Last week we talked about staffing your restaurant during the holidays and how technology, communication and strategy are key factors in having a successful busy season. However, even though things seem to be running smoothly on the back end, it is still important to show your staff that you value them and know that it is not easy working day in and day out during the holidays when it can seem like so many other people have more time off. This week we want to share a few ways to keep your staff motivated and in the holiday spirit for a successful season.
If you are able to get your staff together outside of business hours before the holiday season really gears up you should consider doing so. This gives everyone the opportunity to relax, enjoy each other’s company, build relationships and gives managers a chance to tell the team how appreciated they are.
It’s a crazy time, but don’t forget to make things light every now and then and shout out to your people! In between your promotional holiday posts on social media, share about your staff and what an awesome job they are doing. Not only that, but if you are in a position to hand out gift cards or cash to the employee of the week during the holiday season, that would be a great incentive! Encourage your managers to affirm employees as they see them showing up on time or serving with a smile. Find even the smallest things and let them know they are doing a great job. What it boils down to is appreciate your team and let them know they are seen and valued. This might already be happening, but see how you can go above and beyond during the holidays.
Plan, Plan, Plan
The better prepared you are, the better you will handle whatever situations may arise. You have likely learned by now that things will not always go as planned, so it is best to try and cover your bases. If you can look at sales forecasting from previous years, this will help you plan how many people you need working as well as the amount of inventory you need on hand. Another way to plan ahead is to ask staff members which holiday they prefer to be off. If your restaurant is open on major holidays, they can choose if they would rather work Thanksgiving or Christmas. For your long term employees, they can even alternate years. If employees are part of the scheduling process, you are likely to see fewer no shows. In the case that someone does not show up, be sure to have a plan for that as well. Ensuring staff is cross-trained so they can cover wherever they are needed is important. You can even have a few staff members on call during times that you know will be busy.
This is a stressful time for many, so whatever you can do to make your workload run smoother while also encouraging your staff is a win. You might not have time for a full staff holiday party, but maybe there is something small you can fit in to celebrate the end of the year as a team! However your restaurant chooses to go about motivating staff, know that recognizing the hard work and making an effort will go a long way!