Work hard and play hard: it’s the American way and there may be no other holiday that is as American as Labor Day. It’s a day dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers and serves as an annual tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of their country. But there’s usually no hot dogs and cold beer for the owners and staffs of busy restaurants, many of which find their business double or triple over the long holiday weekend. It’s often too hot to cook indoors and the family can only eat so many barbecued ribs. So as a business owner, what can you do to maximize profits and improve profitability over the Labor Day holiday weekend? Let’s look at some innovative ideas.
Use insights gained from other holidays and your Labor Day numbers from previous years to properly assess the number of cooks, wait staff, and bar staff your restaurant needs to keep cranking out orders during the busy holiday weekend.
Move Your Staff Smarter
By using a video surveillance system combined with video analytics, you can actually prepare your restaurant in advance to operate most efficiently. By employing video analytics, you can map out all the traffic patterns in your busy restaurant, from the way a plated order moves from the stove to a table or the way that wait staff engage with the bar to ensure that there are no bottlenecks or other impediments to your customers getting their order hot, fresh, and promptly.
Have Enough Food and Drink
Video analytics can also serve another important function in your restaurant by ensuring that you can track and resupply your inventory in real time. This allows you and your chef to have a real-time understanding of how much supply is in your coolers, how much beer, wine and soda is on hand, and the rate at which your hungry and thirsty customers are going through them. (Bonus points: video surveillance tends to crack down on bartenders giving out free drinks or line chefs taking home that tasty filet mignon, too).
Get Creative with Your Specials
The only limits to your Labor Day holiday specials are those of your imagination. Crazy specials, holiday events and happy hour bonuses can not only bring in uncertain customers, but they’re also likely to catch the attention of the local media. At the Flat Top Grill in Fort Wayne, Indiana, they’re dialing back their menu prices twenty years to 1995 rates. You can also take advantage of nearby festivals by partnering with them, like Worldfest in Louisville, Kentucky or Athens Eats! in Georgia. Turn your delivery or catering van into a pop-up food truck and take your restaurant outside to the customers. Partner with a digital marketing firm to put your specials out on the Internet for curious searchers to discover. Here’s another area where video surveillance and analytics can help you fine-tune your Labor Day specials. By tracking your specials in conjunction with your traffic and transactions, you can better measure the results of your marketing efforts and better understand the customer experience.
By giving yourself a smart snapshot of your restaurant in action and using your creativity to set the mood and connect with your customers, you should be well on your way to a fruitful and successful holiday weekend this Labor Day.
Chuck Briggs has been helping restaurants run efficiently and profitably his entire career. After nearly 20 years in restaurant operations, Chuck began leveraging that experience as a hospitality technology sales consultant beginning in 1997.
Working with clients big and small, independent and multi-national, Chuck has represented point-of-sale solutions including Aloha POS, MICROS, POSitouch, RPOS, Digital Dining, Future POS and others. His emphasis the last several years has been on POS-integrated solutions for loss prevention, customer engagement, enterprise reporting, inventory and labor management.
Chuck holds a master’s degree in communication from Western Michigan University with a focus on organizational leadership, culture and climate.