Training to Make Your Restaurant a Vacation Station


Regardless of whether or not you’re in a hot spot for tourism, summertime always brings in vacationing people from out of town, out of state, or out of the country. These people have to eat, why not make it at your place? Train servers to ask about vacations at the table and market to summertime travelers. Here are some ideas to get you started:

My hometown. To find out which of your customers are just visiting your area, put up a map of the United States, or the world, in your lobby. Have guests put up a small push-pin flag on their hometown. If your staff is made up of people from varied locations, have employees put their hometown on their name tag. Not only will this help out-of-towners feel at home, it also serves as a great conversation starter. Focus a server training session on role-playing this friendly table talk.

Friend of a friend. Encourage your regulars to bring in family and friends who are visiting from out of town. Offer patrons with out-of-state driver’s licenses a signature item from your restaurant, like a hat or T-shirt for free or at a discount.

Are we there yet? If you’ve ever been in a car full of kids for more than a few hours, you know how valuable a short break can be. Make sure your outdoor signage and local website listings highlight your kid-friendly atmosphere.

Make it special. People on vacation want to experience something new, and they probably want to do it with a drink or two. Use this opportunity to suggest summer specialty drinks. Give popular recipes unique names specific to your location, and make sure your servers know how to describe them with flair.

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