Whether you’re in the restaurant business, run a catering company or are part of a larger non-profit organisation, the lead up to Christmas and the New Year is as full on as it gets.
If you’re looking to get ahead of the festive rush this year, our guide to keeping up with the holiday demand will help you cover the most important food and storage issues for your best Christmas ever.
Start planning today
If you’re serious about keeping up with festive demand this year, then you need to start thinking ahead now. Whether this is your first Christmas in hospitality or you’ve tackled it before, planning is the key to success. From food orders to additional storage, predicting and solving any issues before they arise will ensure you can enjoy a smoother Christmas service.
Some important questions to ask yourself in the lead up to Christmas:
- Do I need to hire more employees to cope with demand? Don’t assume you have enough employees to tackle the rush. If there’s too much to do and not enough people to do it, food safety and food quality will slip.
- Do I need to increase my basic food orders? Whilst you might be ordering in some extra special produce for a festive menu, don’t forget to increase orders of basic ingredients too or you might just get caught out.
- Do I have enough storage space to keep up with an influx of customers? Consider whether or not you need to increase your storage capabilities temporarily over the festive season.
- Do I have an emergency plan if things start to go wrong? Whilst you can plan for a busy holiday period, you can’t always predict what will happen. Consider creating a back-up plan in case of emergencies like ingredient or space shortages.
It’s never too early to start thinking about staff or storage expansion. Create a fool proof plan today and take some of the stress out of a Christmas in hospitality.
Go over important regulations and training
Following health and safety regulations should be an everyday affair but in the run up to Christmas, it’s worthwhile bringing your team together to refresh their knowledge. Because Christmas is such a busy time for the hospitality industry, the way you run your business and the quality of food you serve can make or break your organisation.
What are the most important areas to cover with your team?
General hygiene – General hygiene can include all the day to day health and safety rules you’re likely to come across working in a kitchen. This includes anything from thorough de-contamination of work surfaces to glove wearing and hand washing.
Food rotation – In the run up to Christmas, it’s advisable to remind employees about the importance of proper stock rotation. The ‘first in first out’ rule isn’t just there to stop you from throwing out food needlessly. It’s there to stop out of date, bacteria loaded food from making its way to customers’ plates.
Cold storage and freezer hygiene – With so much food moving in and out of blast freezers and refrigerated units, the need for regular cleaning and disinfection of storage will increase. Cross contamination is a genuine threat to restaurants and caterers. Don’t let it catch you out this Christmas.
Food storage best practices – Another cross contamination risk is the improper storage of ingredients in refrigerators and freezers. Stress the importance of things like keeping raw and cooked produce separate, keeping ingredients well sealed and avoiding over packing in storage.
It can become all too easy to let food safety and hygiene slip when demand is high. That’s why a recap and refresh can be so vital for your business during busy periods.
Upgrade your storage capabilities
As your diaries and your tables become fuller in the lead up to the big day, temporarily upgrading your storage capabilities can be a cost effective way to keep up with demand.
Many businesses fail to realise that additional refrigeration and freezing units are a valid option over Christmas and New Year. Instead, most choose to struggle on, either losing out on potential customers thanks to a lack of storage or suffering increased food wastage due to continually over packing their current units.
Portable cold storage and blast freezing containers are the perfect solution for organisations that need to upgrade their storage quickly but don’t want a permanent unit. Mini chillers and freezers can be easily stored inside without taking up too much space, whilst larger units can be safely stored outdoors if internal space is an issue.
Christmas is one of the best times to increase business profitability. Whether you’re hoping to tempt larger parties into your restaurant, are creating a special festive menu or are even planning to open your doors for Christmas day, investing in additional storage over the festive period provides your company with the resources it needs to succeed.
Our wide range of mini blast freezers and chillers are the perfect solution to your festive crisis. So if you’re considering cold storage expansion this year, get in touch with CRS today on 0800 085 2298 and find out how cold storage could help you keep up with Christmas demand.