Posted by: Jay Bandy | June 8, 2019

Leveraging Relationships to Build a Better Bar Program


With an estimated $100 billion in annual sales, alcohol is a staple of the hospitality industry. Almost every restaurant with liquor on the menu has their share of creatively named house cocktails and luring drink specials, but is your restaurant making the most of its beverage program? Are you utilizing every perk your distributors and suppliers can bring to the table? More importantly, would you know if you were leaving bonus incentives on the table?

Every bar/beverage manager can tell you about their distributors purchase incentives. “Buy two bottles, get one free.” “Order a case of this liquor and get six bottles of their newest flavor added on.” These are the specials that your sales rep will inform you of as the incentives arise and work mutually to the restaurant and distributor’s advantages. Your bar gets free product to try out different flavors or drop the price on name brand spirits, the distributor keeps their inventory fluid and product shipping. Did you know many brands/distributors will offer special pricing if their spirit is featured in a specialty cocktail? Some brands will even reduce their price for allowing their logos to be printed on cocktail and food menus!

Already have set spirits and menus printed? Try an onsite promotion. Most brands have on-premise advertising budgets to alert the public of their brand or new products set for release. To capitalize on these options, restaurants typically need to meet directly with the brand supplier. You have no doubt met some of these reps as they tail a distributor from account to account sampling their newest product or attempting to convince you of their IPA’s superiority to one currently gathering dust in your beer cooler. These brand ambassadors are a bar manager’s gateway to endless promotions that rouse excitement from guests and reduce the ordering cost and inventory of brands.

Suppliers generally have a large amount of discretion when it comes to their marketing budget and tend to favor cultivating long-term relationships. Once you have their ear, most will help you develop innovative marketing events. These range from the traditional promotional models handing out merchandise and samples to more personalized events. Goliath Consulting Group has leveraged suppliers to sponsor weekly trivia events, donate beer barrels and tents for outdoor events; even month-long basketball tournament promotions including DJ’s and raffle promotions. Only looking to try out a new spirit instead of building a large promotional event around it? Some suppliers can even run their credit card for a case of product at your cost to allow you to promote it in the way you see fit.

What would a frozen drink machine add to your bottom line during the summer? How can a wine preservation system expand your ‘by the glass’ offerings? Distributors can work with you to procure beverage equipment at little or no cost to the restaurant. When negotiating these items, be aware that they are not free and require a commitment from the restaurant to the distribution company. This could range from allowing one company to monopolize your well-liquor program or a high percentage of your wine offerings. Often the distributor will mandate that certain brands are consistently used alongside the equipment. Make sure you calculate the cost of the equipment, projected additional revenue from the equipment, and the cost of the product you are agreeing to incorporate into your inventory before finalizing the deal. In our experience, these arrangements are both mutually beneficial and prosperous.

Are you ready to view your bar as more than a combination of liquor, beer, and wine? Is it time you elevate your beverage program into a marketing cornerstone of your restaurant? Emailing GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com is your first step to learning liquor industry perks and promotions to take your restaurant to the next level. Not only will our consultants work with your distributors and suppliers to arrange their perks, we will train your management team to continuously cultivate these relationships and capitalize on events in the future.

Want to stay on top of what’s new in the bar business? We go to: http://www.sevenfifty.com and http://www.punchdrink.com

Posted by: Jay Bandy | April 29, 2019

5 Ways to Prep Your Kitchen for Summer Weather


Repairs can be a huge (and unnecessary) weight on restaurant operators’ shoulders, distracting them from what matters most – providing their guests with a great experience. Whether you’re an owner, director of operations, or general manager, spending time on repairs and maintenance means you aren’t focused on your restaurant’s highest priorities, like increasing covers, training staff, and providing a memorable front-of-house experience.

The reality is that repairs need to be closely managed to avoid wasted money and unnecessary downtime in the kitchen. Most restaurant groups can’t justify the cost of having full-time technicians on staff to be the resident expert in each of the major repair categories:

• Hot-side equipment, like fryers, ovens, and grills
• Cold-side refrigeration equipment, like under-counter coolers and walk-ins
• Plumbing
• Electrical
• HVAC, including hood systems
• Fire suppression systems

That’s where a company like 86 Repairs comes in. Through their monthly subscription service, restaurant groups can delegate the end-to-end management of repairs and maintenance to a team of experts.

