during the holiday season. Combine the FOMO and potential loneliness with the stress-inducing hustle and bustle of the season and you run the risk of tensions running high in the kitchen. With this in mind, there are a few things restaurant owners and operators can do to help make the holidays merry and bright for both staff and customers.
During the holidays, many customers may want to book your restaurant for large parties or events. Be prepared to accommodate these groups by having enough staff and seating available. It is important to encourage customers to make reservations in advance to ensure they receive excellent service and give you the chance to make sure the necessary staff and resources are available.
It’s Never Too Late to Decorate
Get into the holiday spirit by adding decorations to your restaurant, such as twinkling lights, festive centerpieces, and holiday-themed table settings. Staff and customers will appreciate the merry atmosphere. If you plan to play festive music, ask your team to share their favorite tunes with you and try to make a playlist or two with their favorites – it never hurts to ask your team members for their opinion, even about something small!
Support your Team
Make sure your team is well-trained and prepared to handle the increased customer traffic and demand that comes with the holiday season. Training can make it easier for staff to assist large parties and difficult customers by cultivating skills like multitasking. Arrange for your team members to have access to the resources and support they need to meet the increased demand and customer traffic during the holidays.
Consider Holiday Incentives
Many team members may have holiday plans and commitments, so offering flexible scheduling can help them balance their work and personal lives. Practice cultural competency by recognizing that all staff may not celebrate the same holidays and keep this in mind while allowing employees to express preferences about their schedules. Think about offering bonuses or incentives to your team as a way to show appreciation for their hard work during the busy holiday season.
Organizing team outings or events, such as a holiday party or team-building activities, can help boost morale and foster a sense of community among your team. Some members of your team may not be able to celebrate the holidays with their family, and having a party or giving small gifts of appreciation can make them feel included in their work family.
The holiday season can be stressful, so it's important to encourage your team to take care of themselves. This might include providing resources for stress management, offering time off for relaxation and rejuvenation, or simply reminding them to take breaks and stay hydrated.
Overall, the key to preparing for the holidays as a restaurant is to plan ahead and make sure you are ready for the increase in customers and demand that comes with this busy time of year. Show your appreciation for your team and support them in any way you can during the busy holiday season. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your team is happy, healthy, and ready to provide the best possible service to your customers.