Restaurant management tips for a smoothly running restaurant

Increase in sales through Service Magic:

Implementing sales techniques in your restaurant

Do you think the sale happens through magic? In a way you are right, because you create the magic by giving your guests a positive impression of your restaurant’s food and service.

Management and employees must drive sales. Your service reps are your primary sales reps. The kitchen staff should be motivated to offer their guests quality food. Management needs to keep both areas on track and ensure the atmosphere is a positive experience for every customer. There are two key elements that we see as the magic that can keep employees on track and positively motivated: the ‘WOW Steps of Service’ and the ‘Pre-Shift Alley Rally’.

First, every waiter must realize that they are a salesperson and by selling the menu, they will generate more tips and happier customers. This means that every waiter must know the menu inside out. This is done through proper server training and motivation of your managers.

How many times have you visited a restaurant and the waiter was unaware of the menu? Does that create the magic you desire in service? How about the server who responded quickly to your questions about the menu. That’s the WOW service magic you need to create in your service staff.

WOW steps of service

There are many aspects to training your waiters and waitresses. These are basically summarized in the easy-to-remember format of the WOW Steps of Service. Do your servers know and use the WOW Steps of Service? If so, you’re ahead of the game. Here is a summary of these commonly used steps:

  1. Welcome – seat: Make sure every guest is greeted as soon as they enter the restaurant. You can add even more flair by opening the door and welcoming them as guests. Seat your guests as soon as possible. Customers hate standing in front of the door when there are many open tables in sight.
  2. Tell Sell: Tell guests about the menu to sell the menu. This is a key factor for all service workers. The waiters and waitresses are to be informed immediately about changes in the menu and special offers. You must know the menu completely. You should be able to answer any questions guests may have. They should also know what they personally like on the menu and what items on the menu are popular. They should sell the menu. Plant the thought in the guest’s mind by suggesting a menu item. If the guest says they don’t like that dish, then they should ask the guest if they like a particular type of food—spicy or mild, fried or grilled, and so on. Your questions make the guest think and create the feeling that the waiter genuinely wants to please the guest – which should always be the case anyway.
  3. Ring-Bring: Ring in the food immediately. Every waiter should be trained on how to place the orders or place the orders in the kitchen. If you have a point of sale (POS) system, everyone should be trained so they know how to place the order. If you use paper checks, make sure you have a system in place to make the process from guest to kitchen, back to guest, and then to the checkout seamless. The clearer the review and information to the kitchen, the better the kitchen can prepare the food as requested. Whenever possible, infant food should be prepared and served first. The waiters and waitresses should give special instructions to the kitchen staff. Then, as soon as the food is ready, it should be brought to the table – hot food hot, cold food cold. When it’s seated, the temperature isn’t what it should be, and this can lead to customer complaints. Who wants a cold steak? Serve quickly. Teamwork is ideal – everyone should bring the food to the table. If that server is busy and can’t deliver it quickly, should someone else deliver it, then that server will check back asap to make sure the guest got everything.
  4. Look again – refill: After two bites or less than two minutes, the waiter should check again to make sure the guest is happy with the food. Even if the guest says it’s ok, the waiter should read their body language and facial expressions and ask questions if they have any doubts about the guest’s satisfaction. Refill drinks when the glass is half full. Don’t wait until you see an empty glass or the guest asks for a refill. The server should be proactive and refill before asking. You should also check during the meal and remove any empty plates or glasses.
  5. Tell-Sell Desserts: Before guests finish the main course, the waiter should suggest dessert. Get the idea across to the guest by saying, “Save room for one of our delicious desserts.” Servers shouldn’t just ask if the guest wants dessert. The waiter should say something like, “We have these moist, delicious chocolate cakes made by a local bakery. This is my favorite dessert. Wouldn’t you like to try it?” If the guest says no, they can also ask about the guest’s favorite dessert. If the guest says they are too full for dessert, the waiter may suggest a transport box to have dessert later. If desserts are ordered, they should be brought out immediately. If no dessert order is placed, the waiter should make sure the guest bill is ready.
  6. Check back – check down: Within two bites, or within two minutes, the waiter should check the dessert with the check already counted. If the guests are satisfied with the dessert or didn’t order dessert, the waiter can issue the bill. If you have server probe pads, place them upright. This serves two purposes, it is easy for the guest to see the check and it is also easy for the waiter to know if the guest has payment ready when the check block is no longer upright. Make sure the server has provided carry boxes if requested, or suggest them if there is a lot of food left over. The server should bring these carry boxes immediately.
  7. Receive – Reset: The server should return to receive the payment. If it’s a credit card, they should process it immediately and send it back to the guest for signature. The waiter should also invite the guest to return to the restaurant and thank them for their visit. Once the guests have left the table, the waiter should reset the table within two minutes for the next guests to be seated.

These steps can be easily learned by your employees. Different restaurants may differ in their service style, but these steps can be used or adapted for each restaurant. If you implement these steps consistently, you will make the right impression on your guests and they will want to come back.

Alley rally before the shift

Management is ultimately responsible for increasing sales in your restaurant. You need to properly motivate your employees and communicate effectively.

Fifteen minutes before each peak time, management should hold a street rally to keep employees informed. Always make sure the alley rally is upbeat and positive as negative comments only weaken the crew and ultimately hurt guest service.

  • The focus of the day
  • The feature or special of the day
  • Selling a specific item in a suggestive way
  • Recognize any employees who have gone above and beyond their duties
  • Unified compliance
  • Waiter and/or Cooking Competition
  • Guest reservations planned in large groups

Management has to create a great and fun atmosphere for the shift.

Reward employees with:

  • Free meals
  • cinema tickets
  • lottery tickets
  • gift card

Believe it or not, your guests will be listening and watching the management and staff. Good interaction between management and staff leaves a positive perception of your restaurant.

Satisfied employees who love their job and actually want to come to work become more competent and give the guest a positive aura. Satisfied employees leave a positive impression on your guests.

No matter what happens – the guests are always right, even if they are wrong. Make sure every guest leaves happy. Your atmosphere, the food served and the service staff will impress the guest. Each customer’s positive impression of your restaurant is ultimately the magic of repeat business to boost sales – happy customers lead to higher sales!

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