“Restaurant operators count on us to handle repairs so they can focus their time, money, and energy on elevating the guest experience,” says Daniel Estrada, CEO of 86 Repairs. “Our service includes 24/7 support, actionable data to improve back-of-house operations, and management of the entire service process from start to finish.“

To prepare your back-of-house for summer weather, including rising temperatures, power outages, and pest control issues, Goliath Consulting Group and the team at 86 Repairs recommended five preventative maintenance steps to avoid kitchen downtime and keep your equipment in tip-top shape.

Top 5 ways to prepare a commercial kitchen for summer:

1. Adjust thermostat programs up for warmer weather to avoid overloading A/C systems.
2. Verify all A/C units are running properly, and make sure filters are replaced and belts are tight (not loose or frayed).
3. Clean filters and defrost coolers, freezers, and walk-ins, which will work overtime in warmer weather.
4. Have your ice machines thoroughly cleaned.
5. Schedule exterminators to treat for pests that tend to show up when the weather warms up, like ants and flies.

Goliath Consulting Group  provides on-site assessments to keep your equipment working for you. Email Getresults@GoliathConsulting.com to schedule your walk-through today.

Posted by: Jay Bandy | April 19, 2019

Restaurants That Go Cashless: Pros and Cons


For many of us, it’s hard to remember the last time we paid for a meal using cash. We are slowly but surely moving towards a cashless society. This is evident in the way we make routine dining purchases. Research by TSYS reveals that 40% of Americans pay with credit cards, 35% with debit cards, and 11% with cash. Interestingly, of the Americans between the ages of 25-34, only 5% pay with cash. TSYS also found that 99% of consumers with a disposable income of $100,000 or more will use a credit or debit card for purchases. The support of cashless payment options such as Venmo, ApplePay, GooglePay, Bitcoin, and Square will only continue to increase the number of Americans who opt out of paying in cash. Those in favor of cashless restaurants believe that it will increase efficiency, safety, accuracy, and aid in data collection. Even so, there are always both pros and cons…Let’s take a look at both.

PROS

Efficiency

Restaurants continually seek operational methods that will increase efficiency. Going cashless can afford restaurants the opportunity to process transactions quickly, which keeps lines moving during busy hours and shortens ticket times. According to an article from eater.com, cashless payments can save an average of seven seconds in deposit transaction time. Seven seconds may seem trivial, but that time adds up and can prove quite beneficial during rushes. If employees are spending less time counting coins, digging for loose change dropped under the counter, or running to the office to grab change – it means they are spending more time with the customer, ensuring an overall better customer experience. Additionally, cash-based transactions can lead to tedious and mistake-prone bookkeeping. Going cashless allows for automated transactions and real-time financial updates.

Safety & Fewer Errors

Cashless transactions reduce errors such as miscounting change or misplacing bills. In addition, it eliminates the possibility of register skimming, theft from within. And, let’s face it, most outside thieves are not interested in holding up a restaurant for a soda or burger. The most coveted product of theft is cash. Removing cash from the register and safe immediately curtails this type of theft.

Customer Orientation

The digital era has afforded businesses the opportunity to collect a wide range of customer data which in turn provides worthwhile insight into consumer habits. Going cashless aids restaurateurs in compiling helpful consumer information. They are then able to better serve customers by incorporating appropriate apps, online purchase opportunities, and loyalty reward programs.

CONS

Inconvenience & Discrimination

Although most transactions are cashless, there are customers who opt to pay in cash. In fact, many consumers can only pay in cash. This can be an inconvenience. Surprisingly, a small percentage of restaurant customers are “unbanked”. This refers to those who for personal reasons choose not to use banks or to those who are unable to establish bank accounts. For this population, cashless operations can seem discriminatory or exclusive. Restaurant owners who choose the cashless route essentially isolate themselves from this customer segment. Subsequently, a Shake Shack in New York recently reversed their decision to go cashless due to a large number of customer complaints and foregone cash sales.

Increased Prices, Employee Morale, & POS Failure

Unfortunately, going cashless usually means raising prices to cover the credit and debit card fees incurred. Customers who are willing to pay in cash if it means paying less, often become frustrated. Cashless restaurants may also dampen employee morale, specifically waiters who no longer receive cash tips. Low employee morale often leads to high employee turnover and poor customer service. Finally, technology is not fail-proof. If the power goes out, systems crash and reset randomly, and things simply break. Restaurants that are completely cashless don’t always have backup. In this case, if there is any POS failure, all business ceases.

