Tips to Cope with your Restaurant's Busy Period
Facing a period of increased demand at your restaurant can seem like a blessing - until you discover what a management nightmare it can be. Thankfully, from holidays like Christmas and Valentine's Day to local events like sports games and festivals, it's possible to take advantage of your busy periods without stress if you plan ahead. Here are three tips that'll help you cope with the next diner boom at your restaurant.
#1. FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Unless you're planning on hiring several new staff members and expanding your restaurant premises, your customers are going to have to wait longer than usual at busy periods. So when there's nothing you can do to keep queues and service delays at bay, you need to focus on improving your customers' satisfaction instead.
The key to making people happy is good communication from start to finish. If you don't already have a greeter, give one of your waiters the task of welcoming patrons and apologising for the wait. This shows your customers that you care about their experience from the very moment they arrive.
Follow this up by making sure staff check in on customers regularly to see if there's a problem with their meal or if they want to order something else. Diners sometimes find it difficult or awkward to catch the attention of staff, so being proactive will keep them from getting frustrated. You may want to assign each waiter their own 'zone' of customers to keep watch of to make this task easier.
Finally, remember to conclude your patrons' meals by thanking them for dining with you. This final impression will show them that you appreciate their custom, encouraging them to share positive reviews with friends and family and keep coming back during non-busy periods.
#2. KEEP THE PLACE CLEAN
For a diner, there are few things more appetite-ruining than a dirty restaurant. When you're going through busy periods, it's crucial that you increase your cleaning efforts to match your increase in customers. Your patrons will recognise that longer wait times are unavoidable, but most won't make the same allowances for longer cleaning times.
Make sure your wait staff are cleaning away dirty dishes as customers are finished with them rather than waiting until the end of the meal. This reduces the amount of cleaning that needs to be done when each party leaves, and it gives kitchen staff more time to make sure your plates get washed spotlessly and your glasses are shiny and streak-free.
You also need to pay extra attention to spills. Puddles of food and drink can be dangerous at any time of year, but when your restaurant's more crowded than usual, customers are at even greater risk of slipping and falling. If you don't want to spend all your busy period profits defending a lawsuit, instruct staff to be vigilant and invest in a few wet floor signs.
#3. HIRE A COLD ROOM
Even the best service and cleanest environment won't save your restaurant's reputation if you don't have enough food to go around during your busy times. If you've ever sat down at your favourite eatery with eager anticipation only to learn that your favourite dish was off the menu, you'll know how upsetting this can be to your customers.
Hiring a cold room allows you to store more food as you need it without having to invest in an extension to your building. You'll be able to take in bigger orders from your suppliers to meet demand without worrying about spoilage or deterioration in quality, both of which can leave you with unhappy customers on your hands.
If you've got a busy period coming up at your restaurant, contact Kleer Cold Room Hire for help with your food storage needs.