André Pellerin has over 25 years of expertise in the food service industry. Being a former Marketing and Sales Associate, and a previous restaurant Owner/Operator, André has knowledge from both the Food Establishment and Supplier sides of the business.
Here are some critical steps that restaurants can take in the pursuit of preparing and executing great service for events and party bookings.
One of the most important operational aspects of being successful with holiday bookings is scheduling labour effectively to provide the best possible service; and that doesn’t just mean adding servers.
When building out floor plans and sections, it is very effective to add in additional support staff such as bussers and food runners. These additional hands on deck will help keep the cycle of service on time, and operating efficiently, overall assisting to better manage the increased work load from the holiday events.
Also increase Management floor coverage to manage the cycle of service and guest interaction, as the volume of business increases with events. It’s important to keep in mind that your restaurants will see many new guests during the holiday timeframe, so you need to leverage these opportunities to build business from creating great guest experiences from the larger volume of the market. Great guest experiences, lead to positive word of mouth and social media exposure, which leads to increased business.
Great pre-shifts need to be informative and engaging for the team. Management should be prepared with a strong game plan for service, and the organization of event bookings to review with staff at pre-shift to prepare them for service.
There are many ways to organize events operationally for service that will help see success. Here are some suggestions that I have found success with:
Engaging service can be defined as any emotional connection we provide for a guest during our service. It refers to how valued we make them feel as guests, and how warm and genuine we are when we serve them etc. This is one of the most important aspects of great service, if not the most, and largely the measure if we will earn another visit from our guests.
Mechanics can be defined as anything we use to service guests that has no guest interaction, such as how we set a table, or how efficiently we process their billing details. What often happens when we increase our volume, with the addition of events, is that our service becomes more mechanical than it should, and less engaging. Our greetings become rushed, and more focused on timing, instead of being welcoming, informative and special.
The holiday season has already started with event bookings and reservations being confirmed for late November-December and New Year’s. Starting to prepare your restaurant operationally, and focusing on creating great guest’s experiences before the season starts is not only a huge opportunity, it may be the difference between a slow and strongstart to sales in 2017.
Source: The fifteen group