Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: what businesses can expect for Memorial Day weekend.
As we quickly approach Memorial Day weekend, businesses should be planning for a busy couple days as people head out to enjoy the long weekend. This is the first Memorial Day Weekend since before the pandemic and more recently, the first federal holiday since the CDC announced it had loosened restrictions for those that are fully vaccinated.
Because LGC has been operating in the hospitality industry for almost twenty years, we have a strong pulse on industry trends. Our expertise leads us to believe that bars and restaurants can expect a busier than average Memorial Day weekend as people take advantage of the warm weather. In order to set yourself up for success, it’s important to properly set expectations. Below we lay out what restaurants can expect for Memorial Day weekend.
If you have outdoor seating, it’ll be busy.
For the long weekend, customers will be looking to take advantage of nice weather and enjoy some time outdoors. Unless the weather is less than ideal – like a serious downpour – we suggest planning for a busy patio. There are a few ways you can set yourself up for success:
- Prepare outdoor space as best you can to allow for different group sizes.
- Set up server stations on the patio to minimize the back and forth for employees.
- Have a seating plan that takes any capacity restrictions into account.
Expect local travelers if you’re in a tourist area.
While most restaurant-goers probably won’t hop on a plane this weekend, they’ll likely be traveling to local tourist areas that provide a fun environment. If you’re located in one of these areas, expect local travelers who might even be staying the weekend. To stay ahead of the competition, consider offering deals on drinks or food, or other tactics that can help draw in customers.
Being understaffed will turn customers away.
Most of us are aware of the nationwide shortage of restaurant employees and the struggles hiring managers are facing. Despite this, you should do your best to be fully staffed – or even going a step further by implementing an on-call team. If you’re located in a market saturated with competitors, customers will leave in favor of a restaurant that can accommodate their requests. If you’re struggling with hiring or last-minute absences, reach out to a staffing partner like LGC for assistance.
For Memorial Day weekend, restaurants should expect an influx of customers looking to relax and have a good time. But remember, the very purpose of the holiday is to honor military personnel who died in service, so make sure your actions reflect that this weekend.
Being understaffed, especially as restaurants are trying to build their business back up, can be a huge detriment to a guest’s experience. Contact LGC for staffing assistance, even if you only need help for a day. We’ll help in whatever way we can.