The festive period is undoubtedly one of the busiest times for those working in the hospitality industry.
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 critical food and storage issues for your best Christmas ever.
Start planning today
If you're serious about keeping up with festive demand this year, you need to start thinking ahead. 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 a smoother Christmas operation.
Key questions to ask yourself in the lead-up to Christmas:
- Do I need to hire more employees to cope with the demand? Don't assume you have enough employees to tackle the rush; food safety and quality will slip if you don't have the right amount of employees.
- Do I need to increase my regular food orders? Whilst you might be ordering in some extra special produce for a festive menu, don't forget to increase orders of regular ingredients too, or you might miss out.
- Do I have enough storage space to keep up with an influx of customers? Consider whether you need to increase your storage capabilities over the festive season temporarily.
- 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 backup plan in case of emergencies like not enough ingredients or space shortages.
It's never too early to start thinking about staff or storage expansion. Create a foolproof plan today and take some stress off your Christmas in hospitality.
Revise necessary regulations and trainings
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. 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 critical areas to cover with your team?
General hygiene – This can include all the day-to-day health and safety rules you're likely to encounter working in a kitchen, including thorough de-contamination of work surfaces to glove wearing and hand washing.
Food rotation – In the run-up to Christmas, reminding employees about the importance of proper stock rotation is advisable. The 'first in, first out' rule isn't just there to stop you from throwing out food needlessly. It stops out-of-date and 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 keeping raw and cooked produce separate, keeping ingredients well sealed and avoiding over-packing in storage.
It's easy to let food safety and hygiene slip when there is high demand, which is why a recap and refresh can be vital for your business during busy periods.
Upgrade your storage capabilities
As your diaries and tables are filling up before the big day, temporarily upgrading your storage capabilities can be a cost-effective way to keep up with the 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 with either losing out on potential customers due to a lack of storage or suffering from increased food wastage due to continually over-packing their current units.
Portable cold storage and Blast Freezers are the perfect solutions for organisations that need to upgrade their storage quickly but don't want a permanent unit. You can easily store mini chillers and freezers indoors 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 or create a special festive menu, or plan to open your doors on 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 Freezer solutions will allow you to tackle the challenges during the festive seasons. So if you're considering temporary cold storage expansion this year, get in touch with CRS today and find out how cold storage can help you keep up with the demand during Christmas.