Stop Wine-ing or: How to Sell More Wine

Stop Wine-ing or: How to Sell More Wine

When guests come into your restaurant, oftentimes the server or bartender is the only person they really speak to, except for a brief moment with the host team, if you have one. This is why it is crucial that your service staff, the ambassadors of your brand, know at least a base-line about the wine list. There is so much information out there and we only have so much time because our primary job is to get through a smooth service. The question is, especially with wine, where do you even start?

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Ordered Chaos: A Manager's Mantra

Ordered Chaos: A Manager's Mantra

I fueled my mornings with iced triple espressos, and I put myself to bed with two to three cocktails nightly. There were days when it took everything in me not to turn the car around when I saw my exit. I could write a book on the highs and the lows, the joys and the frustrations that made up my years with that company; that's not what this blog post is about. This post is about one simple quote my boss passed on to me that has informed just about everything I do in the restaurant business. 

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Digital Natives: Understanding the iGeneration Employee

Digital Natives: Understanding the iGeneration Employee

The iGeneration grew up with technology strapped to their sides, and as a result, they've become accustomed to a constant stream of stimuli from cell phones and tablets, TV, and even animated video signage. We’ve highlighted three common traits that characterize this unique population, explained how they express themselves in restaurant staff, and we offer ways to tap into them to produce positive results on the floor.

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Tipping Point: Re-framing the Conversation About No-Tipping

Tipping Point: Re-framing the Conversation About No-Tipping

The hospitality business is a people business, and there are deeper issues than just dollars and cents. The media at large has, unfortunately, taken a very adversarial approach to this concept. They use phrases like “restaurants ban tipping” and other negative language. I’ve been outspoken against this approach because the change is being driven for positive reasons and is a movement toward something, not away from it. We want to shed some light on the finer points that are being overlooked.

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The Power of the Pre-Shift II

The Power of the Pre-Shift II

You (the manager, the head server, the trainer ) have the power to mold the energy and attitude of each person into a powerful group dynamic. By implementing a few of these strategies you'll see your staff meetings yield immediate positive results that your guests will benefit from. If you're using these techniques, awesome! If not, we bet you'll see them work the first time you use them!

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Ordered Chaos: Steps of Service

Ordered Chaos: Steps of Service

Think of your restaurant’s fan base as your springboard to success, your greatest marketing tool, and your number one solution to many day-to-day challenges. How to build a strong following of regulars, however, is not as simple as training a staff that’s proficient in order taking and menu preparation. They need to be exceptional at selling your experience—your brand—to every guest that walks through your doors. 

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The Power of the Pre-Shift

The Power of the Pre-Shift

Sometimes called a “line-up” or pre-meal, pre-shift meetings are the most effective way to assess servers for menu competency, remediate insufficiencies, and prepare staff for exceptional service that shift. The concept is simple. Set aside time at the beginning of every shift to meet with and educate your staff. Unlike online testing, pre-shift meetings take far less time to execute with stronger outcomes and immediate feedback.

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Convert First-Time Diners into Regulars: "First Impression Advantage"

Convert First-Time Diners into Regulars: "First Impression Advantage"

Understanding this idea helps us better manage the guest experience, particularly regarding first-time diners. In retail they talk a lot about "conversion," a word we don't use in our restaurant vocabulary. What they mean is to convert a person walking who has come to browse into a paying customer. Well, we need conversion, too! We need to turn first-time diners into regulars. 

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Cutting Expenses: The Battle Against Turnover, Part II

Cutting Expenses: The Battle Against Turnover, Part II

If for every time you hire a new employee you could save $100 you would, wouldn’t you? How about $200? As I shared in my post last week, the cost of turnover for one new employee is said to be between $4000 and $14,000. It stands to reason that if you would take action to save one or two hundred dollars, then you’d probably take action to save thousands of dollars, right?

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Cutting Expenses: The Battle Against Turnover, Part I

Cutting Expenses: The Battle Against Turnover, Part I

The cost of turnover for one new employee is said to be between $4000 and $14,000...

The fact is, when you own or manage a restaurant or restaurant group, you have to wage war against turnover. In addition to what can be quantified, are non-quantifiable costs to be considered as well, such as changes in staff morale, relationships with regulars, and the trust you build in your employees. People come and go all the time; it’s part of the narrative, but there are things that we can do to reduce these costs and build a better team. 

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Don't Survive, Thrive: Overcome Challenges of Training in Your Restaurant

Don't Survive, Thrive: Overcome Challenges of Training in Your Restaurant

What we do in the restaurant business isn’t a science. Sure, there are techniques and systems that we’ve implemented over the years, but no shift is ever the same. The day-to-day of a working in a restaurant presents a kaleidoscope of challenges that we carefully negotiate around: something is 86'd but no one told you, you have campers and are running late on reservations, no one brought silverware out to the floor and you have to mark your table, a guest complained that the plate their salad is served on is too cold… But, we’ve got this. We’ve done it before; it’s just another service and we love it.

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