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Beat the queues

Updated: Jun 16, 2019

Quayside has been welcoming hoards of tourists to Whitby in North Yorkshire for 20 years now. Owner Stuart Fusco shares his top tips to cope with a busy summer

1. Ensure you have enough stock delivered or secure a reliable supply of ingredients to last through the busy spells. It is also useful to take into account that some suppliers may not trade or deliver on bank holidays. It can be the not so obvious products that can catch you out, for example, selling plenty of extra drinks over a very hot weekend. It always helps to be prepared (and certainly in our case, check the weather forecast).

2. Recruit enough people, both seasonal and permanent team members. This is never an easy one, as it’s so difficult to predict how many people you will need. We have found that recording how many people were required on different weekends and holidays throughout the year is helpful. When it comes to recruiting the following year, we can easily see how many people were required on which weekends. This also means we can be more organised and recruit early to allow enough time to do any further training we feel they might need.

3. Ensure that all your team are fully trained, so that all members have confidence in themselves and know they can cope when it does start to get busier.

4. Have robust operational systems in place as this will mean that everything is already covered. When things get busy, it takes the stress out of the kitchen and behind the range. We find that if everything has its place and its own system, it can often reduce or eliminate any confusion.

5. Good communication between the whole team is something I think is really important. It makes the whole building feel much more streamlined and often much calmer.

6. Keep to a simple menu - it is much easier to serve customers and achieve a high quality product.

7. Have a backup plan for both staff and stock. Knowing that there are people to ring should we find that there are team members who can’t get into work is really helpful. Also, having a plan B should a delivery not arrive is something that we consider.

8. Work with reliable tradespeople such as plumbers, electricians, and repair people. It is important for us to consider what we would do or who we could rely on, should a machine break down in the middle of a busy weekend. We try and understand how to fix as much equipment as we can ourselves too.

9. Enjoy a well-deserved beer at the end of the day!

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