Keep Your Restaurant Opened or Close up Shop for Thanksgiving?
If you are new to the restaurant business, or have never considered staying open on Thanksgiving day, then you have an important decision to make. You have to decide whether or not it is beneficial for your restaurant to stay open on Thanksgiving Day. There are many factors to consider. For example, it is likely that your staff will not be happy to have to work on a holiday, and you may have to increase your regular pay due to labor laws, to get them to work. Also, your food costs may be higher since sourcing Thanksgiving dinner menu items may be more expensive than your regular daily food costs.
However, for many businesses this can be one of the busiest and most profitable days of the year. So how do you decide if it is worthwhile for you to stay open, or if you should just take the day off and enjoy it with your loved ones?
The first thing to do, as with all your restaurant endeavors, is to find out what the competition is doing. Are there are any other places in your area that plan on being open? If you discover that all your competitors are closed for the day, then perhaps you can assume that they have discovered that being open on Thanksgiving day is not profitable enough. On the other hand, if there are too many places open for business already you may not be able to turn a profit. By doing some research you can get an idea of which restaurants are open, what they are serving, and what their prices are. Then you can figure out if you can offer something new and different to make your restaurant stand out from the others on Thanksgiving day.
A second factor to consider is whether or not you will able to schedule enough staff to work on the holiday. If your plans work out and you are busy, then you will need to be able to handle a high volume of customers, and this can only happen if your restaurant is adequately staffed. You may find that some staff members are not interested in working on Thanksgiving day, so you need to be able to plan your staffing needs ahead of time. This may require figuring out ways tomotivate your staff to work on Thanksgiving day, or turn to seasonal employees, such as students, to fill in the gaps in your holiday work force.
The third issue is, do you have the necessary funds to outlay that will allow you to stay open on Thanksgiving? The Thanksgiving dinner meal can be costly. Turkey itself is quite expensive as are some of the required side dishes and desserts. If you are serving buffet style, it can be even more costly. So, before you decide if you are going to open, you will need to examine the menu items you plan on offering, and make sure that you can outlay the costs.
If you do decide to open, make sure that you can handle any possible losses you may incur. If you are a new business this is more likely to happen then with an established one. So, do as much research as you can beforehand to try to determine if staying open this holiday will be worth it. You don't want it to turn into a financial disaster and undermine all the hard work you put into your restaurant thus far.
A Meal to Remember
If you do decide to stay open on Thanksgiving, you can use this opportunity to establish yourself as a great venue for Thanksgiving Dinner. Create your own unique holiday fare and give your customers a meal and experience to remember.
If you are fortunate and are able to generate the amount of business you forecasted on Thanksgiving Day, then enjoy your success and begin planning for next year.