How To Better Manage Scheduling During The Holidays

For restaurant owners, the holiday season is one of the most exciting times of the year. Increased traffic and the flurry of excitement around everyone’s holiday plans makes for a fun, festive atmosphere that puts a spring in everyone’s step. One thing that can pose a challenge around the holidays is making sure you create a schedule that can meet everyone’s needs during one of the busiest times of the year. In this post, we’ll help with how to better manage scheduling during the holidays.

Before you dive into our tips, keep one thing in mind: no matter which approach you take to scheduling during the holidays, keep the lines of communication open between you and your staff. Setting clear expectations and having an open door for any confusion or concerns goes a long way in easing the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and making sure everyone is effectively working toward the same goals.

Enlist your staff to help

Who better to help make your holiday schedule than the folks who are going to be working it? One of the first things you should do when looking at your holiday schedule is sit down with your staff and communicate the goals and the needs for the holiday season. This will help get everyone on the same page before the season even begins.

At this “holiday kick-off” meeting, make sure you include employees in the development of the schedule. Offering them autonomy and input on how things come together will help them feel a sense of pride and ownership, leading to better work(like we talked about here). And at the end of the meeting, make sure you cover a clear list of next steps with specific assignments, so your work moving forward is streamlined and crystal clear.

Offer incentives

It can be exciting to work on staff at a restaurant during the busy holiday season - but truth be told it can also be stressful and a little taxing. It’s not surprising that many restaurant staffers are reluctant to take on extra shifts this time of year as their own social calendar fills up.

To help motivate employees to jump in on additional shifts (or to trade as needed), think about what kind of incentives will make a difference to them. Whether it’s offering a small bonus, additional responsibility, or something else, giving a little something extra is a great way to show you appreciate the effort your staff is putting in during the hectic holiday season.

Talk to your network

When all else fails and you find yourself in a bind, there’s no better teacher than the experience of others. If you have connections within the industry, don’t hesitate to lean on them for advice and insights. Their years of experience will help you understand how to create a schedule that works for everyone in your restaurant - most importantly, your customers!

At the end of the day, the holiday season should be a wonderful and profitable time for your business. Don’t forget to spread the holiday cheer by thanking your employees for their contribution to a schedule that works!