There is no doubt that a kitchen is one of the busiest sections of any restaurant or hotel, and Chefs and other kitchen staff have very long working days, sometimes stretching from between 12 to 16 hours per day. This is one of the reasons that they are provided with comfortable uniforms which include chef shirts made of breathable fabrics, and comfortable and durable chef shoes which allow them to work on their feet for long periods of time.
However, there are certain times of the year and definitely certain times of the day that are much busier for kitchen staff than other times. These of course can vary depending on where you are located and what type of restaurant you run, but in general, there are specific periods when most restaurants and hotels get really busy with an overflow of customers.
Usually, in the hospitality industry and specifically the restaurant business, the period from April to August and November to January 1st are some of the busiest periods of the year.
The months from April to August are usually busy because this is when the weather is fabulous and everyone wants to be out and about. In addition, these are months that many tourists visit as well, hence the crowds can become larger, making restaurants busy throughout the day.
For those establishments located in other areas, the busy months may vary, for example those located near a ski resort will be busy during the winter months and not so much during other months of the year.
The fact is that whether it is peak season or not, a restaurant can’t close down just because they don’t have busy days.
As a solution for this many restaurants create seasonal menus, which are far different and contain different types of food fit for each season, and also try to earn revenue by creating take out or delivery during the slower periods.
Some of the slower days in the restaurant business are during Thanksgiving and Christmas, since most people have their celebrations centered around family and home.
Although we may usually think that Christmas is a busy time of the year, it is not, because people prepare their festive feasts at home to invite close family and friends.
If you consider the weekly routine for a restaurant, some of the slowest days are Mondays and Tuesdays, and this is one of the reasons that most restaurants who are open throughout the weekend are usually closed on Mondays.
Some of the busiest days of the week are Friday through Sunday, which is when people tend to go out after a hard week of work or study to enjoy and relax.
These are the days when the kitchen staff roll up the sleeves of their cook shirts, put on their chef shoes and prepare for long days and nights.
Of course, around the world, there are certain days that are very busy for restaurants and hotels, since these festivities call for a night out of celebration with either family or friends.
These are the days when it is almost impossible to get a restaurant reservation at the last minute, and bookings are made well in advance. Usually, restaurants also create special menus during these times to cater to the specific festivity and to tempt the customers into their establishment.
Competition is high of course during these times, with everyone trying to best the other in terms of what they offer, the ambiance, food choices, etc. These are:
- Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – Many people bring in their parents on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day making these days relatively busier than the normal workday for restaurants.
- Valentine’s Day – Valentine’s Day is another one of those holidays where you won’t be able to get a table at a restaurant if you decided to do something at the last moment. With so many people making special arrangements for their loved ones and partners, restaurants are bombarded with special requests. The businesses themselves go out of their way to arrange something extra special for their patrons such as roses and chocolates for the ladies and even make available special expensive wines and champagnes on this day.
- Easter – Easter brunch is a very popular meal out for families and can be considered a busy time for most restaurants and hotels.
- New Year’s Eve – This must be the busiest day of the year for any restaurant or hotel, and people make bookings for tables weeks before the date. Many establishments have special parties organized for which they sell tickets at rates that are usually higher than normal, and kitchen staff can expect to be working all day and night during this holiday.
Whatever the holiday it is, you can bet that no one from the kitchen department will be celebrating it with their loved ones, as they understand their responsibilities to their job mean making such sacrifices.
Unlike in other vocations Chefs and kitchen staff need to be available during these busy holidays to make your day and my day so much more enjoyable and better.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Virginia Hawthorne (Georgie) writes books and articles.