Happy Holidays! The Christmas season is a very busy time for restaurants, which often see a surge in customers looking to share a good meal with friends and family.
To handle this increase in business and to get in the spirit of the season, you should begin to prepare your restaurant sooner rather than later.
Here are 8 tips for preparing your restaurant for the Christmas season.
Begin Your Holiday Marketing Now
The holidays are the time to ramp up your restaurant’s marketing in order to stay top-of-mind with customers and offer holiday specials. Create and promote seasonal offerings or deals through email marketing and postings on your website and social media.
You can also send out holiday cards with discounts or go further outside the box like hosting a toy drive for kids, giving discounts or gift cards to guests who bring in donations.
Set Up Your Holiday Schedule
Have you planned your holiday schedule yet?
Many restaurants are off on Christmas Day to give their employees time to enjoy the season with their families, but will you also be closed Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas?
Firming up your holiday hours in advance will let guests and workers prepare for the holidays and help you arrange staffing around potential travel schedules.
Decorate Your Restaurant
Get in the holiday spirit by decorating your restaurant with garland, baubles, wreaths and lights.
On guest tables, put out electric candles or festive flowers and give waitstaff festive flowers to pin onto their shirts.
Holiday decorations add to the charm of the season, so don’t be afraid to get into the spirit!
Invest In A Modern POS System
These cloud-based point-of-sale systems have many advantages over traditional POS systems by offering a suite of specialized features, including:
- Offline capabilities
- Streamlined restaurant management
- Excellent security
If you’re using an outdated POS system, it’s time to find out how much smoother things can run with a modern cloud-based system before the holidays are here!
Schedule Staff Efficiently
With such a busy season, you will need to make sure that staff is scheduled and present when they are needed.
Well-scheduled staff will help eliminate confusion and meet the needs of your restaurant and guests. A cloud POS system such as Toast and MobileBytes will make scheduling employees easy and efficient.
Create A Seasonal Menu
Seasonal menus are big draws for customers — pumpkin spice, peppermint, gingerbread, and cranberry are always favorites. Create a seasonal menu with holiday cocktails, desserts, and main courses that appeal to guests’ sense of spirit can help bring in a larger crowd.
When creating a seasonal menu, be sure that you can afford to do so. Calculate the price of the ingredients of your dishes and consider removing poorly performing menu items to give your budget a little more wiggle room.
Toast and MobileBytes both offer features to help you track performance and cost of menu items, which makes it easy to see what is resonating with customers and what needs to go.
Allow Customers To Make Reservations
The holidays are a time for families and friends to get together and spend time together, which often includes dining out as a group.
During this busy season, guests want to know that they will be able to get a seat at your restaurant before they arrive, so be sure to offer reservations.
The Christmas season can be a very busy and profitable time of year for restaurants, but it takes advanced preparation to make sure it goes smoothly. Be sure to start your planning now so you can be confident in your systems through the end of the year!