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How to Prepare Your Team for Christmas Posted by Smart Rota on 18th December 2019

Christmas can be one of the most hectic times of the year for those who work in hospitality. There are Christmas parties to host, decorations to be put up and team festivities to attend.

That’s why your team has to be prepared for the Christmas period, so they do not get lost amongst all the tinsel and baubles!

Plan early

It’s best to start planning your restaurant’s festivities as soon as possible, so you can let your employees know what to expect. Try to offer your Christmas bookings as early as possible, so you know how many members of staff you will need each day. You could even hire more employees for the festive season to take the load off your current workers.

Let your staff know what it will be like

The Christmas period will be a stressful time for those who work it, so it’s best to let your employees know what they are in for. You could offer financial benefits like double pay if a cook or server is working on Christmas day, but you should be prepared for the worst.

Individuals are likely to call in sick and want to take holiday off during the festive period, so you need to be prepared for your team size to vary around the weeks leading up to Christmas. You could overcome this by hiring temporary staff to cover team members that may succumb to the winter cold and flu epidemic or those who have participated in too many festivities the night before.

Pay your team early

Christmas is an expensive time – there are presents to be bought, cards to choose and festive meals to attend. Thus, you should try to help your team out as much as you can throughout the Christmas period. As well as offering double pay on the important days throughout the month, like Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, you should bring your pay day forward. If your payroll is usually completed by the end of the month, you should try to move it to before the 25th December, so your members of staff have enough money to buy their gifts and celebrate Christmas.

Consider some extra days off

The festive time can be a stressful period for those who must work every day leading up to New Year’s Day, so make sure you have completed the rota early, before the week of Christmas begins. If you’ve hired more staff for the period, consider giving team members a few days off where you can or even a few half days or shortened shifts.

Train your staff

Make sure both your experienced and new staff are all trained up before the festive period begins. Ensure team members are cross-trained, so that if one of your employees calls in sick another member of staff can pick up their job. Ensure your team are ready and willing to handle large groups of bookings and the busy hours they will work. They will need to be both friendly and efficient throughout the Christmas period, even when things are getting hectic.

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