Your menus have been planned and the bookings have been made. However, while you wait to deck your halls and decorate the tree, autumn presents the perfect opportunity to make sure everything is in place and ready to roll for the busiest time of the year. Take Stock’s checklist is here to help you on your merry way!
Spread the word
•Social media – appoint a few members of staff to be in charge of your social media with daily updates of: images, forthcoming festive menu, seasonal drinks, menu changes and booking availability – especially if a certain time or date suddenly becomes free.
•In-house material – make sure any leaflets or signage promoting food and drink offers are kept up-to-date and changed daily (if necessary).
•Normal menu – if applicable, keep reminding people that you are still running your normal menu alongside your festive one on your social media, website and in-house material. Push any quiet times when there is availability.
•Blackboards – make sure any boards outside the outlet are correctly positioned and kept up-to-date. These have the opportunity to attract walk-in’s so make sure the information advertised on them is correct and easy to see.
•Bar – give the bar a good clean; everything that often gets overlooked on a daily basis such as inside the fridges, the shelves and optics – and polish the taps! The bar is the first point of contact for a customer so it needs to shine!
•Dining room – give everything a good clean including the curtains or blinds, and make sure all light fittings are working and not damaged. Ensure there are no scuffs or chips of paint on the wall that are easy to spot, check all the furniture is in a good condition.
•Kitchen – use the opportunity to look at how hygienically food is handled, including preparation, cooking, cooling, reheating and storing. Have a ‘clean-up and hygiene’ day with staff before the season starts.
•Toilet hygiene – an unclean or untidy toilet is one of the main reasons a customer would leave an establishment. Make sure you have one member of staff each day who is responsible for the upkeep of them – especially important during the festive season.
•Waste control – make sure you have a system in place which stores waste correctly and disposes of it regularly. Not only does unmanaged waste lead to disease and infection, but can encourage an infestation too. Rats, mice, ants and flies will quickly gather if waste is left unmanaged, so be extra mindful of this during the busy times and have a member of staff appointed to manage it.
•Composure – all front of house staff (whatever their position) should be polite, friendly and attentive. If they do not know the answer to a question asked by a customer tell them not to ignore the request but find another member of staff who can assist – regardless of how busy they are.
•Dress – if you have a uniform make sure that all staff members have a clean, tidy one – now is the time to check and get it replaced if it is looking shabby or ill-fitting. For non uniforms, make sure staff look presentable and clean at all times.
•Rotas – make sure you have enough staff to cover every shifts. Show the rota to staff well in advance in case they can’t work a particular shift and you still have time to appoint another staff member to cover it. Legally, staff can’t work more than 48 hours a week.
•Temp cover – if you recruit temporary or new staff for the season make sure they have an induction, the correct training and know which senior member of staff to approach if needed.
•Telephone manner – all staff should be trained to answer the telephone and be able to deal with a query. Or, for each shift, appoint one or two designated members of staff to answer the phone.