The Restaurant Business is Like Show Business


The restaurant and bar business is like show business. Your servers are the stars of the show. Back-of-house and support staff members are your crew. And you? You’re the head honcho – producer, director, financier, coach. Your cast takes their cues from you.

How to Wow Your Audience

Your guests are the members of your audience. Wow them, and they’ll be loyal fans for life. Disappoint them, and they’ll walk away and tell all their friends not to bother with you. The right restaurant staff training will help you and your staff prepare for a thumbs up performance.

#1: Practice your lines. Award-winning actors rehearse, and your servers should do the same. Focus your pre-shift training sessions on product knowledge and sales dialogue. Test your staff’s knowledge by throwing pop quizzes before each shift.

#2: Perfect your timing. Just like in show business, timing is everything. Having great timing not only improves the service your staff provides, it also increases sales and tips. Your restaurant staff training should focus on teaching servers to spot sales opportunities at the right times, like recommending appetizers, suggesting add-ons, selling a second bottle of wine, and describing irresistible desserts.

#3: Use your props. Stars of the show never go on stage without their props. Sales props, that is. Sales props are tools servers and bartenders can use to reinforce their menu suggestions. Train your wait staff to use table tents, promotional posters, menus, reader boards, and all your appetizer, dessert, beer, and wine lists. Guests are more likely to buy when they have something to look at as an item is being described to them.

Ready for Your Encore?

The three steps to a successful performance depend on consistent leadership and effective restaurant staff training. Use games, role-plays, and incentives to help your staff master product knowledge, perfect their timing, and use their props. Reward staff members who excel, and coach those who need support. Now get out there and break a leg!

Online Restaurant Staff Training

In a restaurant, service and sales go hand in hand. Without sales, service can’t exist. And without service, you can’t sell anything. The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.

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