Archive for the ‘Restaurant Management’ Category

3 Marketing Best Practices for Restaurant Expansion

September 10, 2014

When trying to expand your restaurant’s brand, marketing plays a key factor in your overall success. Having a proven brand marketing strategy that is both replicable and scalable and is built on a solid business infrastructure is critical—especially if you’re trying to franchise. Here’s an overview of best practices when it comes to marketing and restaurant brand expansion.

Have a Proven Brand and Solid Restaurant Business Infrastructure

Having a proven brand that is built on a solid business infrastructure is the first step to ensuring brand marketing success. It’s difficult to market a brand with different franchise partners if there isn’t a cohesive overview of how the brand will represent itself and how the marketing side of the business will be done. Be sure that all partners are clear about the reputation of the brand image that is trying to be upheld. Also consider that there are a lot of new resources that are needed when entering new markets. For instance, you’ll need to hire franchise and field marketing managers, whose job it will be to maintain the unity and standard between locations.

Be Intimately Familiar with Your Restaurant’s Markets

Another key aspect of being able to successfully expand your restaurant’s brand into new areas is to be intimately familiar with the target market. If you don’t know this information already, hire someone who does. Understanding your markets is critical to your overall business success. Your franchisees will have individual knowledge of local markets that can provide valuable information toward your overall marketing approach. Encourage sharing of their marketing ideas and local product testing efforts among locations.

Have a Scalable Marketing Strategy, Customizable to Local Markets

When it comes to brand expansion, a final aspect of restaurant marketing best practices is ensuring that your marketing strategy is scalable and customizable to the level best suited to the new market that is being entered. Markets vary in their media efficacies and small markets can have a lower cost of media marketing, so something like TV advertising might be more affordable and make more sense there than elsewhere. Strong digital platforms can be ultra-local, with deals and promotional messages perfectly suited to the local community it serves. Again, utilize franchisee knowledge and information about their individual needs when setting up an overall restaurant expansion marketing plan.

In sum, successfully implementing a marketing strategy that helps to expand your restaurant’s overall brand comes down to having proven, replicable brand strategies that have enough flex built into their infrastructures that they can be customized to the individual needs of local markets. Understanding the markets that you are trying to cater to is critical to your overall marketing success. You’re shooting for a unified brand message with proven results that can be adapted to any new market or location. Hire professionals, brainstorm with your franchisees and analyze your data to determine the best marketing plan for your restaurant’s brand expansion efforts.

Industry Standard Best Practices in Restaurant Financing

September 3, 2014

When it comes to moving your restaurant brand forward, the ability to get financing is typically the make or break factor. Getting lenders and investors to fund your business can be somewhat of an art. It requires being able to have a clear concept of your plan, the ability to illustrate its potential profitability to others, the awareness of potential challenges that may arise as your restaurant expands, and the ability to respond to them. Here is an overview of each of these industry standard best practices in restaurant financing in greater detail.

Have a Clear Concept of Your Overall Strategic Plan

Having a clearly defined strategic plan is a key piece of your overall financing packet. Detail how capital is used, the positions and duties of the team that is required to make it work and the profits and losses that result from the effort.

Make a point of documenting both your short and long term objectives, along with any supporting materials needed to demonstrate that you know what steps are needed to make those objectives a reality. Gather all of your financial statements, your strategic plan and supporting materials together so that everything lenders need to know to make a decision is available to them in an organized, user-friendly fashion.

Illustrate that Single Unit Economics Are Intact

Being able to demonstrate how funding will work at the unit level is an important part of your overall financial plan as well. It’s a good idea to include a case study of single unit economics in your financial documents as supporting evidence. You need to be able to show that your economics are solid and your concept’s likelihood of success is high. Banks want to know what the money they lend you is going toward and what they will be able to expect in return. The more replicable you can demonstrate that your single unit results are, the more attractive your brand will be to lenders and franchisers alike.

Be Aware of Challenges to Your Niche and Long-Term Viability Issues

A final best practice we’ll cover here is the ability to articulate your awareness of potential challenges and long-term viability issues that exist. Challenges to your business could include competition, traffic trends, your ability to promote and price your products successfully, and anything that might go haywire along the way. Challenges to your ability to fulfill your lending agreement will include the potential for interest rate changes, property lease increases or expiration, store remodeling and upgrading requirements, ability to meet loan maturity dates, etc. Lenders need to know that you’re aware of these potential challenges and have a plan in place to deal with them. Think these things through and be able to talk freely about them with your lenders.