Whether you choose cash or plastic, everyone has got to eat! Cash versus cashless will most likely be an ongoing conversation. In an increasingly competitive market, it’s important to consider the community you are serving.

References:
https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/technology/cash-losing-clout-bitcoin-brain-whats-state-payment
https://www.eater.com/2018/2/15/16974980/cashless-restaurants-credit-card-only-legal-problem-discriminatory
https://www.tendergreens.com/blog/cashless
https://pos.toasttab.com/blog/cashless-restaurants
https://www.tsys.com/Assets/TSYS/downloads/rs_2016-us-consumer-payment-study.pdf

Posted by: Jay Bandy | March 2, 2019

Planning for the “Big Game”


What comes to mind when you hear there is an expected surge of over a million possible guests entering your city for a weekend event? Disbelief? Excitement? Anxiety? How about all three? Having weathered major city-wide events in the past (BCS bowl games, March Madness, even one weekend that merged two huge NCAA football teams, a NASCAR race, and a comic/anime convention) we learned to remain cautiously optimistic towards promises of large influxes of people into our city – you can’t always guess where they want to go when they are in town.

But this was Super Bowl LIII – one of the biggest events in the country each year. Not every city can have an event of this magnitude, but there are lessons to learn for other major events that your city is hosting from conventions to NCAA events…even parades and outdoor festivals.

Nothing is more important than organizing, planning and knowing when to be flexible. The decision to plan early and think outside norms paid off huge dividends for us, leading to impressive profit margins and well-maintained inventories amid many other restaurants running out of product and staffing.
Knowing that major sponsors initiated their partnership search at the beginning of the previous year, “haste” was the team buzzword. Acting quickly enabled us to pair up with two major brands synonymous with the Super Bowl. These partnerships brought a critical cash influx to the restaurant to support purchasing and planning expenses while capitalizing on joint marketing to promote our brand and increase customer awareness. With these agreements signed and secured, we compartmentalized the restaurant into: menus, beverage program, FF&E and staffing.

A quick assessment of the kitchen demonstrated the line would prove to small to handle the anticipated guests and the menu too broad to efficiently maintain the demand. Working with the chef and suppliers enabled us to streamline the menu and showcase more profitable options. This included a plan for outdoor sale of wings, hotdogs, and other stadium fare. This led to the kitchen running smoothly and maintaining the targeted quality and inventory of product.

We believed that a full bar with 75-plus types of spirits would force delayed drink times and lost revenue as customers abandon ordering more rounds. A simplified bar strategy called for a well and one top shelf option of each liquor reducing selection to less than 20 brands. Liquor distributors submitted case discounts on popular brands and assisted in securing additional bottle openers, shakers, strainers, and other essential bar tools. Using the POS, we eliminated the ability to start tabs, requiring our bar staff to use a pay as you go system. These combined strategies eliminated walk-out tabs, reduced service bar drink times, and minimized bar comps. Bartenders quickly adopted the new protocols and retained efficiency during the restaurant’s busiest moments.

With the plan and layout in place, attention turned to tackling labor. A list of all staffed stations and estimated schedules created an ideal quantity of each position. The team also established a minimum quantity of each position needed. To hire additional staffing, we marketed a job fair across multiple hospitality social media groups and targeted job boards. Candidates submitted detailed hourly availability surveys and we quickly posted a schedule with additional staffing to provide a buffer for unexpected circumstances. A mandatory staff meeting with both temporary and established team members covered expectations, walk-throughs, and allowed employees a forum for a “Q & A” session. Restaurant management took employee support roles to help all the new staff feel part of the team.

All the planning meetings, coordination, and, most importantly, team work helped us realize a seamless and successful Big Game weekend. Any hiccups during the weekend were easily tackled thanks to alert and ready team members and management created an environment of clear communication. We conquered the weekend and are ready for our next big challenge

Goliath Consulting Group is an Atlanta-based restaurant consulting firm that works with clients across the US.

Website: goliathconsulting.com  Email: getresults@goliathconsulting.com

Posted by: Jay Bandy | February 16, 2019

2019 Restaurant Trend Report


Each new year brings new trends. In the Food Service industry, 2019 is bringing in its own wave of fresh trends!

