Beyond Team

The Art of Giving Presence

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Written by Kelly Daigle

The cold weather, turning of the leaves, and the smell of burning fireplaces signify the changing seasons, and also ushers in our holidays. Darkness comes early and we crave hot drinks and cozy sweaters. At this time of year, many are warmed by the thought of spending time with family and friends, eating great food, giving and receiving gifts, and binge-watching Home Alone. For those of us who work in restaurants and in other service industries, this time of year often comes with an air of anxiety. For the holiday season means giving so much of yourself to your work, your guests, and your team. To set the tone as one of celebration this season at your restaurant, we have some ways that you can give to those around you by giving your physical presence. Just showing up can mean so much more to someone than any gift you could ever give.

Give to your colleagues: Everyone wants to see their friends and family around the holidays. If your family lives close by and it’s easy for you to drive there after a shift, consider offering to switch or cover a shift with someone who has to fly to family or drive for several hours.

Give to your team: As a manager, you want to show your staff how much you appreciate their presence, especially during the holidays. Think about how much a handwritten note and/or a dedicated, one-on-one conversation just saying thank you can do for your team. 5 to 10 minutes per staff member over the next month is all it takes to have a huge impact.

Give to your guests: Most guests are in a celebratory and upbeat mood over the holidays. But there are many that are in situations that make them uncomfortable: dinner with the in-laws, taking out small children, or feeling alone. You are a professional at reading people, so it won’t be hard for you to identify when a guest wants a little more presence from you. Can you send them off with the recipe to the drink they loved? Or a list of your favorite holiday movies? An extra couple of minutes tailoring what you give to your guests is sure to leave a lasting impression and brighten their holiday.

Give to yourself: This is a tough one! Take time to thank yourself for your hard work during the holidays and all year. Treat yourself to a bubble bath, a massage, or a new pair of shoes, because you’ve earned it! It’s nice to set some dates to give back to yourself throughout the season so that you have something to look forward to.

Above all, remember this: any holiday is more than just a date on a calendar. You can celebrate love, family, friendship, and thankfulness on any day of the week and at any time of year. 

Happy Holidays and All Days!

About the author

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Kelly Daigle

Kelly is the Editor of The Industry Press and a co-founder of Clothbound. She loves cats, sparkly nail polish, and classic fiction, but none more than restaurants and people. She always roots for the underdog.