So many restaurants bite the bullet waiting for “season”, that mythical time in space when the customers have money and just want to spend it.
End of year parties, family lunches, holidays at the coast where they just don’t feel like cooking. No question, it’s an important time of year for the industry.
Now here’s the scary part, all that waiting and so little planning!
Here are the SEVEN and A HALF things you should be watching this season:
Don’t take your eye off it for a second, you are building raving fans and loyalty for the year ahead. This is the time to showcase your restaurant, your staff, your menu and of course your hospitality.
Do not miss this opportunity, it is so much more than just a “busy time”.
By now systems, stock taking, suppliers, pricing etc should all be in place. This is not the time to launch or experiment with new systems, keep the back door locked and concentrate on the front of house.
They are tired too, not always making responsible decisions and perhaps in need of a kind word and encouragement now more than ever.
Keep an eye on the staff roster and make sure you have all the critical shift covered. Have a few staff members on standby for those key days where you know you will be busy or there is a greater risk that some staff may not pitch up.
Be safe this season! Keep cash down to minimum, switch to bank transfers wherever possible and use the drop safe if you have one. Unfortunately crime does tend to spike at this time of year and rather be safe than sorry.
Keep an eye on the floor, this is a tricky time.
Each time you or your staff approach a table remember there are three things at play here… Ego, cash and alcohol! A deadly combination at the best of times and this is not always the best of times. Customers drink more than they should, often spend more than they should and unfortunately tip less than they should.
This is “management by walk about time”; keep everyone out of the office and on the floor.
Groups of three or four wondering from restaurant to restaurant looking for handbags and cell phones left unattended by happy customers who have dropped their guard.
Unfortunately this type of crime always reflects badly on the restaurant and not on the patrons. Watch out for this group, usually look slightly uncomfortable, will insist on a particular table and will be in a real rush to leave, often after just receiving the menu.
Another sign is that NOBODY at the table will want to order a drink before the menus have arrived. Train your staff to be vigilant and to remind your guests to keep their belongings safe.
Times like this are way too few and way too far between for most restaurants to miss out on. Keep an eye on stock, on wages, on profitability and try not to spend that money too quickly. Unfortunately January is just around the corner.
And the bonus tip number…
Take a moment to breathe, take a moment for yourself, your partner, your kids. You deserve it!
We at Ideal Software would like to wish you all a safe and prosperous season and a wonderful new year. If we can be of service to you in anyway, please do not hesitate to shout. We are looking forward to a little time to ourselves too but will always be there for our customers.
High food cost? We can assist you with daily inventory control, ensuring your profitability with Ideal Stock Control