The desire for convenience and the popularity of fast-casual dining remains important to diners in this new year. Time is an asset that everyone values, making it a major factor in consumer dining. To protect this asset, diners choose restaurants that serve quality food in an efficient manner. In addition, several fast-casual restaurants are now using “luxury ingredients” in their simply fashioned foods in order to provide quality as well as convenience. According to researchers from Restaurant Business, natural food enhancements will continue to grow in popularity among restaurateurs in 2019. These ingredients typically include natural remedies that enhance nutrients and their absorption by the body helping with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These “natural remedies” are expected to improve the bottom line for those in the Food Service industry as well.

Use of local foods and flavors is also a Food Service trend that you can expect in 2019. Restaurants are continuing to embrace what many refer to as the “local food movement.” Consumers enjoy sitting down to menus that read “locally grown ingredients.” Local grown ingredients give diners confidence and peace of mind about their food. It also gives a sense of advocacy towards the local community. Some restaurants are going a step further with hyper-local foods. Restaurants that use hyper-local grown foods are growing specific ingredients such as produce in-house.

As social media platforms continue to flood the internet, restaurateurs are beginning to create innovative menus that adapt well to the funky images and elaborate styling seen on social media. Technologies inside and outside of the Food Service industry impact how restaurants operate and advertise. The same goes for the ever-changing preferences and behaviors of the customers. All of which affect how restaurants will operate not only in 2019, but every year following.

In addition to the typical Food Service trends this year, we will see some less obvious trends affect restaurant operations and the overall bottom line. For example, tariffs that the US and Canada face. These tariffs serve as an opportunity for some restaurant owners. Specifically, local restaurateurs could experience these tariffs as an advantage. As mentioned previously, the use of locally grown food and produce is on the rise. As larger chain restaurants suffer high import tariffs on produce and other products, they often begin raising prices to combat this incurred cost. Hometown restaurant owners who buy locally or produce in-house ingredients may well be able to maintain competitive prices.

A negative trend in the Food Service industry witnessed in 2018 is hitting harder in 2019–the record low unemployment rate. Unfortunately, for an industry with high employee turnover, the low unemployment rate can prove to be detrimental. Now that there are more jobs available in the restaurant industry, employees are often less inclined to remain loyally employed at a restaurant. As restaurants become desperate to keep employees, they may experience a rise in negotiations for higher wages from employees. Another continuing trend…competition for quality real estate and high insurance/real estate prices. These trends will continue to present concerns for growing chains in 2019.

Although trends in the food industry may vary from year to year, there is one thing that remains the same–the importance of customer preferences. No matter the year, consumer trends will continue to affect the Food Service industry, keeping it fresh and exciting!

Visit us at: goliathconsulting.com or Twitter @goliathgroup

References:
https://www.thebalancesmb.com/local-food-trends-for-restaurants-288860

https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/consumer-trends/trends-will-shape-restaurants-2019-technomics-take#page=3

https://restaurantsuccess.touchbistro.com/touchbistro-blog/how-import-tariffs-affect-food-costs-for-restaurants

https://www.singleplatform.com/blog/current-state-employment-effect-on-restaurant

https://www.buxtonco.com/pages/2019-retail-and-restaurant-real-estate-outlook-qsr

Posted by: Jay Bandy | January 6, 2019

Why Outsource Management of Your Restaurant?


Management companies provide restaurants with a franchise like operating system without having a franchise agreement. Management firms, like Goliath Restaurant Management, help restaurant owners reassess their food costs and supply chains, rein in bar costs and consolidate their liquor inventory to better suit their demographic, create marketing calendars and promotional materials to keep sales growing, and serve as a human resource department for recruiting, hiring, training and retaining staff. The right firm helps restaurants improve their financials, staff the restaurant with skilled workers, cultivate better vendor relationships, and maintain consistency in day to day operations.
After a detailed business assessment, the team creates a work plan for each department. Britt Cloud, Goliath’s Consulting Chef, directs back of house operations and works with the current chef/kitchen manager to restructure inventory, food costing, menu, labor, and health policies. With over twenty-five years of industry experience, Britt is skilled in problem-solving and uniquely tailoring back of house solutions to each kitchen. His vendor connections and negotiating clout will help reduce ordering costs while maintaining the highest quality product.
Front of House operations is a steady balance of guest needs, employee personalities, efficient strategies, and health and safety enforcement. With fifteen years of front of house management experience, our operation consultant, Colin Kopel, lives for training front of house management, empowering staff with pride of their restaurant, and developing beverage programs that work for each concept. Colin works hand-in-hand with management, teaching scheduling techniques to keep the restaurant staffed and employees satisfied. He works with liquor distributors to cut waste and capitalize on deals/specials that work for your concept without inflating your liquor cost with excess inventory.
Once the restaurant’s training, inventory, financials, and human resources are aligned, Clay Darden, Goliath’s Marketing Manager works within the community to drive sales and volume. Clay utilizes twenty-two years of experience to customize each restaurant’s marketing calendar, identify under-reached markets and demographics, and cement the restaurants reputation as a destination spot in the community. He will manage social media accounts to create a noticeable online presence and create trackable promotions to increase the marketing budget efficiency.
With our customized team approach and decades of industry experience, Goliath Consulting is ready to handle every concept from fast casual counter service to full service fine dining. To schedule your site assessment or receive more information email GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com.

