Staffing Your Restaurant For The Thanksgiving Day Rush
When you run a restaurant, staffing is always one of your main concerns. There is no time that this is more important than for restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day, often one of the busiest days of the year. Thanksgiving can bring in a lot of extra business and therefore will require a full staff. This means that you want make sure that you have all the staff you need before the day arrives. Planning your staffing in advance is one way to guarantee that you do not have issues on the big day. What do you need to do to make sure that you have enough people on staff?
Plan to be Busy
Start by planning to be busy. The fact is that you are likely to be busier than any other day of the year. Many people prefer to dine out on Thanksgiving rather than spend the entire day cooking their own meal. If you serve good food and provide good service at good prices, then you can expect lots of customers in your restaurant. It is important for you to be aware of this and plan for it in advance. You do not want to plan for an ordinary day because things are bound to be different. Not only will you have more people, there will most likely be more large groups.
Plan on Hosting Families
Families tend to get together on Thanksgiving, whether they stay home or dine out. You should plan that your restaurant will see many large groups throughout the day. This can impact on your staffing needs because large groups place bigger demands on the wait staff. Because of this, you will want to give fewer tables to your wait staff than you typically do. This will allow them to give each customer the same great service, despite the fact that there are far more customers to service at each table. While your staff may be hesitant about this, you have to put the needs of your customers ahead of the preferences of your staff. See our article about motivating your Thanksgiving staff for more helpful tips.
What this means for you is that you will want to overstaff. When you are busy, it is always better to have too much staff, as opposed to being short staffed. If you find that there are simply too many employees and not enough work, you can always send some home. If, however, you are understaffed your customers will ultimately pay the price in terms of poor service. Remember, overstaffing is important for both your wait staff as well as your kitchen staff.
You will need to ensure that everything is prepared quickly and gets served to the customer in a timely fashion. This cannot happen if you are not properly staffed. Each staff member should have their specific job duties and understand them fully, otherwise you will find that your kitchen is moving slowly and your customers will be dissatisfied. You have to keep in mind that while this is may be just another work day for you, this is a holiday for your customers. They have chosen your restaurant for their Thanksgiving dinner and it is your job to make sure that it is a pleasant one. While the taste of your food will certainly matter, so will the service and the speed in which your customers receive their order.