As the year slowly draws to a close (and what a strange, challenging year it’s been), many business owners are taking this time to reflect on the last twelve months. To say this year has been different would be an understatement; restaurants, cafes and businesses in the hospitality industry have had to adjust and adapt to overcome the challenges presented by Covid-19 as the virus has swept across the UK.
With a new year just around the corner, you may have started thinking about your plans for the future. Whether you were able to continue operating throughout the year through delivery and takeaway or you had to close for significant periods of time, the brand new year ahead presents a fresh start and a time to set out your plans for the year ahead.
While we are still living in an uncertain time, it’s important you get your business off to the best start possible for the year ahead. We can’t tell you exactly what the future has in store, but we can give you some tips for making sure your restaurant is ready for welcoming guests through the door when allowed. Making sure your business is ready and in the best condition it can be for future customers is key.
Below, we’ve put together a January checklist for your restaurant to ensure you’re ready to welcome customers through the door when you can.
Give the restaurant a deep clean
A new year often represents a fresh start, so it’s important your kitchen is fresh for the months ahead too. January is the perfect time to give your restaurant and kitchen a deep clean; once the holiday season is over and the festive rush has settled, it’s the perfect opportunity to have a good clean out and reassess equipment.
In addition to giving the restaurant and kitchen a deep clean (we’re talking about really getting in all the corners and getting rid of any gunk and grime), make sure you replace any old or broken equipment too. Damaged or old equipment could be slowing down the efficiency of your kitchen, so start the year with a fully-working kitchen that will help you provide the best service possible. If there’s certain pieces of equipment you’ve been avoiding repairing or replacing, now’s the time to do it.
Revamp the interior
The New Year is also the perfect time to give your interior a refresh. If things are looking a bit drab or you can’t remember the last time you gave the interior of your restaurant a makeover, there’s no better time than in January when business is usually quieter than in other months.
Refreshing the interior doesn’t have to mean spending huge amounts of money; there are plenty of ways you can give your restaurant a new look without breaking the bank. A new coat of paint is a quick and easy way to instantly brighten a room, whereas new artwork and pieces of furniture can completely transform a space too. Why not choose a theme for the year ahead? Perhaps you want to go for a rustic theme or stick to a monochrome colour scheme.
Invest in a cold room
If you don’t already have a cold room installed at your restaurant, January is the perfect time to invest. Make sure your business gets off to the best start possible next year by increasing your refrigerator space and streamlining efficiency. There are plenty of benefits to installing a cold room in your restaurant kitchen; not only does it provide you with more fridge space (which is always a blessing in busy kitchens), but it will keep your kitchen organised, save you time and save you money too.
All too often kitchen staff find themselves rummaging around the fridge to find ingredients and condiments. It can be extremely frustrating when you can’t find what you need and it can waste time too. A cold room ensures you can store items at the correct temperature and with plenty of space so that air can circulate around each item, keeping it cool. You can also group items together in categories to make finding ingredients easier – and instead of finding yourself rummaging round the back of a small fridge, you can simply walk into a cold room and select what you need.
Review your menu
Why not change things up in the New Year with some new dishes? January is the perfect time to sit down with your chefs and kitchen staff to review your menu. Perhaps they have some exciting new ideas they’d like to put forward, or maybe you even have some ideas of your own. It’s important you get your staff motivated and excited for the year ahead, and there’s no better way to do this than to sit down, have some tasting sessions and explore exciting new dishes.
You don’t have to update your entire menu; simply adding a few new dishes or swapping out old ones that aren’t as popular can create a buzz and get customers excited to come in and try your new food.
Again, the New Year is the perfect time to invest some more time into your staff. After the holiday season has settled down and the festivities have calmed down, it’s a good opportunity to motivate your employees for the year ahead and get them excited about your plans. Retraining your staff doesn’t mean they’re not good at their job, it simply means you want to take the time to invest in them and ensure they can complete their job to the best of their abilities.
Investing in your staff and giving them extra training will not only improve your service, but it will show your employees you value them too, helping to motivate them. Productive, happy and motivated employees are far more likely to stay loyal to your business – and customers love seeing happy employees too!
Carry out general maintenance
If there’s certain things you’ve been putting off doing around the restaurant, it’s time to get them done. If you’ve been ignoring strange noises coming from your boiler or the light in the bathroom flickers every now and then, it’s time to get these issues sorted out. It’s important everything is in top condition, from the lighting right down to the cutlery. Remember, you want to give your customers the best experience possible and encourage them to visit you again.
Carrying out necessary maintenance is also a great way to reduce costs down the line. The longer you leave a problem, the worse it will get – unfortunately, that flickering light isn’t going to fix itself.
Mitchell’s: Building Services and Facilities Management in Gloucester
At Mitchell’s, we offer trusted facilities management services across the South West. We’re dedicated to helping you ensure your commercial building is in top condition all year round. Whether you need a qualified and experienced electrician to install new lighting or you’re looking for a reliable company to install a cold room for you, we’ve got you covered.
Our skilled and experienced team have the tools, expertise and skills you need. To learn more about our range of services, visit our website today.