Often in the restaurant business we are always looking for the next big thing to increase profits or to wow our guests. How can we make sure they come back to visit our restaurant? The ability to make more money is right under our roof! Let me give it to you in these three simple words: Training Training Training! I can’t tell you how many times I have gone into a failing restaurant and gotten them back on track through some good old fashioned training! Are you curious what my Top 3 training classes are? Here you go!
Service / Check Average
1. Refresh your staff on the core foundation of stellar service – attentive, courteous, anticipating guest’s needs, accuracy of orders, warm welcomes and fond goodbyes. Doing these simple things for your guest equals a repeat customer.
2. The second piece to training your staff good customer service is driving the check average. Teach them how to read the guest’s needs and make sensible suggestions. Some examples are suggesting to share an appetizer, grabbing a fellow service member walking with food and showing it to the table. Nothing gets a guest more excited than seeing the food on the plate! Teach your staff to suggest all aspects of your food and beverage to your guest. It is proven that when a server is taught or taste a product before service their sales go up in that category. Want to sell more coffee, train! Cigars, train! Dessert, train! Specials, train! Getting the picture?
Just to show you the power of wine sales, look at my sales equation:
Option a) 2 appetizers -$7 + 2 desserts -$7 + 2 cups of coffee -$3 = $34
Option b) One bottle of Kendall-Jackson Reserve $38
Now ask yourself what is easier to sell to your guest and which option has a better profit margin. Training can be as simple as having a wine tasting with your menu items. You can also go as in depth as having an outside trainer come in for a two hour class. Keep in mind that the more educated your staff is the the more wine sales your restaurant will do.
Daily Food Specials
Ok. I have my Chef hat on for this one. Ready? I have witnessed this over my Chef career so many times – servers fumbling trying to recite the specials for the night. Now, let me say this first. It is the Chef’s responsibility to teach and educate their staff. The Chef’s biggest fans is the staff. Unless they are “emotionally connected” to the food, they are not going to sell it with passion and conviction. Ultimately, the daily specials that the Chef works so hard on and that drive more revenue for the restaurant will not perform (sell) as expected. Now having said all that. You, the restaurant owner, must support and encourage the Chef to take interest in the education and training of the staff. I take training of my staff even one step further! I conduct post service one-on-one sessions with those staff members who struggle throughout the night. My goal is to help them do a better job of selling and thus making more money for themselves and the restaurant. From my experience I can tell you that this extra help is always appreciated. The staff members seem to respond to the personalized training in a very positive way and usually bounce back the very next shift with great sales. Win win for all!
Invest in your own people. Give them the right support, encouragement, tools, resources and knowledge. If you do, you will not only develop a team that is emotionally connected to your brand (your food), but you will notice a quick ROI.
I hope you find my tips helpful. As always thank you for reading. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with me, please don’t hesitate to reach out!