29 Feb 2024
Celebrating the festivities, together.
The run up to Christmas is one of the busiest times for the hospitality industry.
Last year, it was reported that UK pubs and restaurants saw a 37% surge in sales despite economic pressures! Whether it’s from increased footfall due to more patrons out and about, a bite after Christmas shopping, or large group bookings for work Christmas parties, this year looks set to be no different.
To put it simply, we know how busy you are!
Whilst restaurateurs, café owners and bar managers are ensuring they have enough staff and food, along with enticing festive menus and deals, the stress of it all can sometimes detract from the fun little pockets of joy that find their way into the daily routine this time of year.
This is the grand finale to 2023.
You’re in the thick of it already as we are almost half-way through December. As business picks up, let us remind ourselves why hospitality is one of the most vibrant and rewarding industries to work in - even at Christmas time.
We promise we’ll get to the good stuff soon. But let’s quickly recap on some of the biggest challenges of the past year. Some can rear their ugly head at any time, especially around the festive season. Let’s take a quick look:
It takes a certain kind of genius to be able to predict with absolute accuracy how many staff members you’ll need at any given time. Some venues up their staffing rota from the 1st December, only to find them twiddling their thumbs and decorating with tinsel. While others reduce staff in early January, only to find the ‘busy-ness’ continues into the new year and everyone is still rushed off their feet.
Then there is the flexibility predicament. Staff also want to enjoy Christmas, but you need them on the front line!
Temporary staff and overtime incentives can be a great motivator for existing staff, helping to alleviate the stress and share the load fairly. It’s also a great way to test out new potential recruits if you are thinking about hiring in the new year.
Supply chain issues
No turkey? A shortage of cranberry sauce!?
Once a year, a myriad of festive ingredients fills our menus. And our customers love them.
But if a supply chain issue comes into play, it can cause serious dissatisfaction to patrons hoping to sit down to their festive favourite. Supply chain issues and unpredictability’s cannot always be avoided, but if we control the controllables, find solutions where we can, and have ‘plan Bs’ in place, there is still time to save the day.
Service challenges and machinery malfunction
The last thing any of you need is an equipment malfunction or breakdown during the festive period. So keep your engineers details close to hand and make sure you’re aware of the availability of their support teams and their festive hours.
It’ll help to alleviate stress and reduce delays, giving you and your staff peace of mind that support is on hand.
Many of your challenges will extend to your customers too. Customers can be unpredictable and right now, they seem to be more discerning than ever before.
With new demographics entering the market and different expectations, venues are expected to cater to a new set of demands, providing new services and options for their customers.
And with such an influx of new demand, you may be unable to fulfil bookings which can result in lost business and disappointed customers.
Plus, there is always the worry that with so much upfront investment prior to Christmas, will the books balance out?
Hopefully they do. But during the cost-of-living crisis, it’s likely this worry is on everyone’s minds, even beyond the hospitality industry. More takings don’t always lead to more profit.
All of that aside and kicking the hospitality grinch to the curb….
The festive season can also be one of the most enjoyable, enthralling and energising times for hospitality workers.
It takes a special kind of person to work in this sector. Passionate, enthusiastic and hardworking individuals thrive in this industry. So, this time of year can serve as a reminder as to why we love it so much.
Festive spirit is everywhere
The countdown is on until Christmas day and the festive spirit is hard to avoid. Christmas hats and jumpers, Christmas music on the radio, and Christmas lights twinkling in the distance, it’s hard to ignore the uplifting atmosphere that surrounds us this time of year (inside and outside of the job!)
Generally, your customers are winding down and in a better mood than usual. Christmas parties, letting loose, and enjoying time with family and friends.
With decorations, music and festive menus, there’s so much to enjoy about being in the venue with your customers.
There is no other time of the year that embraces such frivolous joy as Christmas. Enjoy spending time with your customers and getting to know them during this time. It’s likely people are more open and more likely to engage in friendly conversation.
The spirit of giving
Customers generally feel more generous during the Christmas season which extends beyond tips. They are more likely to be forgiving of delays or mistakes, and perhaps even offer reviews and referrals to family and friends. Take full advantage of the generous Christmas spirit and embrace it yourselves too. Little acts of kindness are remembered long after the Christmas season is over.
Finding joy in the chaos
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can cause stress to even the most seasoned hospitality professionals. But amidst the chaos, there's no better feeling than a thriving and busy venue.
But, as the saying goes, "a decorator's house is never done," and for hospitality workers, the same is true. We rarely take time off ourselves to be hosted or waited on. So, despite the holiday busyness, it's more important than ever to try and carve out pockets of joy for both yourself and your team.
Now is the time to remember and embrace why we love hospitality so much. It takes a certain kind of resilience and passion to thrive in this industry, and people are at the centre of everything we do. We hope you can embrace the busy days and nights as an opportunity to thrive and feel rewarded. Remember why you chose this career path and the rewarding nature of it. And if you can, try to let a little loose as well, it’s Christmas after all.
At Classeq, we are passionate about the growth and success of the hospitality sector. That’s why we are committed to providing you with content that explores every juncture of the hospitality journey from the distribution of catering equipment right through to the patron’s plate.
If there is a topic you’d like us to explore further, do let us know. Otherwise, view our full content library here, or speak to a member of the team today . Whether it’s a new machine you need, or technical support, our team is ready to assist.
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