Turn Slackers into High Performers


We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule: Your superstars generate the most sales and profits. Even if it’s not so dramatic in the restaurant industry, aside from your “A” players, the key to your success is your “B” players. This group typically makes up about 50 percent of your crew. To run your restaurant successfully, you need to have the B players improve their performance. They can do the job, but don’t always seem to perform at a high enough level. Your waitstaff training strategy will make the difference.

Each day when they arrive, they ask: “Who’s closing tonight?” If a manager who expects little is on duty, this group gives little. Make sure every manager has high standards, demands plenty from each and every staff member and makes it a point to reward and recognize their “B” employees when they perform at the higher level. Have waitstaff training goals for each shift, and use pre-shift meetings to get everyone motivated. Ultimately, it’s the guests who benefit.

Using effective incentives will ensure that both your A and B players live up to your expectations and you’ll have 75 percent to 80 percent of your employees doing exactly what you want—delivering outstanding service. The others? Maybe they should go work for your competition.

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