5 Sales Mistakes Pros Make (How Are Your Servers Doing?)


If you want your servers to act as salespeople, you need to treat them – and train them – as salespeople. Here are five typical mistakes that salespeople in all industries make. How do your salespeople add up?

Sales Mistake # 1: Allowing a prospect to lead the sales process. Do your servers lead the sales process or do they take orders? By asking about preferences, special events, etc., they’ll create opportunities for sales. Restaurant sales increase when servers make suggestions that will enhance to overall guest experience.

Sales Mistake # 2: Not doing the research. How many times does a server need to “check” on ingredients, promotions, specials or items that are no longer on the menu? One visit to the back signals to guests that they are not dealing with a professional. Teach your servers the four Ps of product knowledge, and quiz them regularly.

Sales Mistake # 3: Talking too much. Sure, we’re supposed to entertain our guests, but do we ramble on about specials or do we ask what guests want to know and then tell them? Small talk is an art — make sure your servers know how to break the ice without going over the deep end.

Sales Mistake # 4: Not being prepared. Pre-shift meetings focus employees and pass along critical information (specials, etc.). Then, it’s up to your salesperson to take the initiative and be ready (have the wine opener in the jacket, anticipate that extra napkins will be needed, bring out the silverware before the salad, etc.).

Sales Mistake # 5: Neglecting to ask for the sale. If you want additional appetizer, drink or dessert sales, you have to ask for them, but many present items without ever uttering these five critical words, “Can I bring you one?”

Are Your Servers Order-Takers or Salespeople?

When your servers sell more, they make more — and so do you! It’s a simple concept, but more complicated to put into practice. The biggest obstacles you have is getting your servers to think of themselves as salespeople. Teaching servers to sell is critical. When they learn to increase check averages in combination with exceptional service, they earn more tips.

The Teaching Servers to Sell Training Workshop


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