Three Elements of Generating Restaurant Sales


The restaurant business is show business. Maybe not Hollywood style show business, exactly, but more like a great improv show where every performance is new and unpredictable. You are the director, and your staff is the cast and crew. Your servers are the stars of the show. To be successful, they need to be fully prepared, know their lines, perfect their timing, and play to the audience – your guests!

Your Cycle of Service acts as a script for the show, breaking down a guest’s visit into individual pieces. During servers’ portion of the guest experience, they can exceed expectations by going above and beyond simply taking orders and delivering good service. Your servers, supported by you and the rest of the team, are your salespeople. Just like in show business, their performance determines your profitability.

Restaurant Sales Performance Steps

First is preparation. Make a daily commitment to restaurant sales training. Servers can’t sell what they don’t know, so use a part of every pre-shift team meeting to cover product knowledge. Servers should know the details of every item on the menu, as well as extras and add-ons that complement other selections.

Next, is practice. In your training sessions, give servers opportunities to practice product knowledge and role-play sales dialogue. Use role-playing and games to help servers refine their craft and learn from each other.

Finally, servers will shine as salespeople when they master the skill of precision timing. To make the most out of sales opportunities, servers should greet guests quickly and make suggestions during specific parts of the visit. The key to sales success is for wait staff to consistently suggest drinks, add-ons, appetizers, and desserts at the right times to every table.

Restaurant Sales Training Puts You in the Spotlight

With preparation, practice, and precision timing, servers can exceed guests’ expectations during their part in the Cycle of Service.  And similar to a show, reviews can make or break you. Guests evaluate your performance on every visit, and their reviews come in the form of what they post online, tell others about you, and whether or not they come back.

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