Restaurant Training and Incentives for Part-Timers


Maybe your experience has been that most restaurant training seems to be “Teflon-coated” — no matter how often you train, it just won’t stick with the trainees. Think of contests, incentives and rewards as habit-breaking devices that supplement and support training. Don’t think of or try to use contests, incentives or rewards as last-ditch tricks to juice up sales in the last two weeks of the month or the last quarter of the year. It didn’t break overnight, you can’t fix it in a minute.
Restaurant staff incentives often target sales per month, leaving the part-time employee out of the picture. Try a sales-per-hour approach to get everyone involved.
Start by determining each server’s sales average per hour for each shift you’re open for business, based on figures for the past three months (or an average of four or five random shifts). Divide gross sales by hours worked. Post these base figures so everyone knows where they stand.
At the end of each shift, tally everyone’s sales per hour. Then, at the end of each week during the contest, post the sales-per-hour averages. Compare figures to the original ones, noting any improvement or decline. At the end of the month, the server whose averages have improved the most on a percentage basis wins.
You’ll see the best results from your restaurant training and incentives programs when everyone on your staff is involved, even that one server who only picks up a shift or two each week. Remember, you don’t “hire” people, you “rent” behavior. Incentives and contests will do little to improve attitude, but they can work wonders to change or enhance behavior and therefore improve performance.

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