Published November 7, 2019

Five high-risk situations your hospitality business could face this Christmas

Five high-risk situations your hospitality business could face this Christmas

The saying “failing to prepare is preparing to fail,” goes a long way in the hospitality business. This is especially true in the Christmas season. Syft dives into five main problems a hospitality business will face during the peak season so that you can show up well prepared.

#1 Understaffing will demoralise your staff members

As previously reported, 26% of businesses failed to fill out their Christmas staff rota last year. Preparing the right environment for your customers and your team is important to avoid your business becoming an assembly of demoralised staff members. Excessive workload, where your team members are in constant time deficit will make their tasks unattainable and as a consequence leave them in a circle of unaccomplishment.

Customer service is at risk when your team is demoralised from repetitive underperformance due to unrealistic expectations on the employers’ part. Employers need to realise that the underperformance of their staff is often a reflection of the managerial team itself. David MacLeod, co-chair of Engage for Success Movement, said in a report drafted for the UK government:

“A workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being.”

It is also often true that the management does not wish to demoralise their staff members. However, the problem of lacking adequate staff members leads to not having enough time to do what should be part of creating a successful team in general — especially during the peak season. To help prevent understaffing issues over this busy season, book our fully-vetted Syft workers here.

#2 Don’t let customer service quality suffer this Christmas: Perform immediate inventory checks

Satisfying customers at a non-peak season carries its own challenges and it’s therefore more important to strengthen your service this Christmas to not fall behind. While many businesses do have similar core problems, business managers, however, need to know what customers uniquely expect from your business, are you able to still provide those finer aspects that make your business so special?

Provide your team with enough time and hands to go through ongoing inventories. Make sure you minimise your damages to all your unique selling points. This season is also a time where many of your regular customers will be inviting new customers, which will bring about new customers— therefore making it extremely important to not underperform to give your business a bigger chance at making the best out of its new prospects.

#3 Hygiene needs to be up to scratch

Chaos loves company, especially during hectic times. Make sure the culture of hygiene remains during Christmas. What you don’t want is your customers getting put off by the washrooms where they go to wash their hands. Preparation is also key in this area. Small steps such as checking the bathroom routinely, making sure that tables are cleared fast after a customer leaves, making sure there is hand sanitizer in your kitchen, bathrooms, and at the paying counter will help your staff members and customers minimise the spread of germs. Make sure your staff members are all keeping up with personal hygiene too and that they have spare shirts and aprons. Most importantly, extra attention needs to be given to the chefs and kitchen porters working directly with food products.

#4 Conflict in the team

While tension runs high with the increase of customers, pressure to perform can cause conflicts. There are certain signs you can look out for to spot if conflict is present, whether explicit or implicit. According to the independent council Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), some of the symptoms of conflict in a team are drop of motivation, behavioural changes such as derogatory remarks, productivity fall and increase in sickness absence. Conflict in teams are caused by many reasons, some of which could be unfair treatment, unclear responsibilities, inadequate training, poor communications, poor work environment, lack of equal opportunities, as well as bullying and harassment. A solution proposed by the council is to get regular insight into your team by speaking informally to team members, as well as run regular questionnaire.

#5 Bad weather

Bad weather is responsible for many accidents taking place. Potentially, your customers will come in with wet footwear from snow or rain. This can make your entrance and staircase a hotspot for accidents and the risk increases with customers who are indulging in the festivity with alcoholic beverages. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) recommends that kitchen workers do not drink during shifts as well as making sure that your staircases are well-lit and uncluttered.

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