How to Keep Up With The Holiday Rush at Your Restaurant

Keep up with the holiday rush following these nine tips.
Amanda Hamel

The holidays are the busiest time of year for restaurants. It's not just about getting more customers in your doors, but about maintaining relationships with those customers and making sure they have a positive experience when they're there. With so much to do and so little time, how can you keep up? Here are some tips for staying on top of the holiday rush:

Prepare Your People

It’s the busiest time of year at the restaurant. You need to be prepared for this busy season to keep up with it all. As you prepare for the holiday rush, it's important to make sure that your staff is prepared. To do this, you'll need to train them in how to manage the influx of customers and what they should do if things get out of hand.

Make sure there's a clear chain of command so that no one person can become overwhelmed or lost in the shuffle. Your restaurant should have several shifts set up with enough employees so that each shift has its supervisor who can act as an emergency contact point for any issues or questions that arise during this period. Once everyone is familiar with their roles at work and how they're expected to handle situations like these, make sure to be mindful of their personal lives as well.

Start Training

Training should be ongoing and fun. It should also be fast and easy, practical, consistent, and relevant to your job. How can you make sure this happens? Having a training plan in place that covers all aspects of the business: safety regulations, food preparation processes, and cleaning procedures; staff management skills; customer service skills; quality control measures like food testing & sanitation (including hand hygiene); food labeling/packaging requirements such as nutritional labels & use by dates, and so much more. By incorporating a plan for each aspect of your restaurant, you’ll be able to easily navigate through any situation that arises.

Establish A Clear Chain of Command

This is a critical step in the process. Make sure everyone knows who is responsible for what and how the chain of command works. If you don't have a clear chain of command, it will be difficult to keep everyone on task.

The chain of command should be communicated to all employees, including managers and part-time workers. It's also important that this communication happens in writing so there is no question about who should take which action at any given moment.

Be Mindful of People's Personal Lives

The holidays are a busy time for restaurants, and it's easy to get carried away with the hustle of running a restaurant. But when you're trying to keep up with the crowd and make sure everyone has their favorite dishes on the menu, it can be tempting to ask your staff members to work extra hours during this time of year.

Don't do this unless they want the extra hours, of course! Your employees must have time off in-between shifts so they can relax or catch up on personal lives—not just at Christmas but also during Easter and other holidays. You also shouldn't expect people who are sick or have other commitments such as family gatherings or birthday parties; those moments belong solely between the employee and their family members/friends.

Prepare Your Restaurant

You’ll want to make sure your restaurant is well-lit and has good sound systems. You should also clean it thoroughly, making sure that you have all the necessary supplies on hand. If you don’t have a dishwasher, consider hiring someone who can do this task for you.

You might want to consider hiring an electrician if there are any electrical issues in the building (like exposed wiring) or if there are any problems with outlets or light switches that need fixing/replacing/re-wiring/etc., as these things can confuse customers when they arrive at your business.

Spruce Up Your Decor

Decorating your restaurant. It's a lot easier to add a twinkle of holiday glamour to a space than it is to do so in an already crowded restaurant. While there may not be enough time or money to decorate the entire place, you can easily spruce up one or two spots: the bar, tables, and walls. For example, if you have some great artwork hanging on those walls and you want it seen by all patrons when they walk through your doors—great! Make sure that the lighting is perfect so people can see what they're looking at without squinting their eyes. Also, consider adding some Christmas lights around those same areas because they'll add dimension and make guests feel welcome from day one when entering this new year-round hotspot!

Give Your Menu a Holiday Makeover

If you’re looking for ways to keep up with the holiday rush, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure the menu is seasonal. The best way to do this is by using ingredients that are at their peak during certain times of year (like when tomatoes are in season). It also helps if your dishes don’t use as many preservatives or chemicals—and instead rely on other delicious ingredients for some extra flavor!

Keep Things In Stock

Keeping your supplies in stock is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for the holidays. You don't want to run out of anything, especially food and alcohol! If a customer wants something from you and it's not available, they will leave without ordering. This can lead to lost revenue and unhappy customers who won't return. So, keep your kitchen stocked with all the necessary ingredients for making delicious meals and drinks. 

Rethink Your Equipment and Supplies

Ask yourself, "What do I need?" The answer to this question can be as simple or complicated as you like. It's important to remember that there are many different pieces of equipment used for cooking and serving food, so it's up to each restaurant owner to determine which ones would work best for their business model. For example, if you're opening a fast-casual restaurant, then it may be best not to invest too much money into large-scale equipment such as walk-in coolers and prep tables (unless they're needed). On the other hand, if your goal is high-quality preparation of food with minimal waste—and especially if this means serving delicious fare at reasonable prices—then having these types of tools on hand will help drive sales higher than ever before!

If you’re a manager at a restaurant, then you know that the holidays can be a lot to handle. After all, every restaurant is different and has its own unique set of challenges. But if you follow these nine tips, we think you’ll find yourself in good shape for the holiday rush—and maybe even make a few extra bucks along the way! Don't forget to check out the holiday trends report to learn more about the restaurant industry during the end-of-year holiday season!