If you live in the greater NYC area, perhaps you’ve had this discussion with friends. You walk into an upscale bar and at the bottom of the menu, you see a fine print sentence scrawled out in gothic style calligraphic handwriting, “Our cocktail menu is curated by our in-house mixologist,” or a lovely sentiment with similar phrasing. A friend will inevitably roll their eyes and inquire as to the origin of the word mixologist, then…
Recently I was having a conversation with my son who just happens to be a server. He’s been serving for 3 or 4 years and has experienced decent success (enough to live on his own, pay his bills and enjoy a few beers with his friends now and then). Because I have a passion for customer service and for my son’s success, I was interested in…
For many years, restaurateurs have checked out the competition and no one so much as commented on those activities. Chains coming into a new market would routinely have managerial personnel visit existing operations, observe the service, and sometimes make offers to particularly talented servers/bartenders/etc.
This happened recently in Boston, where national chains in the past often found it difficult to open new units. Today, with a number of real estate opportunities, we've…
Here's a newsflash for servers. Your job is to do more than make drinks and take orders. You are here to "serve" your guests. They don't just come to your restaurant to eat - they come for the experience.…
Waiting for our food to come, I was discussing with one of my good friends the possibilities of using Twitter in restaurants and bars. We weren't sure if such a place existed, but how cool would it be to be able to order your dinner via Twitter or even by texting?
I'll spare you the intricacies and hilarious details we brainstormed between the time we ordered and when we got our food. But after dinner, I began to think about all of the things that are near automated in our culture.… Continue
I have noticed lately that my check average is about $10 higher in the last month or so which I guess you could say has helped me make okay money when compared to others whom I work with. Especially in these slow times we are experiencing.
One thing I am really focusing on is selling the feature martinis which go over $8.00 a drink. But another reason for the higher cheque average is my forte has always been on upselling the size of the steak. You might not get people ordering… Continue
Added by Steve Nicolle on February 26, 2010 at 8:57am —
I've been touting the benefits of social networking to my coworkers for a while now. I've spent many, many hours creating a Ning site for the restaurant where I wait tables, mainly because I am convinced that my job is more fulfilling when I have the proper tools to drill deeper into the menu and the culture of hospitality. I'm also a bit of a web geek, and love making videos, taking pictures, and writing. But only a handful of my… Continue
It's time you gave Youtube and basic video editing programs a second look. Both are powerful tools that should be a part of your FOH operations. You think it's too hard to make a video, too time consuming, too expensive? Think again. Video's never been easier to make. Just look at Youtube. Anyone can do this.
Why should you care?
Well, at any given restaurant, there are servers with varying degrees of commitment, experience, and ability representing your brand. There are… Continue
Your restaurant might not call for a sommelier but even if it carries a modest wine selection, you may consider giving your servers a crash course in Vino.
Olive Garden, for instance, has gotten a bump in their revenue thanks to their strategically crafted “Steps of Service”. Every server has to fulfill these steps throughout the entire service process and it includes informing diners, when first approaching their table, about the house wine availability and characteristics. During… Continue
I remember as a young assistant manager watching with dismay as employees, hourly and salaried alike, would walk by obvious issues/problems large or small and pass by without stopping to lift a finger to fix or help with anything. It was as if the issue/problem were invisible to them. I'm not talking about the earth-shattering "there's a bar fight in the lounge" type of issues. I'm talking about the operationally important and yet mundane kinds of problems/issues issues. For example the bev-nap… Continue
"I haven't worked a shift since last Wednesday. I'm only here a couple days a week; how can I be expected to know when things change? I have no idea what these new menu items are. Since when did the chopped salad have broccoli? We have 5 new wines by the glass? What are these new desserts all about?"
I've said or thought them all.
If we come to the line up unprepared, if we are expecting to use the time to learn… Continue
There only are Seven Deadly Sins and Ten Commandments. A 12-step program can cure all sorts of ills.
But La Bernardin restaurant in New York City has 129 Cardinal Rules. Most of the no-no's in the restaurant—considered one of America's best for over 20 years—involve server sins. Here are a few random rules pulled off the list, posted by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on its website:
For those unfamiliar with the term, upselling is when a waitress (or any other type of salesperson) can talk the customer into purchasing something slightly better and more expensive than they initially asked for.
The company encourages us to do this because, in the end, it means more sales for them, a higher check average for us, and a more satisfied customer.
Yesterday, I worked an afternoon shift. People don't tend to order as much at lunch, so I had to make the most of… Continue
Did you attend a New Year’s Eve party last night to bring in 2008? My wife and I attended a posh party at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. If you haven't been there, it's our town's attempt to compete with Vegas and/or L.A., but it's nowhere close. Many call it an eyesore, but it has become a popular local hangout. It was packed. We opted for the $99 dinner, dancing, open bar package vs. the $35 Nikki Beach meat market with no open bar, no dinner, no…
Every day, millions of potential customers search for restaurants on hundreds of different online sites. At least one of these sites displays the wrong restaurant name, phone number, or address for 68% of established restaurants.
If your information is incorrect or missing, potential customers will be unable to find your restaurant and will move on to a competitor. And that’s not good for business.
Do you know how your restaurant appears online? Make sure potential customers can find you easily. In less time than it took you to read this, you can discover where you are losing out on customers. Click here now to get a free report detailing where your restaurant’s information is incorrect or missing across the internet.