It’s no secret that the restaurant industry is tough. It’s hard to get started and even harder to stick around long enough to accumulate a profit. According to a study done by Ohio State University, 60 percent of restaurants change ownership or close in the first year of business, and 80 percent fail within the first five years. But why is this the case? It’s true that failure is a common part of life in the restaurant industry, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a quick breakdown of four of the biggest dining faux-pas and how to avoid them.
Every journey begins with a single step. And a server’s career begins with several missteps. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant, or anywhere for that matter, has made mistakes traveling along their job’s learning curve. Most aren’t a big deal and can be laughed away, or used as fodder for hazing newbies and rookies on staff. Some mistakes an be charged to inexperience, but there are a handful of bad habits that even veteran servers fall into. It’s up to management to identify and coach these bad habits out of servers through proper training. Here are 5 mistakes that all severs make, and tips to correct them. Read more
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
It can be intimidating to start your wine education. As you dig down into the soil bed of wine you can find yourself pushed up against thousands of years of nuance and history associated with the fabled elixir. There are important geographies, a unique lexicon, long histories that span across countries, famous vintages, and much pride that comes along with wine production. I
If you work at a restaurant or bar, or are just a curious consumer, there is a lot you feel like you’re missing when you’re dealing with wine. For me, one of those head-scratching moments comes from understanding the differences and similarities between French and American wines. In this post, I aim to help you out with some of those distinctions. Read more
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
Your customers know that wines can be scary, but do you know how to soothe their wine woes? At Uncorkd, we know how stressful it can be to order an unknown bottle of wine in a restaurant. In fact, that’s why Uncorkd was started—because purchasing a bottle of wine at a restaurant used to be a somewhat daunting scenario. Truthfully though, with the right pitch and the right questions, you can inspire your customers to order those higher priced items off your wine menu. Here are the three questions your servers must always ask every customer as they peruse your wine list.
Training your wait staff on your beverage menu can be difficult. With frequent turnover among servers, new wines, beers, spirits and cocktails to learn and so much else to do, we hear frequently that staff training if one of biggest challenges for restaurant owners and managers. Most of your staff already has smartphones and tablets, or at the very least, access to the internet. So why not have your servers brush up on their knowledge away from the restaurant using their own devices?
Uncorkd digital menus make it easier to train wait staff on wine and other beverages. Servers can use their own iPads or borrow them from the restaurant to study up on all your drinks, reading tasting notes, understanding producer information and learning food and wine pairings. Many of our customers allow staff to take an iPad home for the night to study up on the menu, which can be very helpful when new beverages are added.
Beyond the iPads, Uncorkd provides a web-based version of the menu, complete with pictures and tasting notes. Staff can access the beverage menu online from their computers or smartphones, to read up on things as well. With access to the internet everywhere, there’s no excuse for servers to not be up to date on your latest menu changes.
If you’re focused on ensuring your staff is knowledgeable and well-trained, and all successful restaurants are, then Uncorkd can better educate your staff (and your customers) on your beverage selections. Cheers!
Is your restaurant doing well right now? Are you happy with its growth and profits? Even for those of you who said “Yes,” this industry is so dependent on public perception and the local economy that just one financial set back can push your restaurant from “trendy” to “end-y.” However, if you use the techniques that the most profitable restaurants are using, you’ll find a firmer footing to stand on when unexpected problems arise.
I know I’ve spoken before about upselling in your restaurant, but I can’t stress enough that if you want your restaurant to succeed, you need to teach your servers to be salespeople. Read more