1) Previous Years: The first thing you should do when preparing for the holiday season is to assess how your restaurant handled the increased traffic during the previous years. Analysing this data will help you in your decision making, such as staffing needs and inventory.
2) Your Menus & Inventory: Introducing new seasonal dishes or a holiday-themed menu is a fun way to get into the festive spirit. Before you start refreshing your menus with some new options, look at last year’s popular choices by reviewing your sales reports to see which dishes and drinks were best sellers and if they returned a profit.
3) Do a complete inventory of all small wares: Do you have enough on hand to capture all of the possible sales during this peak in business?
There is nothing worse than slowing down table turns because a server cannot find a glass, or a cook is waiting on a clean plate from the dish station. Make sure you check all glasses, trays, silverware, linens, plates etc.
4) Staffing Considerations: The holiday season can bring in a lot of business, so you must ensure you can keep up with the pace. A good rule of thumb is to Always OVER staff during the holidays when sales volume, parties and catering are at an all-time high. It is much easier to cut labour if needed than to find someone last minute.
Look at your previous seasonal staff to fill in again, and ask your current staff to put out the word that you are looking for temporary staff to fill in for the holiday season.
Staff and Training: You need to train your staff carefully to ensure they have sound knowledge about the holiday specials and the stocks of wine and beer in your restaurant.
5) Advertising & Promotion: There is no point in focusing all your attention on the holiday season and increased foot traffic if you are not promoting your restaurant during that time. Start by advertising and promoting your restaurant’s holiday specials through social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tripadvisor etc. You can also step up your game with Printing and put up posters, window advertising, menu inserts and handing out flyers.