3 tips for organizing your holiday schedule

Scheduling time for holiday cheer

santa sack christmas

Staffing for the holidays can feel like an uphill battle against a Mount Everest of requests for time off. With guidance from these operators, you won’t need an ice ax and carabiner to sort out the holiday schedule.

1. Pinpoint likely volunteers

To staff special in-house holiday events, Mickey Sellard, executive chef and manager of dining services at Golden Living’s administrative office in Fort Smith, Ark., says she’s found success by first emailing out the call for volunteers to staff without kids.

2. One holiday on, one off

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, employs an “every other holiday” system. “If [employees] work Thanksgiving, they’d have Christmas off, and then the next year they’d work Christmas. So it’s pretty laid out for them a year in advance,” says Drew Patterson, Wexner’s culinary director of nutrition services.

3. Automating the ask

Scheduling apps—also popular among restaurant operators—allow employees to swap shifts with managerial oversight and request time off using their smartphones. The apps also allow employers to bar employees from requesting off on busy holidays. On these days, requests for time off are not automatic and must go through a manager for approval. “We have a clear and consistent process that helps our management team to be fair with everyone when it comes to approving time-off and shift-trade requests,” says Rob Sanchez, owner of an outpost of The Melting Pot in San Mateo, Calif. 

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
management team

Last week’s NACUFS National Conference proved to be a treasure trove of management and staffing takeaways. Here are a few we noted at the annual event , held this year in Providence, R.I.

1. Make it scalable

When explaining something new to staff, instead of asking, “You got it?” or “You with me?” have employees rate how well they understand the new material on a scale of 1 to 10, said Ron Paul, a senior consulting partner for Partners in Leadership, during a session on building accountability in the workplace. People are likely to say yes even when they don’t fully grasp what you’...

Ideas and Innovation
song break

Once per month in a daily huddle, we dedicate a few minutes for the staff to sing a short song. The staff has responded so positively to this. They now bring costumes and other props. It's a few short minutes, but the payoff has been tremendous.

Photo courtesy of iStock

Ideas and Innovation
plastic straws

An item about the size of a pencil has become the latest target in foodservice operators’ sustainability plans. Though small, plastic straws are said to have a large impact on the environment, with Americans using approximately 500 million straws each day, according to a release from Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, which temporarily ditched plastic straws as part of an Earth Day promotion this year.

In recent months, a growing number of eateries and cities across the United States have scrapped plastic straws. In July, Seattle enacted a ban on plastic straws and utensils, requiring...

Industry News & Opinion

Medford High School in Medford, Mass., is looking to add an orchard to its campus, Wicked Local reports.

The idea for the orchard was brought forth by students looking to help combat food insecurity. They are working with the school’s nutritionist to make the orchard a reality.

If planted, the orchard would be located inside the school’s courtyard and would grow fruits such as apples, paw paws, blueberries, peaches and plums. It would also include an outdoor classroom space.

The school committee signed off on the project last year; however, some administrators are...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code