The month of December is traditionally the busiest month of the year in the food service industry, but it is followed by January, which has the notorious reputation as the slowest. While at first the lull is a pleasant break from the non-stop holiday pace, MN certified food managers soon begin to scratch their heads in an effort to find ways to keep their staff productive and happily employed at the same time.
While it may be necessary to trim labor hours during the slow season, there are ways to take advantage of the down time.
Potential Off-Season Projects
Before cutting hours or letting your staff set-up card games in the break room, there are several tasks that you should consider taking care of when you have a seasonal lull in production.
- Ensure certifications and food handler permits are up to date
- Address potential food safety hazards
- Clean and organize storage areas
- Cross-train employees
One of every MN certified food manager’s priorities should be to address potential food safety concerns. That is why January is the perfect month to make sure your staff’s training is up to date. Instead of taking away from valuable production time during the busy months, this slow season is the perfect time for food safety training. It is also a good time to alter and change production methods and organize your storage space to eliminate potential contamination hazards.
Utilizing down time to provide cross training for employees is an often overlooked alternative to cutting staff hours. January is a good time of the year to assess your team members for individuals who have the potential to move into other roles within your facility or those who are eager to learn more.
There are slow seasons throughout the year in nearly any industry. Spending your down time wisely can often prepare for success in the new year. The staff at Safe Food Training would like to take this time to wish you a safe, productive and successful 2015.