5 Tips for Managing Seasonal Staff

5 Tips for Managing Seasonal Staff

Christmas is around the corner and the excitement is growing! While most people are planning their holidays, restaurant owners are planning for the festive season which includes managing seasonal staff.

The holidays certainly do bring in the patrons but they also bring in staff issues. Some staff members will want time off, some will want to be paid more and some may not even show up for their shifts. Here are a few tips to help you manage your staff this season:

  • Plan

    Know who is going on leave and when. Ensure you have clear processes in place for taking leave and display a schedule so employees can also check for potential clashes before applying. It is also advisable to set a deadline by which staff need to apply for leave over the festive period and apply a rule that all leave needs to be applied for a minimum of 2 weeks in advance.
  • Share Schedules The most effective method of managing staff and ensuring everyone is on the same page is to share holiday schedules. You could invest in an online planner but a piece of paper or whiteboard will work just as well. Ask employees to fill in any booked holidays so everyone can see if there are any potential clashes.
  • Incentivise

    Generally, employees who work over holidays will make more money but it can be exceptionally exhausting for them. Staff will want to enjoy their holidays rather than work so consider offering an incentive for working. You don’t have to dig deep into your pockets, a free meal or a bonus or overtime pay will be sufficient. This little extra will make employees more willing to put in those holiday hours.
  • Cover Absences

    After the leave application deadline has passed, take a look at your schedule and work out where you might be short on staff. Make sure you have staff available to cover any absences even if it is just one person who is absent. During the holiday season, you want all hands on deck. If you do not have enough staff then consider hiring temporary staff to fill the gap.
  • Get Everyone Involved

    Developing a holiday schedule is going to require the people who will actually be doing the work to be involved. During your weekly staff meeting, communicate the plans and goals for the season. Also allow employees to be a part of creating the schedule. Their input will be invaluable in creating a schedule that is both convenient for all and followed.

Remember, the festive season is an incredibly busy and stressful period for everyone in the restaurant. Implementing the above will free you up to focus on what’s important - providing a memorable and exceptional experience for your customers.