The minute Halloween is over the holiday rush begins for most foodservice venues. The volume picks up and the special requests come flying into the kitchen. The money is fantastic, but the chaos can sometimes feel unbearable. So how do you prep for the holidays in the foodservice industry? Here are a couple of tips to get you through the next few weeks.
Overestimate Your Potential Volume
There's nothing worse than being unprepared, running out of food or beverages, or not turning your tables fast enough. Stock up, stay organized, and motivate your staff to move faster.
- To turn tables a little quicker, get appetizers and salads out right away. Suggest dishes to guests to help them speed up the order process. Also, have your dessert platters visible to guests early so that deciding on a dessert is easier.
- Stock up on everything! You are guaranteed to sell more food and alcohol at your venue, but don't forget about take-out. To-go sells increase substantially during the holidays and you will need extra disposables.
One thing that your entire staff needs to understand during the holidays is that streamlining and teamwork are key.
Maximize Your Gift Card Sells
- Try pairing up your servers so that they help one another with their busy sections during the holidays. Some restaurants already do this and it works beautifully. Your servers will feel better knowing that they have another team member looking out for them and your customers will have the peace of mind of knowing that they will be well taken care of.
- Offer dishes are that easier to prepare during the holidays. By making foods that are quick to prep your key selling point you'll turn tables and keep your guests happy.
A lot of foodservice venues don't realize the impact that gift card sales can have on their overall sales during the holidays. Maximize your gift cards sales by trying one of the ideas below.
- Allow your customers to buy gift cards online. Not only does this make the process of obtaining a gift card easier for your customers, it also saves your staff the time it takes to activate each individual card.
- Offer a free gift with the purchase of a gift card. A lot of venues have caught on to the trend of offering a free $5 card with the purchase of a $20 or $25 gift card. And you know what? It works for them. Large venues like Logan's, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, and Chili's have seen great success with this promotion for several years now.
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Photo courtesy of SpaceFilmLocations.com.au