This post was last updated on Aug 13, 2021.
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Though labor day means a day off for people in many industries, that typically isn’t the case for restaurant workers. Many restaurants stay open on labor day and even offer specials and promotions to bring vacationing guests in.
Here’s what labor day means for your restaurant and a few ways to make the most of the holiday.
How does Labor Day affect restaurant hours?
The impact of labor day on your restaurant’s hours is up to you. Many restaurants stay completely open on labor day, with regular hours. Some do choose to reduce hours or close completely and give employees the day off, but many see the day as a serious sales opportunity.
If you’re in a popular vacation destination, it might make sense to stay open and capture that high foot traffic. Paying time and a half or providing special holiday pay are both great options here to keep employee spirits high.
But if you do go with the second option and close for the day, it’s a great way to boost employee morale. Giving your staff a day of rest and the time back to spend with their friends and family is a very nice gesture – and is also likely to help with your long-term team culture.
What does Labor Day mean for your restaurant employees?
Again, this depends on the holiday hours you decide on. If you’re willing to, giving your team a day off would mean a lot to your employees (and probably won’t make a huge dent in your bottom line if you do stay open for most other high-traffic holidays). For more ideas on how to boost restaurant morale, check out this post.
If you are expecting a large crowd, you might want to increase your staff for this high-traffic holiday. To stay as prepared as possible, look back at previous labor day sales reports on your POS, and staff accordingly. Here’s how to access your previous sales reports on Toast.
Labor Day restaurant specials
If you decide to keep your restaurant open on labor day, here are a few labor day restaurant promotions to try out.
Throw an end of summer party
For many people, labor day marks the end of summer. If you’re in a popular vacation destination, throw a labor day end-of-summer party for guests with specialty cocktails, a set menu, and maybe some live music or outdoor games.
Most places only have brunch on the weekends, but labor day is a great day to do a weekday brunch. Most people are off of work, so extend your Sunday brunch into Monday and watch the reservations roll in.
Try out some fall specials
Early September is a great time to promote your new fall menu offerings, and why not start on labor day. Promote your new menu items in-store, online, and on social media. You can even offer small discounts for new items, or keep some limited edition to only labor day weekend.
Whatever you decide to do for labor day, keep track of what works and what doesn’t. This can help you for the coming years as you figure out holiday hours and specials, and figure out what works best for you, your staff, and your business.
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