You did it!
The “10 solid days of Saturdays” are over. So how do you feel? If the answer is exhausted, don’t fret, you’re not alone. Between tackling Valentine’s Day and Denver Restaurant Week back-to-back, you might be feeling a bit frayed at both ends.
Here are our suggestions to kickstart your restaurant week recovery:
Because restaurant week is viewed primarily as a marketing opportunity, the first thing on your mind is probably, “Was it worth it?” My answer to you: sit tight. While you’re ready to dive into the assessment immediately, your body and mind is probably exhausted. Put a pin in it (for now) and take a break. Some owners choose to close the restaurant on the following Monday after restaurant week to give themselves (and their staff) a much deserved break after such a busy time.
One of the best ways to assess the success of an event is to meet with your stakeholders soon after it concludes (and while it’s fresh in everyone’s mind) to talk about it. Those who work in corporate often refer to this meeting as a “post-mortem,” and it’s a great way to identify wins and potential areas of improvement. During this meeting it’s important to get your managers, chefs, and any other key back or front of house members to participate. You want a good, 360° view of the event to analyze every aspect of your restaurant. From managing food costs and efficiency in the kitchen, to turn times and other server demands, take this time to discuss how restaurant week went and gather overall impressions. Take notes, because when restaurant week rolls around next year you want to be ready to address any lingering concerns.
Showing appreciation for your staff is one of the best ways to retain talent; and with today’s talent shortage in the foodservice industry, you do not want an additional worry of dealing with high turnover rates. If you’re able to afford it, close your restaurant for a day and treat the staff to a night of bowling or a movie. With the restaurant closed you don’t have to worry about any hard feelings between staff who have to work. If you can’t stomach a night without potential revenue, consider partnering with another chef and restaurant to arrange a “Restaurant Takeover.” In this fun collaboration between brands, another chef can take over your kitchen for the night to offer a special tasting menu for guests. You get a percentage of the revenue, that chef gets an amazing opportunity to market to another audience—and remember to do a “takeover” at their restaurant next!