Holiday survival guide

A strong holiday season can be vital to a restaurant’s survival, and everyone feels this pressure. What can you do to support your team and make your kitchen as fair as possible through the holidays? 

We asked the #FairKitchens community what works for them: 


“Be true to your staff. We lay down all the challenges that we, as a team are going to face. How we are planning to overcome the season; goals, expectations, priorities. Try to give everyone at least one holiday off during the season if possible. Communication is the key factor. Remember it’s a busy and sensitive time of the year, so as a leader be sensitive and smart. 

This is the time to show that we are professionals and know our business as chefs and that we care! Where I live in Puerto Rico the season begins in November and lasts eight days after January 6th. Can you imagine!” - Chef Jose Shamil, co-owner and chef at Chambao Taller de Cocina 

Thinking ahead

"It's important to not allow the pressure to get to your staff as very often that's when the mistakes start happening. Keeping all requirements ready for the day helps a lot. No added pressure helps to make the day a breeze. At our store I find it important to be happy when dealing with our patrons. That positive energy goes a long way. Teamwork has to be emphasized as this is what brings in happiness for all. It's about thinking ahead for each other." - Chef Roshnie Naidoo, Sunshine Fruiterers, Pietermaritzburg

Split shifts

“During this time of the year, kitchens must be adequately staffed and by that I mean hiring temporary staff or freelancers which will help with the workload. Split shifts will also come in handy so that chefs don’t burn out. Lastly Hydration, Hydration, Hydration. Chefs must keep hydrated at all times.” - Chef Mona-Lisa Mkhize, Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs

Time off to re-fuel

“As management we work with our team to allow them the time off that they need to refuel energy by whatever means possible. After doing this, we are honest and explain how we too need our retreats and cannot do it alone. I think that openness with our staff shows that they are needed for the operation to run and empowers them as well.” - Truett ‘Blaine' Bailey, Sous chef at El Moro Spirits & Tavern and Co-Founder of In The Weeds.

Can you improve how your kitchen runs through the holiday season? How else could you make your kitchen fairer? Find more solutions here: