5 Tips to Prepare Your Hotel for the Holiday Season
As December approaches, many hotels and banquet halls are getting ready for the winter season. Often, this means an influx of traveling guests and, of course, holiday parties. Many event planners recommend beginning holiday preparations as early as the summer months. If you’ve yet to get started planning, don’t worry. Here are our five tips for getting your hotel catering services ready for the holiday season.
Update Your Website’s Event Page
The first step in securing holiday party bookings is making sure potential clients have the right information at their fingertips. Your company website is the first place customers will go to learn about event fees and packages. Make sure that information is current and reflects everything that’s included in hosting an event with your establishment. Have you renovated recently? Upload current pictures. Increased rates? List the new ones. Taking this small step can ensure guests are fully informed when contacting you for reservations and avoid surprises about price or the event space come party time.
Check on Your Ice Machines
It’s one of your most frequently-used pieces of equipment, yet it’s so easily neglected. Contaminated ice cubes can significantly impact a drink’s taste, and an unexpected ice machine breakdown creates a huge obstacle for your wait and bar staff. There’s nothing worse than serving room-temperature champagne on New Year’s Eve, so be sure to regularly check each of your ice machines for cleanliness and functionality throughout the holiday season and beyond. This includes your kitchen’s ice machine as well as machines accessible to guests on each floor.
If you find that your ice machines are past their prime, consider purchasing new ones before the season is fully underway. The Ice DevIce by Follett ensures your ice stays contaminant free by using gravity to easily dispense 125 pounds of ice into a proper carrying container. With a capacity of between 460 lbs to 4640 lbs and compatibility with cube or Chewblet ice, the Ice DevIce can help keep your kitchen running guests happy throughout the season.
Use High-Quality Buffet Equipment
As corporate and private events fill up your calendar, you’ll want to ensure your buffetware can withstand the volume. Using attractive serving dishes and utensils adds a touch of elegance to your hosted events, and improves the foods’ perceived value.
Be sure to keep each dish at the proper temperature with equipment like chafing dishes and insulated holding boxes. The D.W. Haber collection by Steelite offers an array of tower chafers and marmites like their eight-quart chafer. With induction and electric heating options, its stainless-steel construction and condensation retrieval system keeps this dish looking its best. Lastly, this buffet-essential uses patented balanced hinges so its lid will effortlessly stop at any point, allowing easy operation for guests.
To keep food at proper temperature, Cambro’s Ultra Camcarts® for Food Pans allows for easy transport of dishes from kitchen to banquet hall. Ideal for long banquets with frequent need for replenishing dishes, its thick CFC-free insulation keeps food at safe holding temperatures for up to four hours. With airtight gaskets and vents, these Ultra Camcarts maintain interior moisture balance and make for easy clean up after long shifts.
Outline a Holiday Staffing Schedule
The holiday season can be fickle in the hospitality sector— some days are extremely busy while others are painfully slow. Then, there are specific days during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah celebrations when the majority of staff may request off.
First, ask for volunteers and consider offering incentives to those who are willing to work the major holidays as some employees may not mind. Since building a schedule that pleases everyone is unlikely, it’s important to communicate about the event schedule, set expectations with your staff, and release the holiday work schedule as early as possible.
Refresh Your Coffee Station
Guests love a good coffee station. To increase guests’ comfort as they’re checking in or waiting in the lobby, consider refreshing your coffee accommodations with new machinery and utensils. An outdated coffee machine can diminish guests’ experience, your lobby’s overall aesthetic, and the coffee’s flavor as well. For a sleek look, the Walco Idol Urn’s modern design and stainless-steel finish are an excellent choice. Available in 6, 12, and 19 liters, and heated by either channel fuel or electric, these urns keep beverages warm while offering style and elevation to your coffee station.