Posted on May 1, 2019

Reservations, Please

Planning on dining out for a holiday meal? Great! We are so pleased to have you as our guest! Let the planning begin.

Every holiday is unique from menu selections to linen color choices when dining. Choosing that perfect combination will please our guests and make them feel special as they enter our dining room. It’s the little touches that can make the day extra special for our guests like thank you cards at each place setting; each server in decorative festive ties appropriate for the corresponding holiday; and signature cocktails to celebrate the occasion. We are always trying to come up with something that reflects our concept.

Once the dining room planning is set, what’s next? It’s time to do some marketing! We make sure all our social media campaigns are scheduled accordingly, and all our support materials are created. We feel this will best promote our holiday seatings and help us reach our seating goal.

Okay, so I’m glad we have all of that settled. Now onto more important things like our family potluck! I get so excited when I see the sign-up sheet hanging in the server alley and look to see what each person is bringing. The event team always tries to match our theme — recently, one of our servers even decorated our back service station area! It was so festive, and it made everyone working that day feel bright and energetic.

On the day of the holiday, we usually arrive two hours before service starts and set up our buffet meal in our second kitchen as we put all the finishing touches into place for our guests’ arrival. We make sure to take a break, so each of us makes a plate and sits around the bar while we discuss our plans for a flawless service. We end our meal with little phrases about what we are thankful for, most are about our second family with whom we are spending our holiday.

I often find myself amazed at what a group of selfless individuals who give up their holiday to make everyone else’s memorable. As we plan out our day and create our seating chart, we ask ourselves how many guests we can accommodate and still give excellent service? That’s the million-dollar question!

There is so much to plan for before our guests arrive! A good strategy is a necessity, and a willing team to make it happen. We have to make sure the plan includes:
• Juggling the floor plan to have it all make sense and not to turn anyone away who wants to spend the day with us.
• Counting and recounting to make sure no detail has been missed.
• Assigning each server their guests and a junior server who will be their partner all day.

Once the doors open, the excitement begins as the first seating gets underway. This is the smoothest time during a holiday.

As we approach what we like to call the “first flip” which happens next, it always brings a certain level of anxiety. Anticipating if the first seating of guests will have adequate time to enjoy their experience with us and each other, and will they be saying goodbye to us in time for the next guest? It is always the part you hope you got right when you designed the seating times! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t is when we sometimes use the term… “being in the weeds.” We use this term universally when things aren’t going quite the way we planned. It doesn’t last long, and we hurry to find a way to quickly “recover.” I’m sure every industry has its own terminology, it’s always fun to learn a little behind the scenes lingo.

At the Beaumont Inn, we often like to say…From our family to yours. So the next time you make a reservation to go out for a holiday meal, remember to take a look around at the little details in the decor, (bring a dish for the staff family meal! Just kidding), be conscious of your seating time and most importantly, enjoy our family taking care of yours.

We look forward to you dining with us.