How closely do you look at your seasonal sales? As a restaurant industry pro, you probably have a feeling for when your restaurant is going to be busier. But have you looked closely at how one week in the year compares to others? It can take years of being in business to see just how seasonal changes and holidays can impact your business, and new restaurants don’t have that kind of data.
So what are the busiest times of the year for restaurants?
#5 Summer Patio Season – The sun’s out, the weather is warm, and if your restaurant has a patio, your capacity just went through the roof. You will need to schedule more servers and keep the plates and drinks flowing outside with all the additional tables.
#4 Easter – Brunch and lunch make Easter the fifth single-busiest day of the year (after New Year’s in fourth). That’s good news for servers, as Sunday brunch tippers tend to be the most generous.
#3 Valentine’s Day – Valentine’s Day can be stressful for servers, but for restaurant owners, it’s a godsend in the middle of one of the slowest, most miserable months. February is generally a bad time for restaurants, but Valentine’s Day can help you pay the bills. Make sure you’re staffed accordingly.
#2 Winter Holiday Season – You know as well as anyone that not all restaurants are created equal, and much of the seasonal changes in the industry depend on location. If you’re located downtown or near a major shopping centre, expect hungry diners hauling bags of recently-acquired Christmas gifts. The first three weeks of December are the busiest overall season for restaurants. This is also when company Christmas parties will be packing your floor.
#1 Mother’s Day – The single busiest day of the year in the restaurant is Mother’s Day. From brunch until midnight, restaurants across North America are jam-packed with families.
The restaurant industry is a seasonal one. Business is constantly changing and a schedule that works one week will need to be redone another. Between balancing availability, time off requests, and busy seasons, creating a new schedule every week can quickly become a time-consuming challenge for restaurant owners and managers.
Restaurant scheduling apps like 7shifts can make the process a lot simpler and take a lot less time. Restaurant scheduling apps bring a ton of features that will make your life easier, including:
- Cloud-based staff scheduling
- Mobile integration
- Group chat and private messaging between employees and managers
- Integrated time clocking
- Leave management to handle time off requests
- Workforce management & productivity tools
- Shift feedback
Using an app like 7shifts, you can easily look at your sales against labor costs to see what’s working, where you can save, or where you can improve service by scheduling more servers.
Labor costs are one of the biggest expenses a restaurant has. More efficient scheduling can save your restaurant money, but you need the right data to save money without affecting service. Find an app that gives you easy-to-digest labor cost and sales analysis as part of your shift planning.