Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chapter 3 - Working with Restaurant Staff

Every owner’s philosophy differs when hiring restaurant staff.  Some only hire experienced professional restaurant staff while other owners hire high school and college students to represent their restaurant. Professional restaurant staff will observe restaurant entertainment and simply ignore it.  The restaurant entertainment is more of a nuisance to professional restaurant staff. Inexperienced staff have the mindset that you are there for them and may be distracting, interruptive or obnoxious.

Typically, restaurant staff is comprised of counter staff, kitchen staff and floor staff.  Each position has specific responsibilities. And when a restaurant entertainer enters a restaurant for the first time, he or she can disrupt the work flow.  Kitchen staff is now coming on the floor to watch or ask for a balloon. Counter staff are no longer answering phones and are more concerned about participating in the entertainment than performing their tasks.  Wait staff start to neglect customers and want to be part of the show at each table.  The restaurant entertainer must take charge and lay down ground rules with staff. After all, the owner brought you in to help business, not disrupt it.

Let the Kitchen staff know health code does not allow balloons in the prep area. Let the wait staff know you are going to be here every week and there will be plenty of time to ask questions - after the rush.  Make it clear, for now our goal is to make money and turn over tables.  Tell the counter girls that, you are here for the customer first – and maybe you can make something for them later.  Do not let the restaurant staff act like you are an employee, because you’re not! You are outside contractor hired by the owner to help increase and improve his or her business.  Your first obligation is the owner and their customers. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trail Night Proposal Dialog

When presenting a proposal to a restaurant, I work very carefully on wording my presentation with restaurant dialog.  Look and listen to the staff’s lingo when at a restaurant:  “No substitutions”, “customers”, “private parties”, “discounts”, “coupons”, and “vendors” are just some of the words that are used in the restaurant industry.  When working on the proposal, make sure you use these words in your description of your services.  This will make it easier for the restaurant management to understand your proposal.  The purpose of this presentation or brochure is to “obtain a restaurant to entertain at.”

Learning the lingo of the restaurant industry is not difficult.  When at a restaurant, read the small print on the menu. When in the coatroom, read the liability signs or look at restaurant discount coupons.  All these documents have words that are common to the industry.  When going out with the family, make a game out of who can find the newest restaurant word.  Customizing your dialog for a specific industry will give you an edge over your competition and improve your restaurant sales skills.