How to prepare your liquor store staff for the busy season

October 11, 2019


For liquor store owners, busy season can start as early as Halloween and go all the way to New Year’s Eve. To make sure you (and your staff) are prepared to take on the extra business and deliveries, we put together a few quick tips that’ll make sure you never miss a sale.

Get ahead of the trends

Simply put, you don’t want to lose a sale because you ran out of this season’s top-selling pumpkin beer and your neighboring store stocked up. Stock your shelves with the inventory your customers want and train your staff to know exactly what’s selling, how much of it is selling and what’s best to substitute for those top sellers so they can make sure nobody walks out the door empty-handed.

Are you already a Drizly retail partner? Check out top sellers and other trends when you log into Drizly Retailer!

Set your schedules

Got a solid staff? Great, now set a schedule as early as you can to make sure everyone is aligned, best practice is a month in advance. This gives employees time to plan their lives outside of work, as well as find coverage if they’re scheduled on a day they cannot work.

Have a backup plan for no-shows

Unfortunately, no-shows happen. Our most successful partners have found it?s best to create an on-call list when you’re also building your schedule. This list can be 1-2 employees that are aware they’re “on-call” for that shift and may have to come in at the last minute.

Where legal, you can also partner with a courier network (like Doordash or Postmates) to lean on for backup when no-shows, car troubles, sick days and life happen.

Extend your delivery hours

This may seem counterintuitive to managing the craziness of the season, but if you expand your delivery hours, you can take advantage of slower times in store to deliver online orders. Your scheduled orders won’t stack up as much throughout the morning, and it’ll help when it comes to balancing your team.

At the end of the day, you want to avoid your team getting overwhelmed by an influx of orders and having to pause deliveries. Even if you’re paused for a small amount of time, you could potentially lose out on a lot of revenue.

Train every employee in every role

Are your current full-time employees trained both behind the counter and on deliveries? Hiring seasonal temporary staff that can jump into whichever task is asked of them will take the burden off of your current employees. Two delivery drivers already out fulfilling an order? Have a seasonal employee start prepping the latest one to come through the app. Your top employees are selling product on the floor but three customers are ready to check out? Have a seasonal employee to step in.

Which leads us to…

Consider seasonal help

A lot of people often look for extra work around the holidays to make some extra cash for gifts, which makes it easy for liquor stores to find some extra (temporary) hands during this time of year. This is a great, non-committal way to meet some new talent that could one day become a permanent employee. Give your top seasonal hires an opportunity to earn a job after the busy season to keep them motivated.

Some seasonal employees may not be looking for any employment post-busy season. Still, it’s important to keep in touch and maintain a good relationship with these employees. By keeping in touch with them throughout the year, they’ll be more likely to come back and help you out during the next busy season, or even step in if you’re ever in a pinch with staffing.

Want to get set up for deliveries this holiday season? Reach out to us at and see how our team can get you up and running with ease.

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