In sum, getting financing to expand your restaurant’s brand has a lot to do with coming to them with a clear plan of where you’d like to go, how you’re going to get there and why it will be profitable for them. Ensuring that you have these industry best practices in restaurant financing in place, before you approach lenders, will go a long way toward ensuring the ultimate success of your restaurant’s brand expansion.

Tabletop Devices Part 2: 3 Key Considerations Before Installing in Your Restaurant

August 27, 2014

As discussed in a previous post, there are a number of benefits to installing tabletop ordering and payment devices in your restaurant. That said, there are also some considerations that you need to take into account before you take the leap. Here are a few of the biggest concerns.

Customer Security and Integration with Current Point-of-Sale Systems

The first, most important factor in the choice about installing tabletop devices in the restaurant is whether or not you can find a provider who can integrate those devices seamlessly with the current point-of-sale (POS) system. Beyond basic ordering and payment processing functionality, the tabletop device should be designed to look as much like the original POS as possible as well. This speeds up the amount of time it takes to educate servers, who in turn must educate customers, about how to use the device. When choosing a tabletop device provider, look for reliable pay-at-the-table functions, durability, lifespan and reliability of the unit, connectivity to Wi-Fi and the ability to expand ordering capabilities.

In terms of customer security, tabletop devices can actually help ease customer concerns. It gives customers some security to swipe their own cards and confirm their tab and tip amounts themselves, complete with a receipt printed from the bottom of the device.

Getting Server and Customer Buy-In on Restaurant Tabletop Technology

One key aspect of successfully using tabletop devices in the restaurant is getting server buy-in on educating customers about them. Around 65-70% of customers will use tabletop devices to place their orders—after the host has introduced them to the technology. Staff need to know that these devices can save time and can possibly make them more money. Several restaurants using the devices have actually seen a slight increase in the average tip left on a table with an ordering device. They also need to know that these devices are not a replacement for their skills, but rather a helpful tool that they can use. Since most customers are already carrying and using their smartphones all day long anyway, educating them about using the devices is often easy. They tend to embrace and even expect this sort of technological convenience.

Consider How Much Automation You Want in Your Restaurant

Another consideration you’ll want to take into account is how much automation you want to have in your business. The point is to enhance the customer experience, not alienate them or make them feel like they’re serving themselves. Some restaurants don’t allow full menu ordering from the device, following the philosophy that if customers do everything themselves they don’t feel like they’re getting service. The choice depends on the type of establishment you run. The take home message is that using tabletop technology should enhance, and not change, the guest dining experience. Humans are still the focal point; ordering capabilities have just gotten better.

The above factors should be taken into account before installing tabletop devices in your establishment. That said, restaurant operators who have taken the leap with tabletop technology are finding it a helpful and cost effective tool that enhances guest experiences, shaves off valuable service time and puts guests in greater control of their dining experience than ever before.

 

Tabletop Devices Part 1: 3 Reasons You Want Them in Restaurant

August 20, 2014

Tabletop devices are popping up in restaurants all around the country. These devices allow customers to order and pay from the convenience of their tables, along with perform a variety of other sundry tasks that are meant to enhance the customer experience. According to the NRN, 52% of all adults would use an electronic payment system at the dining table in a full-service restaurant, while 44% said they would use an electronic ordering system. Interestingly enough, less that 5% of full-service restaurants are currently utilizing this technology. Regardless of the type of restaurant you run, here are a few good reasons why installing a few tabletop devices might be a smart idea.

Tabletop Devices Enhance Restaurant Guest Experiences

Tabletop devices enhance your customer’s experience in a number of ways. One of the most important is that they improve the speed and quality of service. Customers are ensured that their orders are placed exactly right, every time. Guests can place and recall orders, customize selections and add extra items to their bills at their own pace; creating a sense of ease and convenience for patrons. Many restaurants include games and music on the devices as well, available for a small fee that gets added to the tab. Some establishments are finding that the games and music alone can make the devices pay for themselves. Music works best when offered as a modern day jukebox—where guests can pay a small fee to select the song of their choice to play through the restaurant speaker system.

