The holiday season is a hectic time for many industries, including the restaurant business. With the increased need for dining and catering services, restaurants must have efficient holiday staffing measures in place to ensure they can meet the needs of their customers.
From recruiting and training new staff members to managing the schedules of an existing team, this guide provides practical guidance on navigating this busy time of the year.
8 holiday staffing tips for restaurant owners
Let's talk about eight useful tips for restaurant owners when it comes to staffing during the holidays. If you follow these tips, navigating the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in the restaurant industry will be a much smoother ride.
1. Plan ahead
A valuable tool for estimating your staffing needs is looking at previous holiday seasons' staffing requirements. This will give you a good idea of the number of staff members you'll need on hand and allow you to plan accordingly. Scheduling staff well in advance is essential to minimizing the risk of callouts or no-shows.
Planning your staffing needs and schedules carefully ensures that your restaurant is fully staffed and prepared to handle the busy holiday season.
2. Train and prepare your staff
With increased demand for dining and catering services around the holidays, it's essential to ensure that your staff is well-prepared and equipped to handle the increase in customer volume. Before the season ramps up, set aside some time to dedicate to team training. Don’t forget to train your staff on any holiday menu items or specials to ensure everyone is confident and capable of answering customers’ questions and providing exceptional service.
3. Manage expectations
Establishing clear expectations for staff performance and customer service is critical to the success of a restaurant during the busy holiday season. It's crucial to communicate the expected level of service and what it takes to meet the increased holiday demand. Open communication can minimize confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page regarding customer service.
Discuss time-off policies with your staff before the holiday season to ensure that your restaurant is fully staffed and can meet the increased demand. By setting clear expectations and communicating, you can ensure your restaurant operates smoothly and provides exceptional service during the busy holiday season.
4. Utilize temporary staffing
One effective strategy for ensuring you are adequately staffed during the holiday season is to use temporary staffing to keep your restaurant firing on all cylinders. One holiday staffing option is Qwick, an online platform that connects restaurants with skilled hospitality freelancers as soon as same-day, ensuring they remain fully staffed and can provide exceptional service, no matter how busy the holiday season may get.
5. Cross-train your staff
Training your staff to perform multiple tasks, such as servers being able to work as bartenders or hosts, can help ensure seamless operations. This flexible approach allows your restaurant to respond to changing demands, such as the holiday season. Cross-training ensures there are always enough employees to keep your restaurant running smoothly.
6. Provide incentives
Offering incentives to staff members who work during the holidays, such as bonuses or time-and-a-half pay, can help attract more workers during the busy holiday season. This approach rewards employees for their hard work and provides added motivation for workers to take on holiday shifts and meet the increased demand during this time of the year.
7. Manage overtime
Businesses can avoid overloading employees and ensure compliance with legal requirements for overtime pay and scheduling by ensuring they have the appropriate staffing levels. Preventing burnout and effectively managing overtime for your permanent staff are essential to ensuring employee satisfaction and avoiding overworking your team. By taking these steps, you can create a positive work environment and provide your employees with the support they need to succeed during the holiday season.
8. Encourage staff to take breaks
Take steps to prevent burnout amid the increased demands of the holiday season. It's important to schedule and encourage regular breaks for your employees to rest and recharge. Adequate downtime will help them perform at their best when they’re on the job, benefit their health, and improve their performance and overall job satisfaction.
Qwick can help you manage your holiday staffing.
By using a convenient staffing platform like Qwick, you can easily connect with experienced hospitality freelancers who are ready to help you meet the needs of your business during the holiday season and beyond. Qwick enables you to fill shifts with skilled hospitality freelancers as soon as same-day, ensuring that the holiday season is filled with nothing but cheer!