On one of the busiest long weekends of the year, it’s essential to prepare your restaurant for the influx of customers. With added customers comes more intensity, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are many ways to ensure that your teams are fully equipped for the larger crowds.
So, how can you prepare your restaurant for Labor Day weekend?
When your restaurant is busy, take the opportunity to show customers that you can still provide a wonderful customer experience under pressure - and without letting them know that you’re under pressure. Even though your restaurant is busier than usual, it’s important to ensure that customer experience does not suffer because of that.
For example, longer than usual wait times is to be expected. However this is an opportunity to turn what’s usually a negative experience into a positive one. Provide samples of a new cocktail or appetizer that you’re testing out. A small offering like this is just what customers need to make them want to continue to wait in line for your restaurant, especially considering many others will be busy too. Don’t lose customers who are sick of waiting in line, instead demonstrate that their business is valued and show them what you have to offer.
Coming up with a special on food or drink items, or a promotion to entice guests is a great way to get people to choose your restaurant over a competitor. There are plenty of options depending on what you want to showcase or what initiative you’re promoting at your locations.
Kids eat free - this might seem like too large of a giveaway but the reality is that kids menu items are significantly smaller than regular portions. On a typical family-friendly holiday like Labor Day, this is the type of special that will bring more people into your restaurant.
Social contest - With plenty of social media users, you could encourage guests to ‘check-in’ to your restaurant or tag your restaurant in a post in order to boost your online presence. Pick a winner during a specific time frame and reward them with a free drink or free dessert, or something like this isn’t very costly to the restaurant. The value of this type of contest outweighs the cost of a drink or two.
Provide your teams with tools that will make them more productive and able to do their jobs more efficiently. Try a mobile forms software to keep track of regular duties and ensure that nothing gets missed during the rush. This is a great way to set your teams up for success while providing them with the tools necessary to handle more business than usual.
Checklists have been proven to reduce error by more than 33%, so by automating your FOH and BOH opening and closing checklists or any others used throughout their shifts, you are reducing the likelihood of errors. When your restaurant’s going to be busy, it’s important to take into account the possibility of human error, which isn’t a bad thing - but not preparing for it is.
This is arguably the most important part of prepping for any long weekend, or any event at your restaurant - in particular Labor Day. We discuss the importance of staffing in a lot of our blogs because without employees on the floor to execute tasks properly, you’re at an immediate disadvantage to accomplish any of the actions put in place for the long weekend.
Ultimately it’s all about being prepared and doing everything you can to get your teams ready for the influx of customers. This should be seen as a positive situation as it means more business for your restaurant and is an excellent opportunity to gain more regular customers.