The free drink is an apocryphal tenet of bartending. The comped shot, or buy back, should never be given away willy nilly by a bartender. It also shouldn’t be expected by a customer. But, if used properly, that privileged dram can be a powerful tool for rewarding loyal patronage. The danger of the free drink is if this privilege gets abused. Restaurant operators can’t have their employees giving away the bar, and bartenders shouldn’t rely on comped drinks in lieu of good service. But, if exhibited with finesse, a drink on-the-house can be a tradition both time honored and beneficial to all parties. And a party it is. But, as a restaurant operator, how should you go about enforcing a policy that keeps bartenders honest while also giving them the ability to show love for a well-liked patron?
Food waste is a big problem for restaurants. It means higher costs. It’s also a larger community problem as it compounds front page issues like sustainability and hunger. Cutting back food waste should be high priority for all restaurants. For one, it reduces operating costs while helping kitchens run more efficiently through improved oversight. Wiping out food waste also creates an opportunity to become an active and positive member of your local community. By becoming a leader in combating local issues, restaurant’s can gain followers from the glow of positive PR. It’s a win/win for restaurants and the community. Here are a few ways to avoid food waste. Read more
If you run a restaurant, you’ve tried your hand at in-house marketing. Maybe you’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of stuffing daily specials into table tents, only to see your customers push them off to the side like a dirty plate. Or you’ve looked into the glazed-over eyes of a customer who is clearly not listening as you list off the night’s specials. If not, then you’ve definitely shuttered in horror at the blatant typo on the event flyer you just printed and planned to tuck into guest’s checkbooks.
Many of these methods are used all over the restaurant industry, from mom-and-pop diners to white table cloth bistros. But these efforts are often overlooked by guests because they’re scattered advertisements that don’t come to guests at the right time.
But if you’re restaurant is using digital menus, you can better integrate marketing to guest’s into the dining experience. And you’ll never have to worry about replacing table tents again.
Here are some tips for using digital menus for marketing.
Customer experience can make or break a restaurant. That’s always been the case. But in todays world of social media, word travels at hyper-speed. You don’t want your restaurant’s reputation to be shredded by an angst-fueled Yelper with a bone to pick over bad service. There are a few easy steps to follow when it comes to customer service. These are guidelines to great service. You should implore your service staff to remember these tips. Trust me, your guests will care more about these things than they do the Saturday night fish special. Read more
Restaurants and bars are in a great position to capitalize on marketing. Restaurants deal in the business of pleasure and indulgence, and those two things are easy sells. Whether you’re celebrating a success or a nursing a failure, there’s always an excuse to dine out. But, the restaurant industry is a highly competitive market, and increasing brand awareness and your marketing force is a great tool to stand out from the competition.
In general, there are two ways for restaurants focus on marketing: inbound and in-house. Read more
What makes a good wine-by-the-glass list?
Thankfully, quality wine-by-the-glass lists are becoming easier to find while dining out. It’s the age of adventurous diners and drinkers, so customers are willing to try something new. And a glass pour of wine is a great way for customers to try something they’ve never had before.
But what actually makes a good glass pour list? Read more
The restaurant industry is an insane environment to work in. In a full service restaurant, you have multiple “departments” that are crucially interdependent on one another. Restaurants function as a service assembly line; on that partially occurs in full view of guests. Communication is paramount in this situation. But often, workers are rushed, or don’t share the same first language. This complicated relay is a task restaurants perform hundreds of times on a busy Friday night. There are spaghetti-thin margins-of-error for a restaurant operating during service.
It takes a great staff to perform at a high level night in and night out. Great staff will keep the stress and chaos tucked behind smiles, out of guests’ view. But in an industry that has one of the highest rates of staff turnover, how do you keep a stellar restaurant staff motivated and clocked in? Read more
The google calendar page has flipped, and we’ve stumbled, sunburnt and sandy, into the start of fall. It’s time to pick the Mojito mint from your muddler sticks, and dump out the last drops of your sangria. Now, you can start stirring in your favorite fall cocktail flavors. If you want to make your at-home bar more exciting and versatile, then here are some tips on how to use new liqueurs and ingredients that will turn classic cocktails into impressive feats of cocktail wizardry.
Owning and running a restaurant is hard and generally under-appreciated, especially if you’re not Wolfgang Puck or Gordon Ramsey. Last month, Amanda Cohen, the owner of Dirt Candy in NYC, wrote an article in Eater called Harsh Truths: Failure Is Always on the Table When Opening a Restaurant. I think this post is a must read for restaurant owners and operators. She provides an honest assessment of her struggles with running her restaurant. As an acclaimed chef and industry veteran, everything was seemingly going well from the outside, but the financial success was not following.
We talk to dozens of restaurants every day and they often tell us one of their top challenges is training their wait staff. And training staff on the wine list and beverage program can be extra difficult because there can be a lot of items, many details to know and it changes all the time. There’s a few core things you want your wait staff to know about your beverage program: Read more