Posted by: Jay Bandy | October 27, 2018

Safety and Security Tips for Your Restaurant


As the days grow shorter and the holidays approach, safety risks increase.

Maintaining restaurant security and safety is a constant concern for owners and managers. Restaurateurs must continually strive for the security and safety of not only the products, but most importantly the employees and customers. Issues concerning restaurant safety and security typically arise due to lack of management guidelines or proper training and adherence to guidelines that are in place. Owners and managers must collaborate to increase employee awareness of these guidelines ensuring the overall protection of a restaurant and those within its walls. It is equally important to create awareness of the main security risks facing restaurant operations.

Among those risks are the following: theft and burglaries, criminal damage, and employee theft. There are specific anti-theft/burglary guidelines that a restaurant can implement to lessen the chance of becoming a target for a thief. Of the most common restaurant thefts, cash theft occurs most often. Below is list of guidelines restaurants can take to reduce cash thefts:

• Always shut and lock the door behind you
• Never open office doors if there is a safe open
• Keep all exterior doors locked from the inside at all times
• Never count cash in front of guests
• Make cash deposits after busy high traffic shifts
• Refrain from leaving large sums of cash in restaurant overnight
• Contract with a cash management and security company like Brinks

Restaurants should also take the proper precautions to keep products secure. There are a variety of measures to take that will help ensure product security from both employees and outside individuals. Below are steps to consider:

• Limit the number of keys given out for storage rooms and offices
• Refrain from distributing keys to staff members (unless management or authorized personnel)
• Keep storage and office areas locked at all times
• Make sure back entrances are locked and alarmed when they are not in use

Above all, restaurant owners and management teams must consider the security of customers and staff. This entails protecting customers and staff from erratic, harmful behavior of individuals such as thieves, disgruntled guests, or unwelcome intruders. The best way to sustain a safe environment is by educating staff members on the proper guidelines and precautions.

• Be aware of surroundings before exiting your car or the building
• Maintain a well-lit parking lot and adjust timers for the time of year
• Use a buddy system for opening and closing the restaurant
• Have a two-person policy to maintain security and safety for back door use
• Make safety and security training a part of new staff orientation
• Require ID and verification of all people going behind the counter or into staff only areas of the restaurant

Operational safety is equally as important. Simple habits like regular inspections of equipment, reviewing the proper procedures for chemical use compliance with staff members, and ensuring the proper placards are in place to remind staff of basic safety protocols such as properly cleaning prep areas and safely lifting larger objects. Here are few operational suggestions that help maintain general restaurant safety:

• Keep equipment updated and replace faulty machinery immediately
• Do not use glass to scoop ice
• Place non-skid mats in high-traffic water prone areas
• Require employees to wear proper safety equipment (gloves, non-slick shoes, etc.)
• Use proper lifting techniques when handling inventory and equipment
• Never block exits or aisles/never leave exit doors propped open
• Install a CO2 monitor

If you wish to learn more about the steps your restaurant can take to ensure better safety and security for both your customers and employees, reach out to us at GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com.
References:
RMAGAZINE: https://rmagazine.com/articles/a-guide-to-keeping-your-restaurant-safe-and-secure.html

Posted by: Jay Bandy | September 28, 2018

The Present and Future of Recycling at Restaurants


Consumers seek out “Green Restaurants”

By: Guy Pittman

There is no questioning the positive impact recycling and waste reduction has on our environment. However, many are curious about the effect is has on their restaurant. Much debate has been circulating around whether the benefits of recycling and composting in restaurants outweighs the effort and expenses involved in the process. Nevertheless, in a growing environmentally conscience world, it is valuable to understand the benefits of both.