Tabletop Devices Nurture Customer Relationships

Aside from ordering, paying and entertainment, tabletop devices can also be used to grow your relationship with your customers. This is the perfect opportunity to highlight all of the benefits of joining your rewards program, social media network or email lists. It’s also the perfect time to have them fill out a guest survey about the information you most want to know and get valuable, real-time feedback about their experiences. This is also a chance to let customers know what’s really special about your business. Providing history, as well as ethics and cause information, helps build trust and authenticity with your audience.

 

Tabletop Devices Are an Opportunity for Up-Sales

An obvious benefit of utilizing tabletop technology in the restaurant is the opportunity it represents to make up-sales with your customers. Aside from well-timed promo messages about that yummy dessert that just rolled out of the oven, you can also use tabletop devices to educate your customers about what is on your menu. If you were so inspired, you could go into extensive detail about the origin and nutrition of the ingredients used, the back-story about how some local favorite got created, or simply highlight which items are gluten-free or low-carb. Best of all, your menu is searchable, so guests can simply input the keywords for the information they’re looking for and menu suggestions with detailed information will come up.

Now, clearly, there are some considerations that need to be taken into account before hooking up your restaurant with all the latest tabletop technology—not the least of which is finding a provider who can integrate the devices with your point-of-sale system. That said, putting guests in greater control of their dining experience has a lot of benefits. All in all, tabletop devices stand to be a cost-effective way for restaurants to enhance the overall customer experience.

Restaurant Best Practices for Email Marketing Engagement

August 13, 2014

When you consider that 91% of all U.S. consumers use email every single day, and that emails prompt purchases 3 to 1 over social media, there’s no doubt that email marketing remains a powerful tool for restaurant businesses. That said, there’s an art to sending emails that your restaurant customers will actually open. Here are a few tips for creating engagement with your consumers through your email marketing campaign.

Tailor Restaurant Emails to the Individual Customer

The first and most important aspect of a successfully engaging email campaign is making your messages custom-tailored to the specific individual you are messaging. This is more than just including his or her name in the subject line. This customization also includes different messages and layouts based on factors such as age, gender, purchase history, click-through behavior and location. A recent survey reports that segmenting emails increases open rate as much as 39% and decreases unsubscribes by an average of 27%. Today’s email programs make it easy to segment your marketing messages, and given the advantages of doing so, there’s no reason not to include this level of targeted marketing in your email campaign.

Design Your Emails for Mobile & Social Compatibility

A second major factor that makes or breaks customer engagement in terms of emails is whether or not the email is mobile-friendly, easy to use and easy to share on social channels. Avoid large graphics that don’t render well on smartphones—especially if those graphics contain key details of your advertisement. Make your content clear and to the point. If there is action that can be taken (getting the customer to click-through somewhere) ensure that the bugs are worked out, the process you’re asking them to do is seamless and simple and that your message is easy to share with their friends. Even better—offer an additional incentive for sharing the offer with their own contacts.

Analyze Your Metrics to Fine-Tune Your Restaurant’s Email Marketing Campaign

You’ll hear it everywhere you look in the business world: analyze your metrics. Email marketing is no different. The only way you’re going to be able to tell which messages are working for you is to analyze your data. Use the information that you garner to fashion even better, exclusively targeted messages to your customers. Find ways to alter your approach to those segments that aren’t performing as well. Remember that open rates are just the beginning of understanding your numbers. Technology now enables us to follow the effectiveness of our email offers all the way to restaurant visits.

There’s no doubt email marketing can be a great way to drive revenue and customer engagement while having a high return on investment. Ensure that the emails you send are relevant to the consumer and sent at a frequency that makes sense for what you’re offering. Remember that being inundated or bored are the top reasons people leave mailing lists. Keep your messages targeted, timely and valuable to the consumer. Engagement is key to email marketing success.

How to Appeal to the Typical American Wine Drinker

August 8, 2014

Despite the fact that the U.S. has become the single-largest market for wine (passing France last year), American wine drinkers aren’t easy to understand. In part, this is due to the fact that there really isn’t any such thing as the “typical” American wine drinker. We come from diverse backgrounds with very different motivations for drinking wine. How then, as the restaurant owner, do you know which is the best wine to offer on the menu?

One way is to consider how customers make their choices when it comes to wine. Constellation Brands, a global wine, spirits and beer producer and marketer put out an interesting survey that breaks Americans into six groups—each with a different motivator behind their choices in wine. The results are telling, in terms of how to appeal to the American wine populace.

