bar tips and advice


Teach Your Servers to Increase Sales


By investing the time to properly teach you servers how to sell better, you can significantly increase your profits. Waiters and waitresses should be more than just people who take orders and bring the food to the table. They are the restaurant’s sales agents. Training your servers to become sales agents can add to your bottom line and is more important than ever in this sluggish economy when fewer people are dining out. In order to turn your servers in a strong sales force, they will need the proper training.

First of all, servers should be using the menu as a sales brochure. They should not only know everything that is on the menu, they should also know the ingredients of each one. This is all the more important if one of your diners has an allergy which they mentioned and your server suggested a dish that causes a severe allergic reaction. Servers should also know the features and benefits of each dish so they can promote them with confidence.

Suggestive selling is very important when it comes to increasing profits. This is also known in the industry as “padding the bill”. Traditionally this used to refer to servers suggesting an appetizer, dessert or an alcoholic drink. This can also include suggesting a combination appetizers and an entrée to give the diner more of a selection. Servers should also suggest adding meat, poultry or seafood to a salad. Also have serves suggest sides to entrees such as mushrooms or cheese on steak or charging extra for including a small soup, salad, fries or other extra.

The profit margins on alcoholic drinks such as cocktails, wine and beer are big and these drinks can add a lot of dollars and cents to the bill. Servers should be suggesting drinks that quench thirst on hot summer days such as daiquiris, pina coladas or wine coolers on hot days. On cold days, suggest drinks that will warm up chilly customers such as brandy, whiskey, Irish coffee or hot buttered rum. Your servers should also be suggesting a wine to complement the meal, and they should have the proper training to know which wine to suggest. For example, bold red wine such as cabernet should be paired with red meat, cured meats and hard cheese. Rich white wine such as a Chardonnay should be paired with soft cheeses, seafood, starches and white meat. Beer is always popular and you can increase sales by suggesting the table share a pitcher or a carafe of wine. When ordering dessert suggest a night cap, but be sure your staff can tell the signs of intoxication and overselling alcohol. If they see guests are intoxicated,  try to prevent customers from driving home drunk because as the owner of the restaurant, you  could be liable if there is an accident. Suggest a taxi if your guests are intoxicated.

Keep an open eye and an open ear for special customers celebrating special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations or other special occasions. Also they should be looking out for special phrases such as “I’m starving” or “what do you suggest”. For someone who indicates they are very hungry, servers should suggest the chef’s platter and a more expensive menu item such a prime rib for a diner that is looking for suggestions. If you have a dessert cart, have serves bring it by because most people eat with their eyes.

Selling may not come natural for all of your servers, so provide training sessions. The more enthusiastic the servers are about the menu items they are selling the more customers will buy. A smile also goes along way and friendly servers will increase profits, as will prompt service. A larger bill means a larger tip, so encourage your servers to sell as this will increase their income as well.




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Restaurant Redecorating with Personalized Style

restaurant interior designCheap methods for restaurant redecorating can create excitement for owners and patrons. Designing an overall decorating theme that can be enhanced with accents.

Just as with your home, restaurant redecorating can be tastefully accomplished without breaking the bank. It may increase business as customers return more often to see the latest changes. Develop your personalized style and theme, and then create an overall plan. Some restaurant owners may prefer to implement their scheme gradually, while others prefer a one-time transformation. Seasonal accents are always popular and can be designed using inexpensive accents from nature. Regardless of how it is accomplished, restaurant redecorating cheaply will allow you to create new scenery that customers will appreciate.

Understanding where to scrimp and where to spend the majority of your budget will help create an overall plan for restaurant redecorating. The most important aspect of a restaurant is ensuring that customers are comfortably seated in sturdy durable restaurant chairs with ample space at their tables. This is important visually, for the comfort of patrons and from a liability aspect. This should be where the largest quantity of your decorating fund is spent. Determining the theme and the décor that you want to project with the restaurant, whether French provincial, Southwest, family dining, or any other, will dictate the style of furnishings purchased. Chairs are available in a variety of styles to match any décor and table. The tables themselves can be large or small, round or square, tall or low. Glass covered, wood, tile, wrought iron or covered with wood grain are all popular alternatives that will complement the theme. Benches and dining booths may be used to replace tables and chairs, particularly in small areas where they provide a more efficient use of space. (more…)

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Go Eco-Friendly to Save Money and Gain Customers

 There are many business owners today who are taking the principles of going green at home and applying them in the form of restaurant advice in order to become eco-friendly, save money, and gain more customers in the process. The following tips should spark some ideas on what you can do to create a greener dining establishment.

Start reducing energy costs by saving water in the kitchen – Installing boiler-less steamers, energy-efficient dishwashers, and pre-rinse spray valves in the kitchen will save water and lower monthly energy costs.

Go green when redecorating – One piece of restaurant advice that is overlooked is that finishes and paints with low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions should be used when redecorating.

Install energy-efficient lighting – If incandescent light bulbs are being used, start switching them over to energy-efficient lights and compact fluorescent bulbs. For accent lighting, use energy-efficient LED fixtures whenever possible. According to the EPA, energy costs can be reduced up to 20% by doing this, which in turn could mean an additional 33% in profitability.

Go greener in bathrooms – Convert sinks, toilets, and urinals to high-efficiency models. Be sure that the fixtures that are purchased and installed exceed efficiency levels mandated by the federal government.

