Canada Day & Independence Day: How To Prepare for the Holiday Weekend

By Navi Vaid, Sr. Director Business Development, on June 29, 2017

On an average July 4th weekend, Americans across the country consume 150 million hot dogs, and purchase more than 68 million cases of beer. With all of the celebrations taking place, retail stores and restaurants experience larger crowds than usual - making it essential that these businesses are equipped to tackle the holiday weekend.

So what's the best way for your business to prepare? In this blog, we'll outline the proper steps and precautions to take to ensure a successful holiday at your business. 

  1. Staffing
  2. Promotions
  3. Historical data
  4. Team execution

prepare-for-the-holidays

Staffing

One of the top priorities should be ensuring that there are enough employees scheduled to work to handle the influx of customers. Normally, in order to keep labor costs down you don’t want to over-staff; but, holidays are an exception.

Almost all professions have the day off and are looking for somewhere to celebrate. If you run a restaurant or retail store, it would be wise to expect that someone might not make it in for their shift. Although it’s not encouraged, when you’re operating a business in an industry where younger staff are employed - it’s best to prepare for that. There are always legitimate emergencies or risk of people getting sick on a regular basis - and this time of year is no exception.

Promotions

Holidays are a great opportunity to showcase a specific item and promote it to your customers. You can even increase sales of some of less popular items or products by offering a discount or incentive for a limited time.

  • Restaurant

Create a signature cocktail in honour of the holiday. This gives you some room to be creative and promote the holiday, and is also a great way to increase beverage sales. Another option could be to pick a menu item with a very low food cost and make that a special for your guests.

  • Retail

In honour of the holiday, try promoting a local brand for the day. This is an easy way to draw attention to a potentially less recognized product and encourage local sales.

If there isn’t something of your own that you’re able to promote - that’s okay too. Suggest a partnership with another business in the area and reward your customers with a coupon or some sort of discount for their services. If you’re a restaurant, seek out a nearby book store or beauty salon and hand out a coupon to each of your guests, and vice versa.

Whatever method you decide, ensure that it’s properly promoted and advertised across all available channels - social, word of mouth, and signage.

Historical data

Although it might seem next to impossible to predict the type of volume your business could receive on a holiday, there are ways to prepare yourself for what’s likely coming in. Look back at previous years' sales and use that as a starting point. It’s important to take all factors into account when you’re preparing for a busy holiday - everything from weather, nearby events or accessibility to your locations.

Use previous inventory and sales numbers to gauge how much you’ll need over the holiday weekend. There are some things that you know people will be shopping for and that’s a great place to start. Look for information on various items and compare statistics to your stock levels to ensure that you will be prepared for the large quantities. For example, on a typical July 4th weekend, there are more than 48 million people out shopping for decorations.

Team execution

When it’s one of the busiest weekends for your business it comes with increased pressure for staff, but also a lot of potential for success. Having more people in your establishment and still being able to provide that stellar customer experience is a great way to encourage repeat customers and boost your brand’s reputation.

Ensure that your teams are equipped with everything they need to complete their jobs properly and efficiently. Customer experience shouldn’t be sacrificed just because it’s a busier than usual at your locations - instead this is an opportunity to demonstrate how well you work under pressure.  

Use a mobile forms software to keep track of all processes on and off the floor. Monitor employee's regular duties and ensure that nothing is getting missed during the rush. Teams can complete checklists right from their mobile devices and even notify the right people when an error occurs, so nothing gets missed. Spend less time filling out forms by hand, and more time running operations smoothly. Communicate quickly and easily with teams to ensure your business remains stocked, clean and fully functioning throughout the busy periods.

Conclusion

Whether it’s this upcoming weekend, or any holiday weekend of the year, ensure that your establishments are prepared for the influx of business. Don’t be scared, but instead use this as an opportunity to show your customers how great you are. Be prepared by focusing on the following areas of business:

  1. Staffing
  2. Promotions
  3. Historical data
  4. Team execution

 

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