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How to Prepare Your Kitchen Staff for the Holiday Rush

During the holidays, every place of business will experience an increase in customers. From retail stores, to malls, to restaurants, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year. It's when people tend to be out a lot, eat out a lot more than usual, and spend more money than usual. Because of the increase in potential customers at your restaurant, it is important that you do whatever you can to get ready to handle the holiday How to Prepare Your  Kitchen Staff for the Holiday Rush rush. Here are some tips to help your kitchen staff get ready for the upcoming busy season.

Let the Past Help You Plan the Future

A good way to get ready for the holiday rush is to look up data from the past year(s) and plan accordingly. How much staff did you need last year? How much food was used? How many customers did you serve? Barring any major changes to your restaurant, this type of data is invaluable in helping you plan for the current season.

Hire More Staff

The first thing you can do to help your kitchen staff prepare for the holiday rush is to hire more staff. It's both unwise and unfair to only rely on your current staff to handle the greater work load -- they would probably have to work longer hours, get fewer breaks, and even start feeling resentful and under appreciated. So it's good practice to hire seasonal employees who are willing to work during the holidays. This way you won't have to rely on your regular staff to come in on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s. Having more staff will also allow you to split up responsibilities, allowing your workers to spend more time with their families.

Encourage Team Work

To help your restaurant run smoothly during the holiday season, it is important that you and your staff work together as a team. Try to get staff in this mindset early on and you will see amazing results. A great way to ensure that you all work together is to have a quick team meeting at the start of the holiday season where you lay out all the expectations for the upcoming months ahead, answer any questions your staff may have, and assign any tasks and responsibilities. It's a good idea to supplement this with daily short staff meetings at the beginning of each shift to go over any goals or special tips and to see that your staff is following up on any goals set at the initial meeting. You can also use this time as a “pep talk” to make sure that your team stays motivated throughout their shift.

Promote Positivity

When your restaurant is at its busiest, it can be hard for your staff to stay positive. That is why it is so important to always complement your staff on a job well done. If they seem to be having a bad day, point out what they did right. If you really want to help your staff stay positive, consider giving some sort of holiday bonus. If they know it is coming, it will give them an incentive to work hard and stay motivated. Remember, the trick to getting through the holiday rush is to remember that you have done it before, hire extra staff, be positive and work together as a team.

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