Believe it or not, the plastic straw debate is currently one of the trending topics in restaurant recycling. Although there is no concrete data on the exact number, multiple industry leaders suggest, Americans use up to 500 million plastic straws per day. The plastic straw debate has gained so much attention that places like Seattle and San Francisco are banning single-use plastic straws and other single use plastic products. Even Starbucks has started an initiative to completely eliminate the use of plastic straws by 2020. While Starbucks and a limited number of other restaurants are taking strides to reduce or eliminate the use of plastic straws, most restaurants have done nothing. For many, the concern with switching to an eco-friendlier straw is the price, durability, and overall impact on the quality of each drink. However, brands such as Melio Straws are proving that those fears may be just that, fears not fact. But do the costs outweigh the benefits?

What about reducing waste? It is nearly impossible for restaurants to avoid waste. However, there are steps that some are taking which reduce waste and improve restaurant operations. Tracking what areas of your restaurant produces the most waste is the first step managers should take. Lack of training in food preparation, dropping prepared dishes, inadequate cutting utensils, and poor inventory management are all contributors to restaurant waste. Taking initiatives like waste audits, allows restaurants to gain insights on waste generation and the most impactful steps that will begin reduction. Waste technologies have been developed which provide restaurants with the ability to track what recycling and waste management tactics are being followed and which ones need improvement. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. As landfills continue to grow and American waste management companies feel the heat from China’s Scrap Ban, restaurants will be expected to focus more attention on the first R, reduce. Reducing the amount of waste in restaurant dumpsters will increase operation efficiency and help avoid annoying fines from waste management companies. Composting is becoming more prevalent in restaurants. New research has shown that Americans are throwing away nearly as much food as they are eating and the EPA claims that 60-80% of trash that restaurants create is food waste. Checkout the Georgia Restaurant Association website for tips on composting.

Researchers have found that most Americans are serious about the importance of recycling. Data from the National Restaurant Association revealed that 60 percent of Americans prefer restaurants that recycle over those that do not. Research also revealed that 51 percent of consumers dining out would be willing to pay the extra costs to dine at restaurants that are eco-friendly. The proof is in the pudding and the customers have spoken. Recycling and waste management programs for restaurants can have expensive initial costs. Yet, the benefits of putting these programs in place can outweigh any initial expenses. Green initiatives provide multifaceted success results for your restaurant. At the very least you are improving the image and brand of your restaurant which will increase customer traffic. Consumers seek out “green restaurants” and will support them in their recycling efforts. Also, restaurants can cut costs in the long-run. Recycling programs will lead to cheaper trash expenses, reduced purchasing costs, and less fees from waste management companies.

To learn more about steps you can take to improve or implement a restaurant recycling program, contact us today at GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com. Visit our website at goliathconsulting.com for more information on our services.

Sources:
National Restaurant Association https://www.restaurant.org/Home
Starbucks https://news.starbucks.com/press-releases/starbucks-to-eliminate-plastic-straws-globally-by-2020
Wall Street Journal https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-recycling-companies-face-upheaval-from-china-scrap-ban-1533231057
Georgia Restaurant Assoication https://www.garestaurants.org/composting.html

Posted by: Jay Bandy | August 9, 2018

Service and Restaurant Success


By Colin Kopel, Operations Consultant, Goliath Consulting Group

When I was a teenager securing my first table waiting job, my future boss told me, “No experience, no problem.  Waiting table is so easy I could train my cat to do it.”  Mr. Feldstein was partially right.  We can train almost anyone to follow a simple outline on service.  “Just greet them within two minutes of the hostess seating them, get them some drinks, and take the order.”  That was the extent of service training we received at that deli and it highlighted what the owner prioritized.  Service was more important than hospitality.

Have you ever looked at your OpenTable, Google, or Yelp reviews and noticed a diner left a comment like this:

“Service started out promising, but soon dropped off.  Our server was attentive but seemed distracted.  It’s like he didn’t want to be working tonight.”

Your first impulse as a manager/restaurateur may be pull the employee aside and discuss what caused the table to go sour.  And sometimes it is one employee having a rough day.  It may also be time to update how your restaurant integrates hospitality into every aspect of a guest’s experience.

