Set holiday expectations
High inflation and a shortage of staff could mean the holiday season will be looking a little different this year at many restaurants around the country. According to research from Alignable, 48 percent of operators aren’t hiring seasonal or permanent employees, and another 8 percent are laying off employees because revenues no longer support additional hires. At the same time, consumers have been steering their purchases toward more experiential things – to include travel and restaurant meals, as Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach shared on a quarterly earnings call in late October. When consumers spend right now, they’re looking for something special – and that sentiment only ramps up around the holidays – but that can be difficult for restaurants to offer consistently with a skeleton crew. To avoid creating a recipe for guest disappointment and staff burnout, now is a good time to steer your holiday guests toward the experiences that you’re best able to manage with a smaller team than normal. That could mean focusing on promoting holiday meal bundles to be eaten at home, closing your dining room to accommodate more special events where you can more easily plan ahead with staff and supplies, and promoting gift cards for VIP experiences you’re offering in the slower winter months. If you’re operating as usual, just make sure you’re serving a menu that’s as easy and fast as possible to execute with a limited crew.