With around three quarters of the population planning to eat out over the Christmas period, it is a time when pubs and restaurants are at their most stretched. We’ve compiled a checklist of tips to help you get a head start on the festive season.
While potentially making up financially for the leaner months at the beginning of the year, the ongoing skills shortage has left many establishments struggling to cope with increasing customer demands for high quality food and service. If you have found yourself a little short of help, preparation will be important if you are going to offer the best experience.
It’s likely to be a matter of “all hands on deck” as far as your staff are concerned. Ensure that they are aware of the commitment that you require over the holiday period. Factor in contingencies for staff that don’t turn up as the impact this could have on an operation could be disastrous. Customers don’t make allowances for poor service; staff levels are your problem in their minds. Brief your team on their individual roles and additional tasks that they might need to perform.
Cutlery, crockery and glasses
Ensure you have a sufficient supply of hardware to cope with the additional numbers. Customers are likely to want to enjoy some celebratory fizz at this time of year so if you’re rarely asked for champagne under normal circumstances, you will want to make sure you have enough flutes on hand. Equally, where customers may be more frugal through the year, there are more likely to be orders of several courses over the holiday so a few extra may well be helpful. Serving food on roof slates is so last year – keep your roof intact and get your crockery sorted.
Some people really go to town with their decorations and attempt to recreate Blackpool illuminations while others make a token effort with a moth-eaten artificial tree and paperchains. The important thing is to create a cosy and seasonal atmosphere but less is more, as they say. Tatty decorations will not complement the food you serve or fill the room with a cheery ambience. Customers are looking for convivial and tasteful, not “fairy ghetto”.
If you’re ordering some unfamiliar beverages such as champagnes, speciality or craft spirits and seasonal ales, make sure that your staff are briefed on the new items and how they can advise customers on their selections. Make time for a training session well in advance so that everyone can be fully informed about the products on sale.
Can anyone really be excused for running out of product over the holiday? With the Christmas weekend in full swing, you’ll be kicking yourself if the kegs run dry before time is called. Plan some additional stock, customers are out for a party so you must provide. An extra case or two here and there will not break the bank and save the embarrassment of selling out.
Time is going to be an even rarer and more precious commodity at this time of year with an even greater workload than usual. It is easy to allow common tasks like your weekly line clean slide for a few extra days. Remember, however, serving a bad pint can have repercussions beyond an apology and an offer of replacement. Will this customer come back again, recommend you to friends, offer a generous tip? Why eat into your precious time when you can schedule your line cleaning for complete convenience?
Take a free trial of Beer Piper and we’re certain you’ll see the benefits long before the midnight chimes at New Year. No more dangerous chemical handling and an automated system so simple to use that you can even delegate to junior staff. Why wait until the last reveller has departed or rise at the crack of dawn just to waste all of that beer in the line on another manual clean? With Beer Piper you can schedule your line cleaning while the bar is still open and sell all the beer in the line first. That has to be a great Christmas gift to your business!
Get in touch with us now and we’ll aim to demonstrate how you can make this the most profitable season ever!