American Wine Drinkers Driven by Price and Habit

According to the study, price is the top consideration for 21% of American wine drinkers. The belief in this group is that a person can get great wine without paying a lot of money for it. The only way they are going to try something new on your wine menu is if it’s within the same price range as their standby favorites. These folk like to buy cheap good wine and drink a lot of it. In fact, wine accounts for 38% of their total consumption of alcoholic beverages. The other group who is unlikely to try anything new are the everyday loyals (20%) who drink wine as a regular part of their day to day routines. They know what they like and tend to stick to it. Appealing to these two groups is a matter of providing good, cost-effective wine and favorites they already know about.

Appealing to American Wine Enthusiasts and Image Seekers

Some Americans drink wine as a status symbol, others are genuine enthusiasts who love everything about the ritual and experience of wine. Both can be profitable groups for the enterprising restaurateur. For the image seekers (18%), the important thing is that the wine they are drinking makes them look good. They enjoy trendy labels and sweeter wines. The enthusiast group (12%) is more into food and wine pairings as well as new adventures in the wine tasting world. They tend toward bolder, more robust reds. Both groups appreciate knowing the back-story of the wine they drink and tend toward options on the classier “in-the-know” side of the menu.

Appealing to the American Wine Drinking Newbie and Those that Are Just Plain Overwhelmed

People’s reactions to the world of wine typically goes one of two ways—they’re either overwhelmed or intrigued. Those that are overwhelmed (19%) typically like to drink wine, but are intimidated by the complex array of options presented when trying to buy it. This group is going to get scared away from ordering wine if they don’t see something on your menu that they recognize. The group that is new to, and intrigued by, the world of wine (12%), has a different reaction. They still tend toward sweeter wines but are looking for authenticity and trying to learn about the beverages they are drinking. Like the enthusiasts, this group is going to be interested in the stories of the wine makers themselves, and are the segment most likely to buy organic and biodynamic wines.

Understanding these different groups of American wine drinkers helps the restaurateur make smart decisions about what to include on the wine list. Some restaurants will put a little something for everyone on the drink menu; others will cater to a specific type of wine drinker. What you choose for your menu is entirely dependent on who you’re trying to attract to your establishment.

3 Customer Texting No-No’s Restaurants Should Avoid

August 4, 2014

There’s no doubt that marketing to mobile devices is a smart move on the part of restaurant owners. There’s also no doubt that texting, or SMS messaging, is an efficient and cost-effective way of getting started with mobile marketing—well within the reach of even the smallest restaurant business.

Text marketing can be a powerful way to reach your customers, if it’s done well. Do it wrong and you end up alienating your customers and tarnishing your business’s reputation. Here are three text marketing pitfalls you’ll want to avoid on the road to a successful mobile marketing campaign.

No-No #1: Overwhelming Your Customers with Too Many Texts

There’s no magic formula for determining the right frequency at which to text your customers, but most sources say that 3 to 4 times a month is sufficient for the average restaurant. The reason people are sometimes reluctant to opt in to a text or email subscription is because they are afraid of how their information will be used. No one wants to feel spammed or badgered. Be clear upfront about approximately how often customers can expect to hear from you and stick to it. Let them know that you respect their privacy, will not share or abuse their information and that you appreciate their willingness to let you contact them. Ask whether or not they can/want to receive media text and ensure that you don’t send big media texts to people who request plain text only. Bottom line: realize that you are trying to build trust and a rewarding relationship with the people you’re communicating with. Remember that mantra in every message you send, and don’t over-do it.

No-No #2: Sending Poorly Written and/or Inane Messages

Perhaps more important than the frequency at which you contact your customers is the value of the content itself that you send. It is critical that every message offers something that is interesting and of value to your restaurant customers in order to keep response rates high and opt-out rates low. Text campaigns can include contests (text-to-win), text or loyalty clubs, soliciting polls, coupons, discounts, offers and announcements. You might even opt to send a text on a day when you have excess product or empty seats to let your customers know that a members-only special is available. Whatever you decide to say, ensure that it is an enticing message, and valuable to your consumers. It only takes a couple irrelevant or unprofessional texts for a customer to permanently opt out of communication with you. Pay attention to your grammar and spelling too. These texts are part of your brand’s overall reputation and image!

No-No #3: Sending Messages Blindly Because You’ve Failed to Do Your Homework

Assuming you’re sending out meaningful, well-written messages to your consumers at an appropriate frequency, your text campaign is still remiss if you haven’t analyzed your results. You need to know if your customers respond better to say, a 20% discount off their entire orders, or a buy one get one free offer. You need to test to see whether your response rate is higher if you impose a shorter time frame for coupon redemption or if you send out the offer on a certain day of the week.

