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Skimping Scrooges & Dissatisfied Diners

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Skimping Scrooges & Dissatisfied Diners

Skimping Scrooges & Dissatisfied Diners

Christmas is coming...and with such a high footfall over the coming weeks it's important to ensure that high standards are maintained.

Keeping hospitality at the forefront is critical, even if it is your busiest time of the year.


The temptation is always there for some establishments to sacrifice quality for quantity, but whilst they might be boosting profits in the short term, the Grinch approach could have serious implications in the long term.


According to more than 300 consumers who answered our survey on dining out at Christmas, slow service, overcrowding and inferior
food quality are some of diners' biggest annoyances during the festive period.


And when you couple this with the results of another recent survey where 50% of respondents told us that they would choose the venue for their Christmas meal based on a recommendation, it's important to ensure standards remain high if you want to reap the rewards in 2013.


For many, the Christmas 'do' is the social event of the year, and profitability should always be measured against the ability to give the customer an experience they will remember.


Squeezing in extra tables to fit in an additional 10 covers per sitting is dangerous if you don't have adequate space or capability: it's not just the extra guests whose experience will be affected; there will be a knock-on effect for other
customers, as well as your staff in the kitchen and on the floor who will need to cope with the additional pressure.


56% of respondents said it was the kitchen's failure to cope with the volume of orders which generally resulted in a decline in performance, while 33% suggested that it was issues arising from either having an inadequate number or poorly trained staff.


The importance to staff training really comes into play in peak periods. It's not just about turning tables, getting the style of service right can bring benefits. If staff are encouraged to offer genuine recommendations at appropriate times they can generally improve the value of an order, especially at Christmas when people are a bit more inclined to indulge.


For example, more than half of the survey respondents said they were prepared to spend more on beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety, at this time of the year than any other. Likewise, 3 out of 5 consumers said that they would be more likely to order an
aperitif or digestif as part of their meal out if it was offered.


Christmas party season gives you exposure to a lot of new customers who may not have dined with you before. Impress them and you can make merry whilst you make money.

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