Use caution with cleaning products – Look for cleaning products containing a reduced amount of harmful chemicals. Paper towels and plastic products that are being used should be made from recycled materials. Be sure to replace those older, noisy hand dryers with newer models that operate at high velocity.

Install renewable flooring – One of the best pieces of restaurant advice to consider involves the types of flooring materials used. Bamboo is highly recommended because it exhibits the durability of most hardwoods while at the same time being renewable. It can be grown sustainably and can easily regenerate within a few years. Additionally, always look for flooring materials that are formaldehyde-free.

Increase recycling efforts – Rather than just throwing away those things that would normally get tossed in the garbage, consider recycling by:

o Bundle up recyclable metals along with paper and plastic containers
o Collect burned out fluorescent light bulbs and spent batteries
o Compost food products

Not only is this better for the environment, it will increase the restaurant’s revenue stream.

Replace counter tops – One of the more overlooked tidbits of restaurant advice involves the replacement of counter tops. Materials such as recycled glass and paper are oftentimes used to manufacture some very attractive and durable counter tops. When the time comes, consider replacing those old counter tops with ones made from recycled materials.

Practice greener grounds management – If the restaurant has a lawn area, work on reducing the size of it as well as the chemicals that are being used on it and the irrigation used to water it. Consider adding native plants and planting an organic kitchen garden.

The final bit of restaurant advice could generate additional customer traffic. On the back of the menus, print how the restaurant has taken the necessary steps to become eco-friendly and help to preserve the environment. This is sound advice for customers to take home and apply there as well.

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3 Tips for Maximizing Restaurant Business During Summer

With peaks and valleys in business throughout the year, restaurant owners must find a way to maximize earning power during their busiest months in order to cover tougher periods in which they lose money.

As a general rule in North America, restaurants are far busier in the summertime than in the wintertime. This is mainly due to winter weather conditions discouraging people from going out and partly due to the holiday season encouraging people to stay home with loved ones. While marketing and promotions to encourage people to frequent a restaurant during winter can have a small impact on changing this trend, the money put into such campaigns does not always justify itself. Some habits, such as staying home during the wintertime, are just too deeply culturally ingrained in us, and advertising’s effects on changing them tends to be limited.

Rather than trying to squeeze more out of the winter months, restaurant owners might be better served trying to take advantage of the busy summer months. So, here are a few tips on maximizing your business during summer:

1) People tend to venture out to eat far more in summer than in winter. Children are out of school, tourism increases and more daylight can mean longer business days for restaurants that cater to a daytime crowd. With that in mind, there are three groups to target with promotions during the summer months – families with children, tourists, and the twilight happy hour crowd. By coming up with your marketing campaigns with these groups in mind during the summer, you will find that your advertising is much more focused and effective. (more…)

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4 Tips to Bring the Millennial Generation Into Your Restaurant

The technologically-savvy and sophisticated younger generation poses a new marketing challenge for restaurant owners trying to keep up with the times.

Restaurant owners are faced with the constant challenge of adjusting their menu, design and marketing strategies to bring new demographic groups in as patrons and to stay ahead of ever-evolving trends. Recognizing and attempting to characterize new demographic groups is the first step in attracting them as customers.

The latest generation which is now coming into its own and establishing itself as a market force to be reckoned with as its buying power increases is the so-called Millennial Generation.

The youngest members of this generation are still in high school, while its more senior members have just entered their 30s.

While it is impossible to generalize and expect that such a large group of people will have common characteristics, there are some indicators that restaurant owners can use to target the Millennial Generation. The following are a few tips for restaurateurs on how to get Millennials into their establishments.

1) Feature more diverse ingredients from world cuisine

As a whole, Millennials are more educated about and aware of a greater diversity of foods than previous generations. With the advent of the Internet, the world has become a much smaller place for Millennials. They grew up with more exposure to different cultures and an increased desire to try a variety of world cuisines. To target Millennials, restaurateurs should consider incorporating into their menus different flavors and exotic spices. As a group used to constant stimulation, the same old fare just won’t cut it.

2) Offer healthy, organic and environmentally-friendly choices (more…)

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How Buying Locally Keeps your Restaurant Relevant in the 21st Century

Today’s generation appreciates restaurants that support the local economy; the secret is cost-effectively integrating local food products into your menu.


Restaurant owners seeking to attract new clientele and stay relevant as the next generation comes of age are integrating more and more food from local suppliers into their menus.

A common first reaction of restaurant owners to the prospect of local sourcing is that it will likely cost too much money. Naturally, a restaurant is a business and in order to survive its first consideration must be the bottom line.

However, in the new millennium, with a new, eco-conscious generation at the helm, the costs and benefits of buying locally have changed considerably. Getting 100 percent of food products from local outlets is probably not likely. Integrating in just the right amount of local produce, meat and seafood to make your business most profitable is what restaurateurs must explore. Those ignoring the rising trend of local sourcing altogether are likely to be left behind.

While adding local food products into the kitchens of fine-dining and casual local restaurants is a no-brainer, even quick serve restaurants which demand a mass volume of food are beginning to local source. The fact is, quick serve restaurants that can boast the use of local produce rightfully win the reputation of being fresher, healthier, more environmentally responsible and better for local communities. Local sourcing is basically a way for quick serve chains to address all of the issues that fast food restaurants have been knocked for over the years.

Customers today demand a certain ethical practice from restaurants that never entered the equation in the past. They feel much more comfortable giving their patronage to an establishment that supports local, sustainable farms. This produce is fresher with fewer preservatives and it fosters better relationships in the local community. (more…)

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