Even the smoothest running hospitality business can find the cracks start to show during an unexpected rush of customers. These instances test their systems and their staff’s ability to cope with pressure.
Instead of being a cause for celebration, an upsurge of business can turn into a minor disaster. Disgruntled customers leave, while others are cringing, watching the chaos unleashed by higher than average orders.
Any hospitality enterprise worth their salt plans for seasonal peaks and troughs, and knows the days of the week and even times when business becomes more brisk. However, how can restaurant owners and operators prepare for unexpected and spontaneous up-turns? Here are three crucial considerations to prevent chaos.
Preparing ahead for fluctuating customer levels – including the pressure of a sudden influx of orders – often hinges on your menu.
Clearly, the commercial emphasis is on staying true to your hospitality brand and ethos, delivering good food with the minimum of waste, and maximum profit margins.
To be ready for a perfect storm of custom, it makes sense to balance all this with menu items that have minimal prep time. Without devaluing your food, you could also have some elements of your menu prepared and frozen for emergency situations.
Are there ways of better limiting menu choices, to streamline kitchen operations? Declaring that ‘tricky’ items have run out, may disappoint one customer when that time could be used to serve three customers with simple dishes.
Give staff the tools for swift service
A hospitality business under pressure to turn around customers and orders will rely heavily on a well configured and integrated POS system.
Getting your restaurant technology ready for a steady stream of business is important, but knowing it won’t let you down during the tough days, is vital!
Managers who lead
There’s a world of difference between a manager and a leader. This will never be more apparent than when your restaurant is under fire from an unexpected surge of business.
Leaders are classed as people who have emotional intelligence, getting the best out of everyone in their team. To cope better with peak times in restaurants, this doesn’t always mean a manager rolling up their sleeves and mucking in.
Instead, they could achieve more by keeping a close eye on the whole team, supporting and motivating them, and offering empathy. That way they are present for everyone. When a staff member is showing signs of cracking under the pressure, the manager can spot it early and be ready with a steadying hand, word of encouragement or offer of a quick break to calm them down.