Have a Plan

Start by making a list of what changes you can expect during the holidays—both in terms of your business and guest behavior. For instance, do you often have big groups come in during the holidays and take over the dining room? Does your business slow down a bit because people are busy with the holidays? Rather than having to react to these situations, be prepared. To start with, get input from your employees so they feel like they’re part of the plan and eventual solution. You can also be proactive by surveying your diners to find out their holiday-season habits.

Make Sure the Kitchen Is Ready

Holidays can be tricky as far as planning and staying on top of your menu. A large party can arrive and catch you off guard. If you know you have a really large party coming in, talk to the person who made the reservation and ask them if they’re willing to discuss and distribute the menu with the group and choose meals in advance, this will take pressure off the kitchen. Explain that you want their experience to go as smoothly as possible, and you want to know exactly how much to purchase and prepare. Keep a close eye on how many reservations are large parties, and have a system of communication in place when new reservations come in. All employees should work hard to keep the kitchen informed.

Discuss the possibility of implementing a simpler menu for season time so the kitchen can prepare.  Generate sales reports from your Platinum System from last year to see what your top sellers where and prepare accordingly.  The information is at your finger tips.

Prepare Your Staff

Remind them that they’re responsible for keeping the restaurant and all guests in a positive place, and show your staff appreciation for their extra work and diligence. There are a number of ways to show this appreciation, whether it’s with an employee event, gift cards, or a monetary bonus. It can even be a simple heartfelt “thank you, we couldn’t have done it without you” at the end of a shift.

Adjust hours and shifts as necessary in order to alleviate any unnecessary stress for your team members. Remember that their success is largely dependent on the quality of managerial planning and leadership that you bring to the table. Bring in extra staff members as necessary, and have an extra busser or floater there to help when an especially large party is on the books. On the other hand, make sure your restaurant staff has plenty of personal time off during the holidays to prevent burnout.

Overall, the holiday season brings an exciting and potentially lucrative time for your business. Work hard to avoid scenarios that take away from potential success—comps, voids, menu shortages, and being understaffed can tarnish your long-term reputation. Plan ahead for the holidays, and you’ll be able to enjoy the positivity that comes along with being prepared—team member satisfaction, increased sales, and a positive, lasting impression on your guests.

How Can Platinum improve your business this festive season?

  • Waiter / Coaster Paging System:   Improve communication from your kitchen to the staff, implement our famous waiter pager system.  Allows the kitchen to buzz the waitrons when the food is ready.  How much time do your waitrons waste by checking the kitchen to see if their food is ready?
  • Kitchen Display Unit:  Monitor your order times and keep each section up to date. Doesn’t it frustrate you when your Pizza arrives before the rest of the main meal?  Coordinate your sections with our Kitchen Display Units, alert sections when food has been placed on the grill so the order can go out at the correct time.
  • Platinum APEX:   Your managers key to ensuring everything is running smoothly.  Check up on Kitchen and Bar Orders.  View how long before the next table becomes available.  Monitor table times.  Business dashboard at a click of a button – Customer count – Food Cost all available from an 8″ Tablet.