Ah, Christmas in the UK — a time for twinkling lights, festive decorations and the delightful chaos that inevitably comes with the holiday season. In the world of hospitality, it's the most wonderful time of year. It’s also the busiest and most stressful for those working in the industry. But fear not; we've gathered a few pearls of wisdom from industry experts to help you navigate this year’s Christmas madness with style and grace.
Angela Sanders, Head of Conference & Events Sales at Edgbaston Stadium, sure knows a thing or two about juggling holiday bookings. Angela emphasises the importance of utilizing technology platforms. She suggests, “As we approach our busiest time of year it is ever more important to have the correct technology platforms in place to ensure communication between the client and the sales team are as effective as they can be. By using systems to allow clients to directly input final details such as pre-orders, dietary requirements this allows more time for the sales team to focus on business development and enhancing relationships with clients."
In other words, let technology handle the nitty-gritty details. This will enable your team to focus on creating unforgettable experiences.
And who can forget the importance of planning? Rob Bates, Executive Head Chef at The Belfry Hotel & Resort, wisely states, “Success is born from meticulous planning in advance, precision, and a well co-ordinated team, as its crucial to keep a high level of morale throughout and a commitment to quality.
Also by crafting an orchestrated and well balanced menu, ensuring attention to detail with a disciplined timeline approach, we not only create visually enticing dishes but also unforgettable experiences for our guests. In the kitchen, inclusivity and camaraderie is vital and the key to a success is all in the detail.
At The Belfry, our goal is to provide our guests with a memorable and festive dining experience. We're ready to welcome everyone with warmth and hospitality, making this holiday season truly special.”
So, what is the secret sauce for a thriving hospitality gig during the Christmas frenzy? A dash of precision, a sprinkle of coordination and a generous helping of teamwork.
In the kitchen, inclusivity and camaraderie are the secret ingredients to success, according to Rob. Remember, it's all in the details. Thus, you will want to create a kitchen environment that naturally fosters a spirit of teamwork and collaboration, and let the holiday spirit infuse every dish you prepare.
At The Belfry, they take the festive season seriously. You can practically feel the warmth and hospitality oozing from their words. That's the kind of spirit that makes guests feel truly special during the holidays.
Michael Sheldon of the Cairn Hotel Group has a people-centric approach that's pure gold. He says, “I’m all about the people approach – Don’t be scared to be creative on how you deal with people, and staffing over the Christmas period.
Try to do things differently, incentivise weekend working, try to get your own pool of students locally to fill weekend working, think about bonuses at the end of it after they fulfil all of their shifts. Avoid using flex and other temp based recruitment solutions due to the cost & impact on your margins. This all takes planning well in advance.”
Get those creative juices flowing. The key is to plan well in advance so that when Christmas hits, you're ready to spread the festive cheer, not stress.
Michael also prudently advises avoiding the siren call temp-based recruitment solutions. Sure, they might seem like a quick fix, but don’t forget the bottom line – your margins. By planning ahead and taking a more creative approach, you can save money and maintain the quality that your guests expect.
Christmas is like a marathon in the UK hospitality world. It requires planning, precision and a dedicated team. By embracing technology, focusing on details, and nurturing your staff, you can make the holiday season not just manageable but magical.
So, as the Christmas lights twinkle, the carollers sing, and the scent of roast turkey fills the air, think back on these pearls of wisdom from the pros. Your guests are ready for a memorable and festive experience, and with these tips, you'll be more than ready to deliver.
Wishing you a warm, joyful and prosperous Christmas season in UK hospitality. Cheers!