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You’re not just offering food, you’re offering an experience that starts at the front door

BABIESYou have the food to offer your customers, but you don’t want to stop there.  There’s more to being a good restaurateur than offering up some awesome dishes.  You’re also offering an experience, from good customer service from all of your staff to the ambiance that they come to enjoy your fare in.  The best way is to take advantage of their patronage as soon as they come through the door by means of a good hostess or server.

Don’t let your hostess say only “How many?” and “Follow me.” Unfortunately there are restaurants where you’re lucky to even just get that out.  Don’t be afraid to say more.  Your customers are coming to pay their good money to eat out at your place.  Make sure they get what they pay for.  They are not just paying for food and drinks, they are paying for an experience that should start as soon as they arrive.

The hostess shouldn’t be afraid to engage the customer a little. They should first and foremost welcome them to the restaurant then ask how many people there will be with them for their meal today.  Then take it a step further by asking how they are today, that gives you a few options.  You find out if it’s a good day and comment on how that’s good to hear, or if they are having a bad day it opens up for you to say that now they are here and it’s time to turn it into a good day.  Read their answers and you’ll know what to do.

For instance, as you walk them to their table, it’s a great opportunity to suggest a drink from the bar as a good way to start turning their bad day around in the other direction.  If they were having a good day still suggest a drink that will add to their day and make it even more of a great day.  This is good to involve your customers in a brief conversation as well as maybe get a sale to your bar in the process.

Also it’s time to offer what might be something they enjoy from any specials you might be having to offer at the time.  If there are no specials, tell them something that is one of your favorites on the menu that they might enjoy. as you walk them to their table.  When they are seated be sure to tell them to enjoy their meal, offer your name and if they need assistance to let you know.

When they are seated, find something to mention to make them smile and feel good.  For instance, if they have a baby with them you could mention that you saw some great baby onesies online but it looks like they’ve already found them as the one their child is wearing is adorable.  Pick something that would make someone smile such as an outfit, or a fragrance, something that sets them apart.  You want them to feel they’ve come somewhere special and are in for a good experience from the get go.

If the food is good, it will sell itself, but it alone can’t offer the ambiance and a full experience that starts as soon as they come in.

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What happened to the unspoken dress code when going out to an upscale restaurant?

DRESS CODEIt seems that a couple of decades ago and more, when you planned an evening out at a restaurant that you would dress appropriately for it. Some nice pants and a shirt, and if it was a little more upscale a tie and jacket. Women wore dresses and had their hair and makeup done. That seems like ages ago. It seems now as long as you have the money to spend on the dinner fare that you can dress like you’ve been stranded on a desert island in a ripped shirt and jeans, barefoot in sandals. It didn’t use to be like that. Now it’s as if as long as you have shoes and a shirt, you get service.

Back in the day eating out was more an event to look forward to dressing in your finest for. You actually looked forward to getting a little dressed up and looking your best when you went out. Now basically it seems that as long as you can pay, wear whatever you please. It seems that ambiance in a restaurant means nothing to most if they even happen to notice it in the first place.

Men would even shave their 5 o’clock shadow before heading out for the evening. Now you can go out and sport a manly looking beard almost Survivor style. Facial hair on gentlemen seems to be making a comeback of sorts. More or less it’s probably easier to not have to shave and to go with the beard tidal wave and surf along with the rest of the groups. There are even ways where you can get an even thicker beard to show off on your nights out. It’s the in thing supposedly.

Really it would be nice to go back to the days where everyone was dressed their best on a weekend date night or night on the town with the guys. Dress appropriately for the restaurant you’ll be attending that evening. Not like you’re a movie star that has been filming a role in which you’ve been stranded on a desert island with nothing to do but grow a beard and catch a pretty decent tan. Beards are in as a lot of stars have been sporting them lately for roles that they are preparing for.

It seems to be catching on. Low key is the “in” key. Next time you are out at an upscale restaurant take a look at what people are wearing and if by chance they do have a beard if it is kept in a trimmed fashioned no matter how long it is. Dressing appropriately for the restaurant you are attending will make its way back eventually as all trends do. It’s one to be seen hopefully sooner than later as it used to be something to be proud of. Not that you can pay the bill, but that you can look pretty darn good while paying it. The restaurant has a name, if you are to attend it, respect its ambiance and offerings by your attire. It’s time to go back old school.

 

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Keep Your Restaurant Secure With A State Of The Art Security

person looks out of corner. 3D imageYour restaurant is busy with people coming in and out all day. Imagine a Friday night where the prime rib is selling out within minutes, the baked potatoes hardly have time to cool before eaten and dessert just can’t be made fast enough. There are reservations until the closing hour. Families and couples line the doorway, waiting for their chance to enjoy your food and atmosphere. There are employees as well, coming in and out of the back rooms and staff entrances at all hours. Although it’s hard to think about, there is always a chance that someone in your restaurant at any given time could be checking out your establishment for a possible theft.

 Most restaurants have security cameras but often times the camera is too far away or of mediocre quality in the event that a suspect needs to be observed closely. There is no need to ruin a great sales week with the troubles of a lacking security system, and that includes your security deposit box, camera and safe as well.

 Why not prevent the burglary all together by stepping up your safe’s security? Many safes are old, outdated and easily compromised. Often times the safes have been left from previous restaurant management and although the pass code may have been changed, it is possible that the old staff or management knows how to reset the pass code by now.

 Upgrading your safe is inexpensive and and a worthy investment in your restaurant’s security. Depending on the size and volume of your restaurant, your need for a safe will differ. Depository safes for money drops can cost anywhere from $300-$800, depending on your needs. There are small drop safes available as well as double door safes for those with a larger amount of monetary traffic. Keep in mind it’s also wise to do a bank deposit at least once a day if you can. The less money in-house, the better.

 If you’ve got firearms you’d like to keep secure, there is a Winchester Safes eVault Pistol Safe that may be perfect for your needs. It’s an affordable, well-constructed gun safe and has a fingerprint identification as the key pass code so there will no one getting into that box who isn’t supposed to.

 As far as new cameras are concerned, the market is saturated with many options but you would be looking for one that is a more current model, not outdated and clunky like the old styles. The old models are easily spotted by thieves and many are skilled in the art of dismantling or blocking the camera lens when they make their move. The best kinds of surveillance cameras are those that can be discreetly placed from a vantage point where they would capture the image of the person with clear detail when needed. HD surveillance cameras are readily available for moderate pricing these days, as everything seems to be HD in today’s market.

 When we are busy with our Saturday night fajitas and margaritas, followed by a birthday party for an 80 year-old grandmother and her family, there is no time to worry about who may be lurking outside. Safety and security are of utmost importance in our industry especially. Get your systems updated and install peace of mind into your place of work. That way from the office to the table, you know your assets are covered and you can go on enjoying the success of your establishment.

 

 

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Why You Should Put an Elliptical Trainer In Your Staff Room

EMPLOYEE FITNESSEvery restaurant knows its staff is rushed off their feet all day, every day. You need a team who can keep up with the rugged demand of waiting tables, and what better way to encourage them to keep fit than to put an elliptical trainer in the staff room? Even better, for the office manager who spends all day at the desk, a quick work-out on the elliptical trainer can be a great way to burn off those extra pounds. Exercise is a great way to release endorphins, so if you want to stay smiling all day, then you should do a couple of sprints on the trainer every few hours.

The Sole Elliptical E25 Fitness Machine is a great piece of equipment to get your staff in fit-form. It’s simple, straight-forward and easy to use. You can easily change the resistance and inclination levels, so your staff can practice at challenging themselves. It comes with an easy to read blue LCD display for that added comfort, and even has an in-build sound system so you can blast out those tunes to get into the zone.

For those who aren’t fitness-conscious, it comes with ten different programmes to choose from. It will tell you what to do and you simply get on and do it. It’s as simple as that. This is a great beginner’s training piece, and is definitely the go-to product for starting your own company gym. Once you’ve invested in this, it’s not a wild thought to expand and move into other types of fitness machines. And staff always appreciate the little freebies thrown their way. They may not be able to afford a gym membership or their own personal trainers, so this is a great way to give something back to them and be the boss of the year.

The Sole E25 is space-conscious, too, so you don’t need to worry about it getting in the way of everything else. Just stick it in a corner and away it goes. Not only that, but its sleek, elegant design looks professional, too. If you’re looking for a way to encourage your staff to stay fit, then this is the machine for you.

You can pick up this model for around a thousand dollars, which might sound pricey, but it comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, three years on parts and a year on labor, which is way more than the competition. Not only that, but for the price and what you get, it’s a steal. If you’re looking to motivate your staff, or even if you want to keep yourself on your toes while sitting in the office all day, then there’s not better machine than the Sole E25. A great product for beginners, with the ability to advance throughout its programmes. Test yourself and test your staff on this and you won’t regret it.

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Restaurant Owners Need to Protect Their Family Too!

Many restaurant owners have family, such as a wife and children, to worry about after they are gone. Running a restaurant can be very stressful on your body and your heart. Stress is one of the main factors in heart disease besides weight. So where would your family go if something were to happen to you? Would the restaurant stay open? Would they be able to supplement the income you generated without you here? These are questions we must ask ourselves. Answering these questions can be very simple. By purchasing a Family Income Benefits Insurance policy you can guarantee that they will be able to survive for a while till they get back on their feet. You can enquire here to find out more about this policy and its features.

Many families in the restaurant business are scraping by from day to day or week to week. It’s very hard to know that without you your family could lose everything you worked so hard for. Restaurant owners measure the profitability of their businessLIFE INSURANCE by how much traffic they bring in every day. This determines who gets paid and when they get paid. Employees are paid weekly, food distributors are paid weekly, but sometimes you have monthly bills that get passed by till you can pay them. This is not a proper strategy for handling bills but sometimes it’s the only way. With the restaurant business there is a lot of overhead and if you were to pass on would your wife, or grown children be able to handle the finances or continue to build the restaurant? Would they even want too? Some kids hate the restaurant business when they grow up in it, and some wife’s find it daunting to continue without you. So making sure they have money to survive on until they decide what to do is important.

When it comes to making the right decisions about insurance and your business after your gone its best to get assistance for advice. There are brokers that can help you with determining the best possible outcome and making it affordable for you and your family. You can discuss with your children and wife if they would like to keep the business after you’re gone or would they like to liquidate it? This is a decision you should decide on while you’re still here that way everyone is on the same page. Once the main bread winner has passed on many times the family begins to argue over who does what and so it’s best to decide these terms early on while still here and set a will to designate who gets what and who is allowed to do what with the insurance and the restaurant. If your children are too young to help sometimes it’s best to appoint someone that is trusted to help your wife with the daily running of the business, but never leave finances solely in the hands of someone outside the family that could take their money and run. It has happened many times and is very hard to bounce back from.

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How loud can restaurant kitchens be for noise-sensitive people?

SPECIAL NEEDSIf you have ever worked in a restaurant then you know that when it’s busy the kitchen is very loud. Between the banging of pots and pans, the noise of the cooks yelling orders and the hustle and bustle of the wait staff coming in asking for their entrees’, there is no shortage on noise. Many people are busy in a kitchen and the busier the restaurant the busier the kitchen. Noise can be very disturbing for some people especially special needs people. Disabled children and adults can be very sensitive to noise which makes them uncomfortable in a noisy environment. One way to combat noise in a busy restaurant is to have sound proof walls for the kitchen so that the noise doesn’t travel to the dining area. This will prevent the noise from bothering the customers that are dining in the restaurant. This doesn’t work though if the noise is bothersome to an employee in the kitchen. For this type of situation you would need the best ear plugs to drown out the noise. But this would only work if they are not needing to hear any instructions from a co-worker. Some other options would be to have employees that are sensitive to noise working in the front of the restaurant instead of the kitchen.

There are many jobs that you can do in a restaurant that would be perfect for someone that is noise sensitive. One job that would be good is a bathroom attendant in a high end restaurant. This type of position is more acceptable since the noise is completely drowned out since the bathroom is usually the quietest area in a restaurant. If you’re in a smaller restaurant then a noise sensitive person would be suitable for the greeter position. This position is in the front of the restaurant by the door and involves greeting the customer and seating them at a table. It’s very rarely as noisy as a kitchen but does have some noise level since it is around the tables and customers. Even though the greeter is at the front of the restaurant and around the customers the noise level isn’t quite as loud as it is in the kitchen, it’s more of a low mummer. This too can be aggravating to some noise sensitive people but more acceptable than the loudness of the kitchen clatter.

Whatever position you do in a restaurant you should always be respectful of other employees that work with you. In every job there is going to be someone that is slightly different than you are and you never know if there difference is due to a disability or a noise sensitivity. It’s a very common thing to have noise sensitivity, lots of people have this issue, but by looking at them you would never know without them telling you. Not everyone who has a disability such as noise sensitivity is unable to work they just need special accommodations so they feel comfortable in there working environment. People with noise sensitivity and disabilities can live a productive live with special accommodations and restaurant work is something that can provide them with training for their future.

 

 

 

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What all does a restaurant manager have to be ready to act on?

project-header-collegetownSome people think that all a restaurant manager does is make sure the staff is on time and greets customers during their meals to make sure they are all right. That and also makes sure everyone gets their checks on payday. Managing a restaurant goes way beyond that though. There’s so much that a good manager does to keep everything running smoothly, and be ready to act during the times when they don’t seem to be working the way they should.

They take care of making sure things are running well in the kitchen, and even in some situations like a chef has to leave or doesn’t even show up in the first place, a good manager knows the menu inside and out and takes over as chef while they are without. The same thing goes for the bartender too. If the restaurant is without for one reason or another, they are ready to jump behind the bar and mix a mean drink for their customers.

The same goes for all positions in the restaurant. A manager who is on point is able to take over any area that needs help, even waiting on or busing tables. That’s why they are in charge. They can put on an apron and turn into chef at a moment’s notice or a server or hostess. Whatever shoe needs to be filled, they should be ready to fill them if needed at any time.

They also take care of businesses that have to do with the restaurant as a whole as well, such as knowing how to contact and work with the electric company or plumbing company at the drop of a hat. They have to be ready to take the helm and show companies that the restaurant deals with the way things run. From deliveries to customer compliments or complaints, they need to be ready to take action.

So as you can see there’s more to being restaurant manager than meets the eye. A good and proper manager has to be able to wear many different hats in order to keep the establishment running smoothly and on task.

The majority of restaurant managers have spent plenty of time in other positions within the restaurant from busing, to host and server, to cook, to even dishwasher. Restaurants want a manager running their place that knows their way around in the event that something doesn’t run the way it is supposed to be running. They have to be able to fill all positions and still manage to keep up some type of contact with their customers as well even if it’s just to stop by their table and simply ask them how everything is, and if there’s anything that they might need as well.

A good manager is hard to find, at least one that can take care of many positions and situations that may arise in their restaurant during the course of any given day. Keep this in mind when you think all that the managers do is greet people. It goes way beyond on so many levels.

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Why Your Restaurant Might Need a Rangefinder

SUCCESSFUL RESTAURANTA Rangefinder is a laser guided device most often used when out and about in nature, hiking, or often in golf to determine the distance from the ball to the hole. They come in a range of sizes, weight, shapes and price, so you would have to do your research to find the best golf rangefinder,  but most importantly, they fire off an eye-safe laser which you can use to your advantage in the restaurant.

It’s very easy to lose track of how many customers you get in a day. So many people coming in and out, it’s a nightmare. There’s no way you can count all those people and it’s not effective to hire someone to do it or to go through the cameras at the end of every day. If you’re the kind of manager who wants to know exactly what your footfall and retention rate is like, then a rangefinder can help you figure out the details.

Because it uses laser, you can easily set up a rangefinder to fire off a beam of light all day, say at the entrance to your establishment. You could set up a system whereby every time the beam is broken a signal is sent and a laptop takes note. At the end of the day you can simply check the stats and see that the light was broken, say, a thousand times, which means five hundred people came in and out during the day.

This kind of information is vital to any business. If you’re getting five hundred people in, but only selling three hundred meals, then you’ve lost out on customers. With this kind of information you can better judge what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. You could also get the laptop to track exactly when the beam was broken, which will tell you exactly when your peak hours are and when you get little to no custom at all. You can use this information to set up challenges to your staff to increase the business during the lulls.

Because you can get some rangefinders for as little as fifty or a hundred dollars, this is a cheap method of tracking your footfall. All it takes is a bit of creative juggling, a laptop, and a spare minute at the end of the day to see what went on in your restaurant.

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Hospitality can make or break a restaurant. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire.

'...and don't ever unlock the left door!...'In the restaurant world, know, that even when they are most definitely wrong, the customer is always right. Not only that, but you’ve got to show them and treat them with top of the line hospitality that is on point and make them feel like the most special people around because they are. They are your customers, and you want them coming back and spreading the word that “Such and Such restaurant is the best place for a nice dinner this side of town.” Word spreads like wildfire and that’s the kind of word you want spread about you and your establishment. So treat them like family. Wait, maybe that’s not the best thing. Treat them like your oldest and closest friend that you haven’t seen in forever and show them that they sure know where to go when they think of your place.

Stop by their tables while they are eating and inquire how their meal is, if there’s anything you can get them and if they are enjoying themselves. Sometimes they’ll talk a moment or give you a business card or the new “friend” card with their name and a website that says their hobbies or maybe even where they work or go to school. For instance their name and site maybe, like MyDentalHygenistSchools.com. Now you give them a card too and yours even offers a drink discount or 2 for 1 special appetizer and you leave feeling good that your customers are feeling good. Guess what? That’s good!

They’ll be out with friends and family and go through their wallet for one thing or another, well, if it’s their wallet it’s probably cash. Then they see your card and the next thing you know they are talking about you and the experience they had at your restaurant and that you even get a special for the next time you return, so why not go with your group right now and you can see how good of a place it is.

They return, experience the same great food and hospitality and the next thing you know, you’ve started a network. They tell their family and friends, and they tell theirs and so on and pretty soon your restaurant name is being spread throughout town as smooth as creamy peanut butter on a piece of bread. All because you took the time to show a little bit of old fashioned hospitality. Make sure you are sincere too, restaurant goers, especially people who eat out frequently can see right through an act. You love your restaurant, you love what you do, so show that you do and don’t act. Let it come from within. True hospitality.

Now as quick as this example brought people to your establishment, poor hospitality can spread even faster and keep your restaurant empty, so you want to be on your best behavior and offer only the best food, service, and hospitality you can offer.

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