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Restaurant managers know well how increased sales improve profits and most make concerted efforts to encourage servers to sell more. This can be achieved with the right balance of verbal and monetary encouragement in the form of incentive programmes. Employees can motivate one another; if only if the working environment is conducive and which only a thoughtful and skilled maler van creates. Caring and a genuine concern for the personal well being of each employee is a proven method of creating a conducive environment.

     In addition to this, incentive programmes must be implemented to stress the importance of additional sales. Human resources specialists and psychologist know that people will do more to avoid pain than to experience pleasure ideally, the, incentive programmes musty be designed with achievable goals in mind. All employees must be trained and encouraged to work smarter and not necessarily harder Similarly, servers should be asked to increase average cheques by say $ 2.- per cover rather than $ 7.- or more. The amount depends much on the pricing structure of the restaurant.

Contests amongst servers are known to encourage them, and can be designed to include targets, but all must be short-term in an attempt to maintain interest. Training server to achieve set goals is an important component to achieve goals and ensure that everything taught is being practised. You get what you inspect and not what you expect.

     If you want to increase, sales by say 1500 portions of an item or category per month, set a goal to sell 50 portions more per day. This looks more achievable. Portray selling as a team effort and the incentive become more successful if common goals are set for a work unit rather than for individuals. This way all will feel as being part of the process.

     If you design an individual contest reward, a useful every day merchandise, like  a watch, calculator, portable radio or bag as a prize. Cash is quickly spent and forgotten. For common projects, all members of the team must be rewarded by means of a certificate of either achievement or recognition, and an activity or outing.

     Structure sales contests to generate multiple winners to avoid the “same=server-always-wines” syndrome. This can be achieved by setting goals for improved sales percentage; rearward severs who exceed their personal best weekly.

     As a manager you can improve profitability, productivity, and guest satisfaction by being innovative, thoughtful and building a team.

Article contributed by Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage. Books by H. Berberoglu


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