The holiday season is upon us. Big parties, holiday specials, and private events are, too. But this holiday season, like last year's, will be a unique one for the restaurant industry.
We're still feeling the effects of the pandemic. The vaccine spring turned to a late-summer surge from the Delta variant, setting restaurant recovery back. We can't be sure what the next few months will look like, but we can look to last year's data to understand what lies ahead.
Even when cases of coronavirus were surging in 2020, and vaccines were not available, restaurant sales managed to see spikes in and around Thanksgiving, Christmas, Super Bowl LV, and Valentine's Day, according to 7shifts own industry data. Shifts scheduled and hours scheduled also saw increases during those holidays.
The bottom line is that business will most likely see bumps for the holidays this year, as it did last year, despite stalling recovery and uncertainty. To best equip your restaurant for the coming season, 7shifts has the tools to help. Here's how:
1. Communicate better
Communication is always important for a successful restaurant team, and when things get busy during the holidays, it becomes absolutely essential.
7shifts team communication tools allow managers to send one-way announcements to the entire team—and see who's read it. Whether you're reminding everyone about a holiday special, or just sending some words or encouragement in a busy time, you can ensure you're being seen and heard.
Beyond announcements, 7shifts messaging creates a space for your entire team to chat with each other. This comes in handy during the holidays, for in many parts of the country, inclement weather and the holiday season go hand in hand. This can cause disruptions in the public transit systems many workers rely on. So rather than wondering where your team member is, they can let the team know that their bus is late.
The holiday season for restaurants is full of events: business dinners, big reservations, special menus, and more. 7shifts gives managers the ability to add these to the calendar, so they're displayed for everyone to see.
Events in the 7shifts calendar
2. Make availability a breeze
As busy as the holidays are, they're also a popular time for vacation requests. The 7shifts mobile app makes it easy for your team to submit holiday time off requests right form their phone, well ahead of time. Once they're in there, managers can approve with a tap in the mobile app or a click in the desktop app. And when they go in to make a schedule, that availability is impossible to miss.
Need to block off the busiest days that you need all hands on deck? That's easy, too.
Blocking days in 7shifts
3. Empower staff to collaborate on their schedule
Things come up during the holiday season—last-minute invites, surprise family visits, and more. Remember that everyone on your team has unique life circumstances that can impact the schedule. 7shifts' mobile app empowers employees to easily swap shifts or offer them up to whoever is looking to work a few more hours (holiday shopping, anyone?). With one-tap manager approval, making quick changes to the holiday work schedule have never been easier.
Shift swapping in 7shifts mobile app
4. Seamless Tip Management
According to 7shifts restaurant inflation data, tips are going up. And during the holiday season, generosity is on the mind. If you pool tips at your restaurant, it can be an especially hectic time to manage payouts. Private parties, big reservations, and special menus all add to the tipping puzzle.
7shifts new tip management features make it simple. Managers can customize tip-sharing and pooling to fit your restaurant's needs and make adjustments at any time. 7shifts' Tip Pooling software makes sure you are in control of where the tips are coming from, which roles contribute to or receive from the pool, and how that distribution is calculated. Once the week is up, it's easy to send those tips to your payroll provider for an easyfor easy payout that's free of human error.
Recommended Reading: Tip Pooling Tools to Easily Manage Tips at Your Restaurant
5. Stay on top of your team morale
Joy, happiness, and celebrations are synonymous with the holiday season. But for many, it can be a time when mental health falters and stress is high. You can't help in every aspect of a team member's life, but you can make your workplace a positive one for everyone.
7shifts engagement features make that easier. Once their shift is over, team members receive automated feedback surveys so you can quickly identify issues before they become problems. You can also use shift feedback scores to monitor how changes week to week, so youc an reach out to employees that are having a hard time, no matter the reason.
Employee engagement in 7shifts
6. Make seasonal hiring easier
Hiring is tough right now, and according to a recent report from the National Restaurant Association, 4 in 5 restaurants are understaffed.
Chances are, you're looking to bring in extra staff for the holiday push. 7shifts hiring and applicant tracking software make that easier, so you can focus on finding the right people for the job. Use the simple job post creator to share your open roles with your staff and social media to source more candidates from referrals. Once applications come in, it's easy to get notified and track them throughout the hiring process. And once they're hired, you can get them on the schedule quickly. 7shifts allows for easy deactivation and reactivation of employees in the system, too, so it's easy to get seasonal employees into their shifts.
7shifts Hiring Tools
Want to learn more? Watch the 7shifts webinar on how you can maximize the features in your account to create the perfect holiday schedule!
12 Tools to Prepare Your Restaurant For The Holiday Season
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D. J. Costantino
Hi! I'm D.J., 7shifts' resident Content Writer. I come from a family of chefs and have a background in food journalism. I'm always looking for ways to help make the restaurant industry better!