Both yourself and your catering team will no doubt welcome the quiet of the new year after the mad rush of December.
But this time of year doesn’t have to be a write-off; you can use it to complete some-much needed admin, and give both your team and your establishment the TLC they need after the peak of the festive season.
In this article, I have included some ideas and suggestions for your catering business to help you view the start of the year not as a challenge, but an opportunity.
New Year, New Menu
If your chef has been itching to get some new items on the menu, now is the perfect time to allow them the time to develop these creations.
This time of year is excellent for trialling new items (or even a whole new menu), the chef will have more time, the kitchen is quieter, and it’s probably the only time of the year where the entire team are freed-up enough to get involved.
And it doesn’t just have to be a new menu – you can use quieter times to experiment with new ways of serving and presenting food. What worked over the Christmas period, and what needed changing? Now is the time to put those plans you formed when you had no time into action.
In hospitality, training can often feel like an un-welcomed sideline from the action of the kitchen or the restaurant floor. In this sector, planned training often gets pushed back and back, when ironically, it is one sector where regular training has enormous benefits for the staff and ultimately, the customer.
The benefits of a trained workforce include –
- Increased morale – well-trained employees are more confident and happier in their roles.
- Higher productivity – staff perform much quicker and with more ease when you have trained them adequately.
- Safety – in catering, by law, it is required that your staff are up-to-date with their health and safety training.
- Value – when you spend the time and effort on training your staff properly, they become an asset to your business.
Excellent training can turn even the newest of employees into brand ambassadors, so you should jump at the chance to complete training whenever you get a break from the usual chaos of a typical day in catering.
The Spring Clean
OK, so it might not be spring for a few months yet, but it will undoubtedly feel like it with the nights getting lighter and the feeling of ‘new beginnings’ in the air.
While it is traditional for hospitality organisations to undertake their traditional spring clean this time of year, get your staff to go one further and have a deep clean of those areas that are full of forgotten debris. Places like outdoor storage lock-ups, lesser-used storerooms and catering vehicles are prime suspects that are probably ready for a good clean after the busy period.
While January and February are generally quieter months for most food service businesses, there is always the opportunity to increase spend per head for every customer.
January is a great time to introduce special offers or deals (more on this in the next section) for your staff to upsell, side dishes and hot drinks work best for add-on sales, so get your employees to promote these as much as possible. You could even introduce a weekly incentive for the staff member with the most add-on sales.
The best time to market your business is during the start of the year; often a quitter time in hospitality too. The new year is the perfect time to sell items such as – vegan and vegetarian items as an increasing number of people partake in healthy food and meal deals for those on a new year health kick, and hot drinks while the weather is still cold.
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Many smaller and local catering businesses can do well marketing themselves for free on social media. Make sure that the pictures you use of your food and establishment are high quality and use exciting, engaging language to draw people in. Deals which have a time-limit such as ‘free pastry with your coffee during rush hour throughout February’ are always well received, so promote these on social media as much as you can.
Like the sound of these suggestions? You should act quickly because before you know it, spring will be rolling around again and your business will be picking up. Take advantage of the quiet times while you still can!
If you are looking for excellent catering staff to help your business succeed this year, get in touch with KSB today or call us on 0121 702 1428 to discuss your recruitment needs.
About KSB Recruitment
We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with an obsessive attention to detail.
KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered.
We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire.