More Employee Contests To Enhance Restaurant Service And Increase Profits

by Jennifer L. on March 21, 2012

Teamwork, as we repeatedly say, is critical in operating and managing a restaurant business. And to achieve teamwork, restaurant managers should be able to build a sound work culture within its premises—a culture which has faith in the word collaboration and gets to develop a group of workers who believe and understand that planning, thinking, actions and decisions are done better when tackled cooperatively.

We’ve actually said this before, but now we’ll say it again: employee contests, when properly executed, not only liven up your workers’ enthusiasm and makes your restaurant a fun place to work, but also brings out the spirit of solidarity among your staff as they help each other reach a common goal.

With that said, here are more employee contests that you can use to enhance your restaurant’s service and increase its sales:

Shooting Quarters

Darryl Steadman from Brinker International, the parent company of Chili’s and Magiano’s Little Italy, shared this: fill up a five-quart clear glass container with water, then place $20 worth of quarters. With all the quarters now at the bottom of the jar, place a shot glass in its middle. Select a particular item in your menu that you want your servers to focus on selling during their shift—it could be a dessert, beverage, appetizer or whatever it is that you want to boost. Whenever a server makes a sale of any of your featured menu items in elegant restaurant menu covers, he gets a chance to throw his own quarter into the shot glass. If he succeeds in doing so, he gets all the quarters that has been accumulated at the bottom.

Station Sales Competition

Servers often claim that certain sections or stations in the restaurant are always better than the others. You can check this out and challenge this idea by having fun at the same time—hold a monthly sales competition for all stations in your establishment. Evaluate the records from the past six months and get the average sales in each of the stations. Set a goal for each station—10 percent on top of the average sales sounds fair enough, and encourage everyone to qualify for a monthly prize. The server who gets the highest percentage (on top of the established minimum) for a particular station wins. You produce multiple winners, and at the same time make a fair, reasonable contest for those servers who think that they are always given the bad stations.

Teamwork Bingo

Infusing new ideas to your staff can sometimes be very challenging, and it’s up to you to make sure that these new ideas are retained in their memory banks. Sheila Elliott from Chili’s makes use of Teamwork Bingo to inculcate new ideas to servers, chefs, kitchen helpers and everyone else in the restaurant. Make Bingo cards that contain boxes which details any of the ideas that you want to impart – it could be different tasks that is associated with your current campaign for an efficient, clean, team-oriented and safe kitchen (such as “handwashing,” “line sweeps,” “assisting the next station,” etc.), a new set of beverages, or a promotional group of new appetizers that you are currently featuring in your menus in long-lasting restaurant menu covers. This could be done on a shift basis, and you can give free meals, gift certificates or any store merchandize as prizes.

Have you seen the other employee contests that successful restaurants use to build restaurant camaraderie? Read the first part of this article, Employee Contests To Improve Restaurant Sales and Service.

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