This type of data takes some time to accumulate and utilize to fine-tune your mobile marketing campaign, but the effort is well worth the trouble. The better you know how to solicit a response out of your restaurant patrons with your text messages, the better positioned you are to utilize this form of marketing as a powerful tool in your overall marketing campaign and customer-relation efforts.

3 Tips For Effective Restaurant Leadership

July 30, 2014

Running a successful restaurant business takes precision, planning and effective leadership. Without clear guidelines and actionable goals, getting your restaurant off the ground can be a challenge, let alone turning it into a successful business. Here are three tips for effective leadership that will help your restaurant stay on the track to success.

#1.Take Daily Action Toward Restaurant Targets

One of the most important leadership qualities is the ability to take effective action. One facet of effective action is knowing how to prioritize your actions so that your efforts are streamlined toward your goals. For example, before you do anything else in your day, you should put energy into those actions that are the most important in terms of your key result or performance areas. A daily review of current performance in comparison with goals you’ve set for growing your restaurant business will help you stay on track.

#2.Break Big Restaurant Goals into Small, Manageable Chunks

Breaking bigger goals into smaller chunks is a leadership skill that has a number of advantages as well. A large task can feel less overwhelming when taken piece by piece, and you often end up getting more done than if you tried to tackle it as a whole.

The goals you set can feel more easily within reach when you look at them from the perspective of what it takes to get there on a day to day level as well. For example, let’s say you want to increase your sales by $30,000 in the next quarter. That means you’ll have to pull in $10,000 a month. Now, if you have two shifts per day, or 56 shifts per month, that means each shift will have to pull in an extra $178. Take the math one step further—if you have, say, five people on any given shift, that means they’ll need to pull in an extra $20 an hour, or $4 per person per hour, in order to reach your restaurant’s sales goal increase. Four dollars per person per hour could be achieved as simply as having employees up-sell a drink or slice of pie, and feels much more manageable and attainable than “$30,000 by next quarter,”doesn’t it?

#3 Communicate Clear Actionable Goals to Your Restaurant Staff

One critical aspect of effective leadership is the ability to clearly communicate goals and expectations with staff. All those great ideas for how you can grow your business are useless if you can’t communicate them clearly to the people who will be bringing your dream into reality. It’s important to make task knowledge explicit and to routinely catalogue and share demonstrated best practices with your team. Make quarterly assessments of training and talent gaps and ensure that your team has the tools that they need to succeed. Share your restaurant goals with your staff and be sure that they each know what they need to do in order to help you get there.

Recognize that effective leadership has much to do with being clear—clear with the people you’re working with and clear about where you’re trying to go. Be disciplined and accountable as you move your business toward your goals. Study your reports and continuously assess how you can improve. Take the time to do at least one thing to improve your business every week. Last, let yourself get excited with the work of growing your restaurant—the momentum of inspiration does much to carry us forward!

From Ovens to Ice Machines: Restaurant Technology that Can Improve Operations

July 23, 2014

Restaurant technology continues to get smaller, smarter and more social as restaurant operators look for ways to reduce the cost of real estate, have more intuitive technology on hand and strive to improve the customer experience. There have been a number of new innovations of late that stand to significantly improve the operational management of a restaurant business. Here are a few of the latest restaurant technology highlights.

Smaller, More Intuitive Restaurant Technology

From computer-regulated back-of-the house appliances, to smaller and more efficient front-of-house equipment, there is a mass of great technological adaptations and innovations available to operators. For example, some ice machines now come with technological diagnostics that will warn restaurant operators when there is a problem likely to occur. They have improvements in the program for repair and maintenance, making for less downtime. Fryers are moving toward all-digital control panels, giving operators greater control over the quality of any product that’s programmed in. Temperatures can be set precisely and food can be cooked with a specific timing. There are a number of new environmental cooling options as well. These include a 24.5 inch portable air cooler, with the same footprint as a propane-powered heater, and an evaporative cooling unit that can chill the air in a 14 foot radius down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. This unit uses about as much electricity as a household toaster.

