You’re probably just starting to take down your Halloween decorations, but you’ll soon have new ones to put up. Christmas is quickly approaching, and you must be prepared. Hotels and any hospitality business can use the holidays to increase occupancy, upsell bookings, and delight guests. So it’s time to start thinking about it.
You may have some questions now. How can I kickstart my hospitality business this holiday season? What should I look out for? This blog answers as many open-ended questions as possible and helps you prepare your hospitality business for the holiday season.
Let’s start by looking at how you could make your hospitality business look more festive!
How to make your hospitality business (look) more festive
Get in the Spirit
Whether it’s a menorah, a Christmas tree, or glittering snowflakes, guests will expect some form of decoration in their hospitality business. Invest in creating something unique that guests will want to photograph – or even a fantastic location to take social-ready selfies. The holiday spirit should be reflected in all aspects of your business. This can include playing carols in the hotel lobby, changing your signage, developing a signature seasonal cocktail, or instructing receptionists and servers to wish guests a happy holiday. You can encourage staff to wear festive attire if it is consistent with your brand – even something as simple as a piece of greenery pinned to a lapel can help spread holiday cheer.
Although Christmas dominates holiday culture, many guests will undoubtedly observe other holidays. To be inclusive, remember to pay attention to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Make an effort to find decorations and music that represent all three holidays. Winter is a fun, non-denominational aspect of this time of year, whether you live in a warm or cold climate. Carols like “Winter Wonderland” and decorations that feature snow and ice will be popular with everyone. New Year is another universal holiday tradition that provides an excellent opportunity to impress all of your guests.
Utilize Social Media
During the holidays, there are numerous opportunities for storytelling. Use them to highlight how your hospitality business will celebrate this year. Change your profile and cover photos to reflect your company’s holiday spirit and offerings. Social media allows you to reach out to those who might not be with you this year to persuade them to book in the future. Photos of decorations, exceptional food, or simply your guests having a good time could be successful content (try sourcing these from guests’ social posts – most are happy to be featured). People enjoy sharing their thoughts, so a seasonal online poll (favourite holiday cookie, for example) is an excellent way to engage them. Remember to plan ahead of time and schedule posts, as many employees may be busy or unavailable.
Holiday Promotions and Specials
We hope that most of your holiday promotions are already planned, but there is still time to start! Excellent email marketing during Christmas can make current and past guests thrilled and ready to book again. Holiday-themed contests are a terrific way to get attendees enthused. Sweepstakes contests, social media and in-person events, and even particular contests for children are all excellent examples. Guests enjoy sharing their own content, so photo contests may be very effective. This is also a fantastic time of year to promote upgrades, so encourage your staff to continue to upsell and cross-sell those holiday-themed bundles.
How to Prepare your Hospitality Business Operations for the Holiday Season
The holiday season is stressful for everyone, even hospitality. Aside from personal obligations and festivities, those in the hospitality industry must also ensure their guests have an exceptional experience. This can cause a lot of stress, but there are numerous methods to deal with it. First and foremost, planning is essential. With so many employees and visitors coming and departing during this time, it’s critical to have processes (and contingency plans) in place. Let’s look at these processes!
Monitor your employees’ well-being
The nice thing about hospitality businesses is that they never stop serving their customers. Of course, the company’s downside is that many employees must work over the holidays. The long hours, anxious customers, and tiring hustle work can make employees feel not so happy about the holiday season coming up.
There are a few steps hoteliers can take to mitigate this damage. To begin with, the appropriate scheduling tactics can make all the difference in reducing the time professionals spend away from their families. To make this possible, businesses should try their best to learn about their employees’ needs and preferences.
Getting employees in the holiday spirit can also help, whether through special refreshments, an employee Christmas party, or the ability to participate in a Secret Santa. A personal thank you note, which will remind them of your gratitude and keep them working hard during this hectic period, is one of the most tried-and-true strategies to motivate hard-working staff members.
Share important updates
Everything from menu adjustments to new protocols needs communication with your employees. And, with the holiday season quickly approaching, you can’t afford your employees to miss those critical updates.
Celayix’s mobile app can help you organize when and how your team communicates. The News Feed is an excellent area to disseminate important information such as seasonal menus, details on holiday promotions, or the business’s modified hours. Moreover, it can also be used to share employee accolades and shoutouts.
Update team member’s unavailability
While some volunteers desire to work holiday hours, others will have blackout days where they cannot work. Use the Unavailability tool to indicate team members’ shift preferences to reduce misunderstanding and guarantee no gaps.
Make leave requests easy — for everyone.
A circumstance may develop in which you require the entire staff to be present on a given day. You can simply automate this using Celayix! You may also easily prohibit time off from being scheduled by blocking particular dates. This eliminates the sadness of denied time off requests and provides information for the coming weeks!
Ensure your team are taking their breaks
Breaks are critical for employee well-being, particularly during peak seasons. Your staff will need time to unwind and refuel before returning to client service.
Celayix allows you to establish break alerts for your team, so they know when they’re due for a break, even if they’re busy with a customer. Choose whether to notify an employee, their boss, or both to keep everyone on the same page throughout the day.
Create and save shift templates in advance.
Create schedule templates with all the shifts needed to cover your busiest time for December.
Once they are created, you can quickly add personnel to shifts by clicking and dragging them. Templates allow you to make a timetable without having to start from zero. More time for your customers, less time on the clock.
During the holidays, your employees may be required to work late nights and early mornings. To get the best out of your team, you should minimize weariness and plan reasonably as feasible. As always, check in with your staff to ensure they are looking after themselves, and educate them on stress reduction techniques and self-care for this busy time. In all the chaos, it can also be helpful to step back and focus on what matters, such as giving back to the community. Consider scheduling a toy drive for staff (or guests) to participate in.
Working in a hospitality business during a holiday season can be stressful sometimes, but it can be an exciting and rewarding time if you are prepared in advance.