How To Prepare For The Busy Christmas Period
The Christmas period is notoriously busy in hospitality, however last year was abnormally quiet due to COVID-19 restrictions. Last Christmas sales plunged by almost 80% between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day compared with the same three-day period in 2019.
The tiered COVID systems that were in place in 2020 meant that many venues couldn’t open, and those that could were very limited on numbers. This made it one of the worst Christmas periods in hospitality history - making businesses and consumers alike frustrated.
But with things pretty much back to normal in hospitality this year, we can expect huge things for the Christmas period in 2021! Consumers will be looking to make up for lost time last year and fully get into the Christmas spirit.
In order to thrive this Christmas, businesses need to have a plan in place to manage this influx of customers. Here's how you can prepare staff for the busy Christmas period that (hopefully!) lies ahead.
- Get Mobile Order & Pay Solutions
While COVID-19 restrictions may have eased, it’s still vital that we put health and safety first. To manage large numbers at your venue, having a mobile order and pay solution can come in very handy.
Mobile payments allow customers to safely social distance and minimise movement, whilst also making the ordering process much easier. The customer gets a seamless experience where they can order from the palm of their hand, and your staff are under less pressure to reach every table. It’s a win win!
- Maximise Outdoor Space In Preparation For More People
Hospitality businesses still need to ensure that social distancing occurs in their venue, so maximising outdoor space means that more people can enjoy the Christmas period.
With a bit of planning, outdoor space can be an amazing plus-point even in the middle of winter. With heaters, blankets and warm alcoholic drinks, sitting outside can become a unique and cosy experience!
- Plan Delivery And Collection Points For Those Who Don’t Want To Come Inside
Whilst hospitality venues will be welcoming plenty of customers through their doors, there are still a lot of customers who are reluctant to dine or drink in. For these people, having a great delivery and collection system in place can help boost orders.
Think ahead about how you can offer COVID-safe pick up options, or perhaps offer delivery if that suits your business.
- Create A Staff Wellness Program
As we all know, finding the staff is the big challenge in hospitality at the moment. If you have a strong team already, the best thing you can do is keep them healthy and well, not only from a moral perspective but also because you will struggle to replace them if they quit or get ill.
This means regular breaks, days off and check-ins where you ensure that your team is coping well with the busy period. Even small measures like offering slightly longer breaks can go a long way when everyone is rushed off their feet and it feels hard to come up for a breather.
You could also provide them with things like free drinks and snacks to keep morale high and ensure that they’re getting enough food and drink on shift.
- Hire Temp. Workers (If You Can!)
One of the best things you can do to prepare for the busy Christmas period is hire more staff. Temporary holiday workers will offer more hands on deck to support your core team and ensure that everyone gets adequate days off and breaks.
Although it is hard to find staff at the moment, putting early job ads up for casual workers can be a great way to prepare for Christmas. And if you don’t have much luck with hiring temp. workers, the next best thing is a mobile payment solution like Yoello which cuts down the amount of work each employee has to do.