Stay Cool for the Summer: Preparing for the Seasonal Rush

An empty restaurant patio during sunset

It may barely be spring, but your customers are already dreaming of their summer vacations and you may be stressing about that summer rush. While May-August is often one of the busier times of year for restaurants, planning ahead will be your saving grace. Today, we’re breaking down four things you can do to prepare for summer without getting burned.

Starting your summer hiring process early in the year helps you find the top candidates and allows new staff more time to get familiar with restaurant operations. 

To make the training process easier, try streamlining the process as much as possible. Try designating specific training shifts during low-traffic hours or creating training videos or menu study guides to help staff quickly get acquainted with ordering systems. Anything you can do to help your staff keep their cool on the busiest summer days will pay off. 

While your staff is busy handling the guests and making meals, find holes in your operation that technology could help fill. Embracing online ordering, for both to-go and in-restaurant ordering, can help save a lot of time and keep tickets straight, allowing your front-of-house staff to spend more time running food when it’s ready, clearing tables and answering guest questions. Placing tablets at each table for guests to pay at their seat can really cut down on the downtime of each group. No more waiting for the check, customers can get on with their day and you can turn over tables quicker.  

Doing what you can to prep ahead of time to help alleviate stress is a no-brainer, but try and think of things that may not be top of mind all year round. Do you have an extra umbrella or two in case one on your patio happens to break? Does the signature cocktail you thought up come in fun glassware? Stock up on extras in case those wander off with patrons. If you are making LTO frozen desserts for the hot days, consider renting more freezer space to help keep your kitchen organized. 

And lastly, don’t forget the fun stuff that can make your operation stand out and be the “must-visit” spot of the summer. Creating an enticing outdoor space filled with lights, plants and sun cover, or simply opening large windows is an easy way to entice passersby; people can catch a peek of your appetizing menu options, and no one wants to sit inside on a beautiful day. 

You could also play to your customers’ taste buds. Offering items like shareable summertime cocktails, beautiful entrees filled with fresh, crisp seasonal produce or bold takes on classic summer foods like burgers or brats. Delicious food plus a delightful ambiance is the equation for a perfect summer day. 

BONUS TIP! Check Your A.C. Now

Your future customers, your staff and yourself will thank you for making any necessary tune-ups now versus the inevitable hottest day of the year when all the HVAC professionals in your area are completely booked.

You May Also Like