In response to an increased demand for space-saving innovations to help restaurants expand menus, ventless countertop ovens have seen a jump in production and innovation. There are a number of different types of countertop ovens now available.Some of these ovens can convert from a one-item shuttle to a higher-volume conveyor mode at the switch of a button. Drink machines, like Coke’s Freestyle, have also gone counter-size and can now include anywhere from 35-80 drink options.

Home-Made Craft Brews Now Available for Any Restaurant

Speaking of increasing drink options, restaurant owners can also now install their own “home-brew”systems on location, in as little as a 10-by-10 space. These self-contained units are different from your typical brew-pub brewery, most significantly because they bypass many of the regulatory and environmental impact considerations that brew pubs must adhere to. Such systems cost around $57,000 and can produce 1,400 twelve-ounce servings of beer per week. You have the ability to customize the types of beer you offer, paving the way for seasonal and local favorites that are uniquely your own. The craft-brewing industry has grown significantly over the course of the last few years, and if you’re looking for a way to add unique flavor to the drinks that your restaurant provides, a home-brew craft beer unit might be the solution.

More Comprehensive Point of Sale Restaurant Technology

New point-of-sale systems are on the horizon too. Tabletop tablets, for instance, are no longer used to simply place an order. Along with being one-stop devices for employees to perform a number of tasks, they now can include interactive tiles that can really enhance guest interactions. For instance, the tablets can display and promote specials of the day, upcoming events, loyalty program details, links to external feeds and the ability to take pictures and share to social media accounts. They provide a forum for customers to conveniently place and pay for their orders as well as to leave feedback about their experiences—which they do 20% of the time in restaurants who have them installed.

Utilizing these technological adaptations and innovations can greatly enhance the customer and employee experience, as well as improve the return on investment and the overall efficiency of the restaurant. Bottom line: new technology can be a restaurant owner’s best friend, and there are plenty of innovative options available.

Better Compensation for Your Restaurant Employees Through Training, Perks and Rewards

July 9, 2014

The on-going debate over minimum-wage for restaurant workers hasn’t moved much over the last several months. Many protestors want to see the minimum wage raised to $15 an hour—a sum which would be difficult for restaurants to achieve without raising menu prices, reducing staff and taking other less-than-desirable measures to compensate for the increased minimum wage. While the debate is likely to go on for some time, the underlying message is clear: restaurant workers want better compensation. Minimum wage may or may not be increased, but many restaurant owners are taking the message to heart and looking for other ways to better compensate their employees, for example, through providing better training, perks and rewards.

Better Compensation for Restaurant Workers Through Rewarding Performance

One tactic that some restaurant owners are using to better compensate their employees is to reward staff for achieving certain sales goals through the use of tracking software. There are a number of analytics software programs available designed to help restaurants keep track of employee performance. Such software can be very valuable in identifying and rewarding the employees who are bringing your restaurant the most business.

These types of programs serve multiple purposes. They help employees build their skills, make better tips (through increased sales) and get the chance to receive extra monetary rewards for their service. Of course, this type of program also serves the most important purpose of making your restaurant more profitable as well.

Better Compensation for Restaurant Workers Through Education & Training

Another method that some restaurant owners are using to better compensate their employees is to provide them with better education and training. In some ways, the worst thing a restaurant can do is “dumb down”the jobs of their workers into something that is rote and process-oriented. The point is to help employees grow and to make the workforce progress. The best way this can be done is through education and training.

This additional education can come in a number of forms—everything from cross-training employees in different positions within your restaurant, to sending them to external training and enhancement conferences. You can also simply educate them more about the products you serve and ethics you would like to uphold in your restaurant and transmit to your customers. Education transforms your employees into more valuable assets for you and any future employer they may have. It also makes them better able to do their jobs for you, which in turn means better sales and profitability for your restaurant.

Better Compensation for Restaurant Workers Through Staff Incentive Programs

Staff incentive programs have been around for a coon’s age, but restaurants of all types are re-examining such programs as a feasible means of better educating and motivating their people. For example, if you have new menu items you’d like to promote, why not run a contest with a reward for the server who can sell the most orders of that item? While the reward can be monetary, it can also be in the form of a nifty gadget, a gift certificate, bill pay, extra vacation time, late arrival, etc.

The point of all of this is that there are a number of ways to provide additional compensation to your people without necessarily increasing their hourly wages. Investing in your workforce by providing them with additional opportunities for education, perks and rewards makes them feel that their jobs with you are more valuable. In turn, this creates a scenario where your employees are invested in and happy with their work, which translates to a more successful restaurant business for you.