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How to Vacation as a Restaurant Owner


Summer will be over before we know it. As a restaurant owner, you have spent a majority of it indoors, investing in the success of your business. However, there is still time to squeeze in that family venture to the lake or that dream beach vacation. That’s right. You are only human, and every human deserves a break. In fact, you need one. While it may seem impossible for you to break away from your restaurant and its ever-growing to-do list, with careful planning, you can truly unplug and enjoy yourself.

The first and most important step is to prepare. Regardless of the destination, every vacation requires some level of planning. However, as a restaurant owner, your planning will be more extensive, as you have to prepare your entire staff. When scheduling your vacation, carefully evaluate your work calendar beforehand. If your restaurant is seasonal, try to plan your vacation around your slower season. Typically, restaurants are busy all year round, so just try to plan around any major events or happenings. In order for your restaurant to continue to function while you are gone, you have to ensure that your employees can not only do their jobs efficiently, but also parts of your job as well. Assign your most trusted employees with appropriate tasks based on their skill levels. For example, a manager or employee that has been with your restaurant for a long time would be the ideal candidate to oversee all inventory orders while you are away. Take the time to meet with all managers, hosts/hostesses, waiters/waitresses, cooks, etc. to make sure that everyone is on the same page and understands each other’s role. Review proper customer service protocol, menu items and specials, etc.

Another key part of the preparation process is to review the employee schedule, and to adjust as needed while you are away. If lunch hour throughout the week is your busiest time, make sure that your best staff is scheduled. Or, if Friday nights are the restaurant’s craziest shift, overstaff and have two managers or an extra bus boy present to handle the rush efficiently. This way, you can truly relax knowing that your customers are in the best of hands. Plus, your employees will appreciate the extra help.

Next on your planning agenda is to set a schedule. You may be thinking ‘Why do I need a schedule on vacation?’ A schedule is needed to limit how many times you are allowed to check your email or phone. Set aside two times each day that you can make work-related calls or send emails—once in the morning and once in the evening. This will allow you to remain in touch and feel more relaxed, but prevent you from getting wrapped up in your work. Let your employees know this plan in advance, so that they know you will not be available 24/7. Also, ask that they discuss any problems or issues that may arise with a manager before immediately contacting you.

Last but certainly not least, relax (or at least make an ongoing effort to try to). We understand that your business is your baby, and it can be hard to be away from it. However, it is important that you get a change of scenery and enjoy quality time with your family and friends. If you don’t, you will most likely burn out and your restaurant will suffer. A vacation is a time to relax and reboot, so that when you return to your restaurant, you will feel refreshed, energetic, and as passionate as ever!

Are you planning a getaway in the near future? At Ace Grease, our team of trained technicians offers commercial kitchen maintenance services. From clogged drains to grease trap replacements, we can service your restaurant’s entire kitchen. Did we mention we offer 24/7 emergency services? With Ace Grease, your restaurant is in the best of hands (even while you are away). Learn more at: http://www.acegrease.com/services.

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