New Year, New Kitchen Linen

New Year, New Kitchen Linen

To help you make the most of this upcoming January, we’ve put together this list of the very best New Year’s resolutions for restaurant owners.

The age-old tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is a chance for us all to set goals related to our personal lives, but you might not have considered that businesses can make them, too! After the mad rush of the holiday season, with customers notoriously tending to stay in till Valentine’s Day rolls around, January is actually the perfect time for restauranteurs to implement some professional challenges for the year ahead. Whether it’s giving your menu a refresh or changing your kitchen linen supplier, you’ll be surprised by how much taking advantage of this quieter time of year to make some changes - however big or small - will positively impact your business down the line. 

 

To help you make the most of this upcoming New Year, we’ve put together this list of the best resolutions for restaurant owners.

The Big Spring Clean

Why wait for spring to roll around to get ahead on the big spring clean? Although routine deep cleans at your restaurant should be given, while business is slower throughout January, why not take this opportunity to get stuck into all of the more intensive, time-consuming cleaning jobs that only need to be done every few months? This could include cleaning out and sanitising the ice machine, emptying and cleaning out the walk-in fridges and freezers, washing walls to remove grease build-ups and dusting the dining area. When things get busier again, you’ll not only be grateful to have these tasks out of the way for the time being, but can also take pride in welcoming customers back into a squeaky clean restaurant.

 

While we’re on the topic, now’s a good time to also take a look at your routine cleaning processes and see if any improvements can be made: are daily and weekly tasks being completed as and when they are supposed to be? Do you have enough of the right cleaning supplies to get these jobs done? Are your staff upholding the right hygiene standards or do they need more training? Do you need to update your checklists?

Appreciate Your People

The holiday season can be a manic time for hospitality workers, and it’s likely that some of your staff will go into the New Year feeling a little burnt out. As a restaurant owner, it’s the least you can do to make sure your business has proper procedures in place to make your employees’ working lives that little bit easier. Letting issues like understaffing and poor communication persist can lead to hostility and a high employee turnover, so for the sake of your team (and your business!), it’s worth taking the time to reevaluate your staffing processes, such as scheduling, and make changes when necessary. This could include:

 

  • Setting Expectations Early: Set expectations about scheduling procedures, such as filling out time off request forms and shift trading.
  • Encouraging Open Communication: Use online communication tools, like messaging apps, to prevent issues of overstaffing, understaffing and burnout.
  • Use Smart Scheduling Tools: Swap your pen and paper for centralised scheduling software that allows you to view, create and modify timesheets on the fly. This also helps to keep staff in the loop when changes are made.

 

Although it’s easy to let these things slip during busy periods, ensuring that you have effective scheduling and HR systems implemented going into the New Year is a great way to show your employees that you respect their time and efforts.

Condense Your Menu

This one might be controversial, but a small menu can actually be your best friend. While it’s easy to think that more meal options is a selling point, this isn’t always the case. Too many choices can sometimes overwhelm diners and make it harder for them to decide what they want to eat, the result being that they default to something they’ve had before which might make them less excited to return to your restaurant.

 

To prevent this from happening, take the New Year as an opportunity to employ a ‘less is more’ approach by creating a smaller, more curated menu. According to menu engineer Gregg Rapp, the perfect number of menu items per course is seven: that’s seven starters, seven mains, seven desserts and so on. This magic number encourages diners to try something new without bewildering them.

 

If you’re stuck on what dishes to get rid of, you could start by cutting items that don’t sell well or produce a lot of waste. You could also think about which ingredients can be used across multiple dishes but are presented in different ways, allowing you to do more with less. Finally, opting for a seasonal menu is not only a fantastic way to make use of seasonal produce and keep diners on their toes, but also makes having a smaller menu feel bigger as some meals are swapped out every few months.

Try Out New Markets

It’s no secret that the food delivery platforms market is a multi-billion pound industry at this point. Not only is a takeaway the perfect New Year’s Day hangover cure, but it also could be the key to your restaurant’s success next year.

 

If you’ve been sceptical about online deliveries up until this point, that’s understandable. After all, setting up a delivery service can take a fair amount of upfront work, and streamlining the workflow can be tough to begin with. However, these concerns make a slow January the ideal time to start thinking about how you can leverage deliveries to your restaurant’s advantage.

 

If you choose to keep your takeaway service in-house, you will need to set up your own online ordering system and hire drivers to facilitate deliveries. While this is a lot of work on your end, the good news is that you get to keep all of the profits from delivery.

 

On the other hand, you could work with a third-party service like Deliveroo, or UberEats to fulfil online orders. This can make things easier in some respects, but you’ll have to pay for setup and share 10-40% of profits with the app provider of your choosing.

 

No matter which avenue you go down, it’s important to remember that implementing an online ordering system can do wonders for driving more traffic to your restaurant, and is a great resolution to set yourself.

Try Out a New Look

Much like in the way we as humans try out a new hairstyle or exercise regime in the New Year, it can also be the perfect time to change up the look of your restaurant. Although indoor dining might not be your biggest revenue stream for the next month or so, this won’t be the case forever, and January could be the ideal time to give your space a revamp. There are countless ways that you can go about this - from revising your floor plan to adding a new outdoor sign - but one change that certainly won’t go unnoticed is switching up your restaurant and kitchen linen.

 

From tablecloths and napkins to staff uniforms and aprons, opting for premium-quality kitchen linens will elevate the look and feel of your restaurant and is sure to go a long way with diners. If you have a colour scheme that you feel is getting a little tired, use your linens as a way to implement a new palette that better aligns with the current times. Plus, if you currently do all of your kitchen laundry in-house, now could even be the time to consider outsourcing this task to a kitchen linen hire company, who have the right resources and expertise to supply and launder all of your linens to a professional standard. Although it seems small, making your linens a priority in the New Year will make a big, noticeable difference.

Give Kitchen Linen Hire a Go in 2024

Make tired tablecloths and stiff stains a thing of the past with restaurant and kitchen laundry services from Stalbridge Linen Services. For over 40 years, we have been providing commercial linen to restaurants, cafes and hotels across the UK. We are proud to have built a loyal base of customers over the years, who use our laundry services because of our exceptional quality of service, reliability and flexible contracts.

 

Whether you’re looking for chef uniform hire or tablecloth hire, our expert team here at Stalbridge can help. To make an inquiry, please get in touch with us today.

Published on: January 2, 2024

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