Restaurant management tips for a smooth running restaurant

Drive sales through the magic of service:

Implementation of sales techniques in your restaurant

Do you think sales happen by magic? In a sense, you’re right, because you create magic with your guests’ positive impressions of your restaurant’s food and service.

Management and employees must drive sales. Your service staff is your main sales staff. Kitchen employees must be motivated to provide quality food to their guests. Management must stay on track in both areas and ensure that the atmosphere for each customer is a positive experience. There are two key elements that we see as the magic that can keep staff on track and positively motivated: the “WOW Duty Steps” and the “Pre-Shift Alley Rally.”

First, each server must realize that they are sellers and will create more tips and happier guests by selling the menu. This means that each server must know the menu inside and out. This happens through proper server training and motivation of your managers.

How many times have you visited a restaurant and the waiter did not know about the menu? Does that create the magic you want in the service? How about the server who quickly answered your questions about the menu? That is the magic of the WOW service that you must create in your service staff.

WOW service steps

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

  1. Greet – Seat: Make sure all guests are greeted as soon as they enter the restaurant. You can even add more style by opening the door and welcoming them as guests. Seat your guests as quickly as possible. Customers hate being at the door when there are too many tables open in sight.
  2. Say- Sell: Inform the guests about the menu to sell the menu. This is a key factor for all service personnel. Waiters and waitresses must be informed immediately of any changes to the menu and if there are any special promotions. They must know the menu completely. They should be able to answer guest questions. They should also know what they personally like about the menu and what are the popular menu items. They should sell the menu. Put the thought in the guest’s mind by suggesting a menu item. If the guest says they don’t like that item, then you should ask if they like a certain type of food: spicy or mild, fried or grilled, etc. Your questions stimulate the thoughts in the guest’s mind and create the feeling that the server sincerely wants to please that guest, which should always be the case anyway.
  3. Bring ring: Place the food immediately. Each server should be trained on how to call in orders or place orders in the kitchen. If you have a point of sale (POS) system, each of them should be trained so they know how to call the order. If you use paper checks, make sure you have developed a system, so that the flow from the guest to the kitchen, back to the guest, and then to the register is smooth. The clearer the verification and the information to the kitchen, the better the kitchen will be able to prepare the food as requested. Children’s food should be prepared and served first, whenever possible. Waiters and waitresses must give special instructions to the kitchen staff. Then, as soon as the food is ready, it should be brought to the table: hot hot food, cold cold food. If it settles, the temperature will not be what it should be and this can lead to customer complaints. Who wants a cold steak? Serve quickly. Teamwork is ideal: everyone should bring food to the table. If that server is busy and can’t deliver it quickly, then someone else needs to deliver it, then that server checks back ASAP to make sure the guest got everything.
  4. Double check – Reload: After two bites or less than two minutes, the server should double-check to make sure the guest is satisfied with the food. Even if the guest says it is okay, the server should read their body language and expressions and ask questions if in doubt about the guest’s level of satisfaction. Refill the drinks when the glass is half full. Don’t wait to see an empty glass or the guest to order a refill. The server must be proactive and reload before it is prompted. They should also check throughout the meal and remove any empty plates or glasses.
  5. Tell him – Sell Desserts: Before the guests finish eating the main course, the server should suggest a dessert. Put the idea in the guest’s mind by saying, “Save room for one of our delicious desserts.” Waiters should not simply ask if the guest wants dessert. The waiter should say something like, “We have these delicious moist chocolate cakes that are baked at a local bakery. It’s my favorite dessert. Wouldn’t you love to try it?” If the guest says no, you can also ask about the guest’s favorite dessert. If the guest says it is too full for dessert, the server may suggest a take out box to eat dessert later. If desserts are ordered, they must be brought in immediately. If no dessert order is placed, the server should make sure the guest check is ready.
  6. Recheck – Check Down: In two bites or two minutes, the waiter should recheck the dessert with the check already counted. If the guests are happy with the dessert or did not order dessert, then the waiter can leave the check. If you have server check pads, place them in an upright position. This serves two purposes, it is easy for the guest to see the check and it is also easy for the server to know if the guest has the payment ready when the check board is no longer upright. Make sure the server has provided take out boxes, if requested, or suggest them if there is a lot of food left over. The server must bring those boxes of food immediately.
  7. Receive – Reset: The server must return to receive payment. If it is a credit card, they must process it immediately and return it to the guest for signature. The waiter should also invite the guest to return to the restaurant and thank him for his visit. Then, after the guests have left the table, the server must reset the table within two minutes so that the next guests can be seated.

These steps are easily learned by your staff. Different restaurants may vary in their style of service, but these steps can be used or adapted for any restaurant. Consistent implementation of these steps will create the right impression on your guests and they will want to return.

Alley rally before turn

Management is ultimately responsible for driving sales at your restaurant. They must properly motivate their staff and communicate effectively.

Fifteen minutes before any peak period, management should hold a rally in the alley to keep employees informed. Always make sure the alley rally is upbeat and positive as negative comments will only bring down the crew and ultimately affect guest service.

  • The focus of the day
  • The feature or special of the day.
  • Suggestively selling a specific item
  • Recognize any employee who performed beyond their duties.
  • Uniform compliance
  • Server and / or cook contest
  • Large group guest reservations scheduled

Management must project an excellent and fun atmosphere for the shift.

Reward employees with:

  • Free meals
  • Movie tickets
  • Lottery tickets
  • Gift card

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

Happy employees who love their job and really want to come to work will be more competent and project a positive aura in the guest’s view. Happy employees make a positive impression on your guests.

Whatever happens, guests are always right, even if they are wrong. Make sure all the guests leave satisfied. Its atmosphere, the food served and the service staff will leave an impression on the guest. The positive impression of every customer of your restaurant is ultimately the magic of repeat business to drive sales – happy customers lead to higher sales!

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