Restaurant Holiday Party Guide

By Navi Vaid, Sr. Director Business Development, on November 22, 2016

With the holiday season already upon us, it’s time to start preparing your restaurant for all of the parties and event reservations that are fast approaching. Since this can be one of the busiest times of year for your business, it’s important to take the time to ensure that all parties run smoothly and that customers as well as staff are satisfied with their experience at your restaurant.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few things you can do to ensure that your holiday parties are a success, that groups come back again next year, and that your staff feel prepared to handle the busy season and that their hard work is appreciated.

  1. Create a holiday menu
  2. Prepare your restaurant ahead of time
  3. Hire staff early
  4. Throw your own holiday party

1. Create a holiday menu

Give your customers something to get excited about by coming up with special promotions or menu items for the holiday season. Whether it’s craft beers, limited holiday cocktails, or comfort food for the colder weather - holiday menu items are a selling point for customers looking to book an event or party at your restaurant.  

Many businesses only throw one party throughout the year, so the annual holiday party can be a very special occasion and customer expectations can run higher than usual. The great thing about a holiday menu is that it can make the dining experience more enjoyable for your customers and make life easier for your kitchen staff. With limited menu choices, your kitchen will have less items to prepare, will be able to cook a large number of meals faster, and have less room for error - making your kitchen staff and customers happy.

Tip: Showcase some of your top selling menu items or talk to the organizer of your reservations and find out what they’d like to see featured for their group. If it works for your restaurant, you can create a unique menu just for their reservation to make their experience even more special.

2. Prepare your restaurant ahead of time

Although most people plan ahead for their holiday parties, you also want to your teams to be ready for walk-in groups - both large and small.

Provide your teams with the tools and training they need to execute a successful holiday season. Use a mobile form software like IntouchCheck to keep teams focused on their daily tasks and improve proactivity even amongst the chaos of the holiday season. You can even create a custom list to ensure that all seasonal marekting and menu items are updated, with photo evidence. 

Create and schedule custom checklists to verify that all menu items are stocked for the busier than usual crowds. You can use IntouchCheck to monitor inventory levels closely during this busy period, and auto-notify team members immediately should you start running low on certain ingredients. Verify that FOH staff are completing their opening and closing duties promptly and accurately by setting auto-reminders when tasks need to be completed. This should help to keep your restaurant running smoothly and ready to accommodate any unexpected holiday parties.

 

restaurant-opening-closing-form.png

3. Hire staff early

In preparation of the holiday season, you’ll likely want to hire more staff to cover your dinner rushes and holiday party lunches. Knowing that this time of year is coming, you should begin the hiring process sooner rather than later. This is especially crucial for FOH staff that will need to be fully trained before they’re ready to take on holiday parties and a constant stream of guests. Learning how to quickly navigate the POS system and memorize menu items will take some time, so don’t leave it until the last minute to hire new staff for this time of year.

In order for your servers and bartenders to provide the best service possible to your guests, they need to be fully trained and versed with your menu items and steps of service. As long as new staff is brought on ahead of time, all teams should be adequately prepared for the holiday rush.

4. Throw your own holiday party

After wrapping up a successful holiday season with countless parties that your staff has worked so hard on, it’s time for a little reward! Make your employees feel valued by showing them that their hard work this season - and all year - was appreciated. Throwing a holiday party of your own is a great way for your teams to socialize off the clock, reminds your full-time staff why they work there, and encourages part-time/seasonal staff to reapply again next year.

Reminding your employees how appreciated they are is a perfect way to retain great staff that will contribute to your restaurant’s success and continue to do their best for you year after year.

Conclusion

Get your restaurant up to speed for the holiday season. Go out of your way to create a memorable experience for your customers, and ensure that your teams are prepared to handle the rush this time of year. Follow these tips to guarantee that your restaurant provides customers and staff with a great holiday party!

  1. Create a holiday menu
  2. Prepare your restaurant ahead of time
  3. Hire staff early
  4. Throw your own holiday party 
Improve productivity and decrease costs in your restaurant.
Drive your best restaurant operations with
mobile restaurant checklist software.