10 Tips to Prepare Your Restaurant For the Holiday Season


The end-of-year holidays are just around the corner, a traditional time for year-end parties and family celebrations. Here are ten tips for preparing your restaurant for the upcoming festivities, to give your customers a memorable time and help maximise your opportunities.

1. Decorating Your Restaurant

Brighten up your restaurant with theme decorations and coloured lights. Place some lights outside over the windows to attract customers. If you have space, include an attractive Christmas tree with decorations as children always enjoy that.

2. Special Menu

Consider bringing in a unique menu for this period with some attractive but easy to prepare specials. If you cater for children, it’s a good idea to include special menu items with a Christmas theme.

3. Wines And Spirits

Think about extending your range of wines during this period to provide your clients with a wider selection of good wines. Don’t neglect to include good value, popular wines on your list. Also consider bringing in craft beers, which are currently very popular.

4. Children

Provide a safe entertainment section for young children, making sure that it’s adequately supervised by a trained child minder. Also think about providing small, low-cost children’s gifts or stocking a range of low-cost themed toys for sale.

5. Special Discounts or Vouchers

People always appreciate value for money, so offer special discounts during the holiday period. Alternatively, you could provide customers with discount vouchers that can be used the next time they come to your restaurant.

6. Festive Season Advertising

Advertise your holiday program in the local press, on your Facebook page and through other social media. If your restaurant is in a mall, see if you can put up posters advertising your services near entrances or even erect an advertising board outside your restaurant.

7. Additional Staff

Because you expect to be very busy, bring in temporary staff so you can provide customers with top-quality service and reduce annoying delays. Arrange to do this before the rush begins so that you have time to select and train staff.

8. Identify Peak Periods

Use historical information to establish when you can expect to be particularly busy and roster enough staff to cope with the rush. Don’t neglect the positive impact of special events and other activities in your area.

9. Facilities

Make sure you have enough plates and cutlery to meet additional demand as well as sufficient preparation, cooking and cleaning staff. If you have space or can arrange outside seating, bring in extra tables and ensure your layout allows you to push tables together to accommodate larger parties.

10. Training

Carefully train staff so they clearly understand their roles and responsibilities. Make certain waitrons know the specials on offer and that they are able to explain menu items to customers. They should also be familiar with the wines and beers you stock and be able to recommend suitable choices to patrons.

Your customers will welcome the special atmosphere you create for the holiday period and appreciate the careful attention to detail, especially when it’s complemented by good service. Last but not least, get into the spirit of the holiday season!

Now it’s your turn. How do you prepare your restaurant for the upcoming holiday season? Leave a comment below.

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