It’s the most festive time of year. The period around, between and following Christmas and New Years where the sun is out, many customers are on break from work and they’re looking to revel with friends and family over a delicious meal. This article will cover a few things to ensure that customers are bursting through the door over this period, and that the venue is prepared for them.
Organising staff rosters
At a time when so many venues are under the pump, having structures and systems in place is critical. A big part of this is having an organised staff roster. The end-of-year period is a popular time for staff to request leave, so it’s imperative that hospitality venues manage staff entitlements, obligations and the weekly/monthly roster ahead of time.
There’s a number of ResDiary features that can be useful in arranging and optimising staff rosters. They include (but are not limited to); Group Central Reservations, which can be helpful in sending staff across different venues. ResDiary’s Booking Reports might also be useful in forecasting bookings, which can help to determine staff numbers for each shift. ResDiary’s table management system can also enable staff to see bookings ahead of time, which can provide crucial context for staff roles and duties for the shift to come.
Preparing the menu
What customers want to eat – and what hospitality venues are capable of offering – may depend on what’s in season and of the season. It might be worth crafting and adjusting the menu so as to suit popular requests around this time. What customers traditionally enjoy around Christmas and New Year’s may depend on a variety of factors, so knowing the target audience is critical. Once a menu has been established, the next step might be ensuring that supply levels are up to scratch, and that the team is up to date with the menu.
Prepare for group bookings
This period often leads to an influx of group bookings, as customers come together to celebrate. For the venue, this may require physical and digital alterations to the venue layout so larger bookings can be honoured. ResDiary’s Temporary Table Join combines tables to accommodate large party bookings, while ResPhone uses artificial intelligence to take phone bookings (thus freeing up staff to get on with other tasks). Deposits and taking credit card details in advance can also prevent no-shows, and help to ensure that customers attend their booking.
Embrace the festivities
Let customers know that you’re embracing the season. Be all over social media. Consider offering a promotion that’s aligned with the festivities. If possible, it might be worth commissioning local artists (musicians, photographers, illustrators and so on) so the event has a festive feel. Customers might be seeking a relaxing evening, or an energetic one with festivities in full force. Whatever mood the venue chooses to tap into, don’t keep it quiet.
Having the right procedures in place can help to simplify everything from rostering and table management, to marketing and menu design. In turn, this can help the venue take advantage of the many benefits that the silly season can offer.
Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether this is right for your business.