Ways to Grow

4 Tips to Minimize the Impact of Staffing Shortages During the Busy Holiday Season

With the busiest days for delivery right around the corner, now’s the time to prepare.

4 min read

According to a 2022 survey by the National Restaurant Association, the #1 challenge for restaurant owners was sourcing and retaining qualified workers. As the holiday season and some of the busiest days for food delivery approach, we want to help you make the most of your current team, hire seasonal staff if needed, and improve your operational efficiency.   

How to prepare for the busy delivery days

Christmas and New Year’s are two of the busiest days for delivery, so we recommend creating an action plan to make sure you’re prepared. These tips can help you maximize sales, maintain customer service, and protect your team from burnout during the busy season. 

1. Start hiring now

Whether you’re considering seasonal employees or looking to expand your team in the long term, early hiring allows you ample time for selection and training. By proactively building up your staff, you can meet increased demand without compromising service quality, ensuring customers have a positive experience. 

2. Train your team on new updates

A well-trained team can handle increased workloads more effectively, reducing errors and providing customers a positive dining experience. Ensure your staff is well-versed in order management basics, customer interactions, and new tech updates. 

We're committed to continuously improving your experience with DoorDash and thanks to our latest improvements, there are a number of new features your team should know about to help them save time. This includes the ability to provide refunds for out-of-stock items, easily manage scheduled orders, and even block a specific Dasher whenever necessary. If you want to learn how, head over to 2023 Fall Product Updates

We’ve also improved our policy error charges. This change has been added to provide you with even more measures to prevent you from being charged for errors outside of your control. To find out more about this change, head over to How to Understand Error Charges and Dispute a DoorDash Charge.

3. Streamline your menu

When dealing with peak periods, it's a smart strategy to simplify your menu. By focusing on your best selling, efficient, and most profitable items, you can make your kitchen more efficient, reduce wait times, and minimize food wastage. A streamlined menu not only eases the burden on your kitchen staff but also helps customers make quicker decisions, which can lead to increased table turnover.

4. Adjust your business strategy to meet consumer demand

Learn about the evolving landscape of digital dining with the 2023 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends report. This report discusses when the busiest order times are, consumer delivery preferences, and more that can help you adjust your team’s prep times and overall strategy. For example, are you currently offering pickup? More customers (78%) reported ordering takeout in the last month than dining in (62%) and ordering delivery (58%). Find out more in the 2023 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends report.

We’re here to help

As you prepare for the holiday rush, these strategies can make all the difference in your restaurant's success. By focusing on staffing, training, and streamlining your menu you will not only make your operations smoother but also create a great experience for your customers. If you’re not familiar with the Learning Center, check it out and share it with your team for educational how-to guides, product tutorials, and more.

Share the love during the season of giving

Are there small restaurants in your area with 75 stores or fewer that haven't joined DoorDash yet? You have the opportunity to refer them, and when they sign up and complete 15 orders within 60 days, you can earn a referral bonus of $500*. Here’s how to refer your friends.

Stay up-to-date on policies that impact your business

While the above help you run your business in the next few months, DoorDash also wants to help you long-term. By becoming a part of DashRoots, an advocacy network of merchants, Dashers, and consumers, you can have a say on policy matters affecting your business. 

DashRoots was established with the aim of influencing public policies that empower local economies, ensuring you stay well-informed and actively engaged in significant local concerns. As a member, you gain access to webinars, in-person events, and more. Join now if you want to have your say.

And if you’re looking for more advice for this upcoming winter, check out more tips on how to optimize your winter operations, such as improving the flow of diners, pickup customers, and Dashers.

*Subject to Merchant Referral Program Terms & Conditions. View full terms.