How to Ruin the Holidays by Staffing Your Restaurant Wrong


You can’t run, you can’t hide, the holidays are here. It’s time to up your staffing game and prepare for the onslaught of demands. Or, you could do nothing and watch the whole season go up in smoke.


You’ve been warned. Here’s what NOT to do:


1. Ignore What Happened Last Year

Instead of reviewing last year’s sales data so you can forecast how many staff members you will need, just ignore it. Don’t pay special attention to the specific days when your restaurant sales experienced a spike because of an event, a busy weekend of parties, or a major holiday like New Year's Eve. Just pretend nothing’s happening.


2. Screw Time Off Requests

Speaking of availability, who cares? Schedule as you will without asking anyone to submit their holiday time off requests as far in advance as possible. Refuse to be flexible and forget about looping your staff in on your expectations. This way, when staff members ask for time off for parties, events, or family, there will be a lot of confusion, and the schedule will start to look like a big conflicting disaster. Or, you could just say no to time off and maybe all your staff will quit before the holidays are over.


3. Don’t Hire Any Seasonal Staff

You know the easiest way to find seasonal employees is through referrals. But don’t bother asking your current staff if they have any friends or acquaintances with experience in the hospitality industry looking for seasonal employment. It’ll take care of itself. You can just overwork your current staff and maybe they’ll stop showing up to work for all those events you booked.



4. Don’t Encourage Your Staff to Speed Up Service

It might be a busy time of year, but don’t act like it. Slow dinner service on a busy night is a great way to make sure that your customers don’t have a positive experience, become repeat customers, possibly host future events at your venue, or recommend your restaurant to family and friends. Maybe they’ll never come back.


5. Don’t Do Anything

Just let the holiday season come and go and forget that this time of year needs special attention. Disrespect your hardworking staff and you’ll probably get the gift of all of your employees leaving in the new year!


Who are we kidding – taking the time to prep for the holidays is the right thing to do. During the busiest time of year, staff your restaurant properly so that you can make your bottom line jingle all the way home.


Check out the

Insider’s Guide to Handling the Holidays

for More Staffing Tips.


About the Author

Andrea Victory

Andrea is a Content Marketing Specialist and Editor at TouchBistro where she writes about restaurant and dining trends, restaurant management, and food culture. A self-affirmed food geek, Andrea devours cookbooks and food blogs. She also knows how to make a killer kale salad.

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