10 Tips for Restaurants During the Holiday Season

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10 Tips for Restaurants During the Holiday Season


Holidays mean something different for the restaurant world. As most businesses prepare to take a few weeks off, restaurants get ready to kick into high gear. After all, bringing people together through delicious food and great company is what hospitality is all about.

From preparing for an influx of orders, to accommodating staff schedule changes, to adding festive dishes to the menu, there’s a lot to think about as you embrace the spirit of the season. Logistics aside, creating an atmosphere where customers feel extra merry and bright is paramount.

The holidays are anything but business as usual—you need to make your restaurant shine. Luckily, all it takes is a few simple tips to make the next few months feel like the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Scheduling: Make a List and Check it Twice
With the holidays quickly approaching, you’re going to receive a lot of time-off requests from your staff. The best way to strike a balance between accommodating your team’s holiday plans and ensuring every shift is covered is to be clear about scheduling expectations.

No matter how you divvy up holiday shifts, the earlier you make the holiday schedule, the better. Even if you usually allow your staff to give up or swap shifts, it can be helpful to layout special rules during the holidays to prevent staffing mix-ups.

2. Keep Holiday Hours Holly and Jolly
Determine if your restaurant is going to be open during regular hours as early as possible. You don’t want to throw a wrench in anyone’s holiday meal plan, so make it clear which days you’ll be open for business. You can make customers aware of your hours by:

  • Posting on social media
  • Sending out an email blast
  • Adding holiday flyers to take-out and delivery orders
  • Hanging a sign in a high-traffic area of your restaurant

3. Make Your Menu Merry
You don’t have to overhaul your entire menu to give your customers a taste of holiday cheer. Adding a few special dishes is enough to get your customers in the spirit. Whether you want to add traditional holiday classics or festive dishes with a modern twist, be sure to update your restaurant POS software to include new items.

4. Offer a Family Feast
Take-out and delivery orders have become an increasingly important part of most restaurants’ business models. Take advantage of this new dynamic by offering family-sized holiday meals to-go. Not everyone wants to spend the holidays in the kitchen, and customers will love being able to enjoy a family feast from their favorite local business.

5. Deck the Halls
It wouldn’t be the holidays without beautiful decorations. From lights, to tinsel, to a fully-trimmed tree, the possibilities are endless. Putting up tasteful decorations is one of the most effective ways to make everyone feel the cheer. Don’t forget the holiday music!

6. Send Thoughtful Seasons’ Greetings
The holidays are a great time to double-down on your marketing efforts. Implementing a robust holiday marketing strategy will put a smile on the faces of customers old and new. Take a look at a few seasonal marketing ideas:

  • Offer holiday promotions & coupons
  • Give your website a holiday makeover
  • Gift cards everyone will want to give and receive: With ValueTech, Worldpay, and Heartland third party integration, Adora POS makes it easy!

7. Give Your Restaurant a Gift that Keeps on Giving
Your customers aren’t the only ones who deserve to experience the merriment. The holidays are a perfect time to show your restaurant some love. Consider giving your dining room a fresh coat of paint, installing a top POS system for restaurants like Adora, or investing in new kitchen appliances. Your restaurant will thank you!

8. Celebrate Your Staff
You appreciate your staff’s hard work and dedication, and it’s important to show your gratitude as your team rallies together to make the holidays a success. Simple gestures like treating your staff to a holiday meal can go a long way.

9. Prepare for a Wintery Wonderland
As the temperature drops, find ways to keep your customers cozy. These tricks will warm your customers’ hearts and bodies:

  • Purchase heaters for patios and outdoor dining areas
  • Add hot beverages to your menu
  • Install a vestibule to keep cold air out

10. (Kitchen) Bells are Ringing
As business picks up, make sure your kitchen is prepared for the influx of orders. Double-checking your inventory, training BOH staff on how to prepare new menu items, and putting enough people on the line will make these busy months go smoothly. Quality POS systems for restaurants like Adora help keep your kitchen out of the weeds by streamlining tickets and prioritizing orders.

Happy Holidays from Adora!

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