First, let’s define Service and Hospitality:
Service is what your employees provide to guests in a quantifiable form.  The physical steps they take from a moment a guest enters the building to when they leave to go home.  It includes the greet, the order, the food delivery, financial transaction, and farewell.  Every restaurant uses a training method for these steps in some form, be it a training manual, printout on the steps of service, or in-person employee training.

Hospitality is the atmosphere and environment that your employees provide for your guests.  It’s the smile and positive attitude that exudes from your staff.  It shows itself when employees walk guests to the restrooms instead of pointing, deliver fresh napkins when a guest drops theirs on the floor without being asked.  Hospitality is the general feeling that it is your staff’s pleasure to take care of all their guests’ needs…not their job.

Training hospitality is not about printouts and manuals, it’s about culture and leadership.  Restauranteurs and managers must prioritize it in their every action at the restaurant and it will trickle down through servers and bartenders, bussers and food runners, and even back of house staff.  Employees notice when management lays down their inventory clipboards to happily lead a guest to the restroom and they certainly pay attention when restaurant leadership interrupts a side conversation with them to open a door for a guest.  These are simple, yet effective, methods in showing your staff that hospitality is the primary focus of any restaurant.

For the month of August, Goliath Consulting Group’s blog will focus on three main ways you can train your staff to make hospitality the centerpiece of all they do.  We will hone in on the following topics:

  1. Hospitality from the top.  Ways Management can consistently cultivate and promote an atmosphere of hospitality first.
  2. Hiring for Hospitality.  What key attributes should you be looking for during the recruiting process to promote a guest-focused culture in your restaurant?
  3. Cultivating lasting guest relationships.  How can your restaurant use hospitality as a tool to create enduring, positive relationships with your guests for years to come?

If you would like to learn more about our innovative Hospitality and Service training programs, reach out to us at GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com.  We offer customized solutions to help build teamwork, efficiency, check averages, and more.  Get more information on Goliath Consulting Group on our website: goliathconsulting.com

 

Posted by: Jay Bandy | July 16, 2018

Restaurant Staff Recruiting in 2018


Finding restaurant workers today is one of the biggest challenges for restaurateurs

By Colin Kopel, Operations Consultant, Goliath Consulting Group

How long have you been staring at the door to your restaurant for the perfect server, line-cook, manager or, even dishwasher, to strut in, place a golden resume in your hand and inform you of all the restaurants in the city, he/she would like to be your employee?  How many times have you settled on a less than perfect candidate after sifting through resume and resume that was less than impressive?

Staffing is a different animal than it was a decade ago when there were fewer restaurants and a large pool of hospitality employees to draw from.  The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics pins the median age of Food and Beverage employees at between 29-34…also known as the Millennial Generation.  When the employment pool is composed of a younger demographic, recruiting techniques must align with that demographic’s media intake.  As Goliath Consulting’s recruiting manager, allow me to share a few tricks we’ve learned to target the right audience.

Facebook.  You may have read in some business weekly or internet article that the social media giant is losing its relevance, and that’s true, among younger audiences.  As it stands today, 88% of Americans aged 29-33 are active on the social network, checking for updates multiple times a day.  In the past year, Facebook increased its presence on the job hunt scene by pushing their “Jobs” page and sending users daily openings and recommendations.  Cities are organically developing their own Facebook communities for hospitality employees to connect with local openings.  Here in Atlanta, the “GK Restaurant Workers/Metro Atlanta” Facebook group is nearing 10,000 members and sees multiple employment posts each day.  These posts provide employers with free opportunities to reach out to the established hospitality community and receive a quick turnaround on resume submissions.

Online recruiting websites like Monster.com and Indeed popped up on employers’ radars over a decade ago.  Hardly a Super Bowl went by where the public wasn’t introduced to the hottest new headhunting site.  Eventually, employers and jobhunters were left scratching their heads wondering which site will net them the best applicants or the best positions.  There are recruiting solutions that focus on the restaurant industry. Founded in 2012, Harri is one of those solutions for restaurant staffing.  Harri integrates a social network feel with sleek restaurant profiles and phone apps to connect prospective employees to employers.  Employers utilize “swim lanes” to organize and schedule applicants and can even email them onboarding paperwork to streamline and condense the orientation process.

This year at Goliath Consulting, we have seen an uptick of clients seeking our recruiting services to outsource this time-consuming process.  The average job opening requires a minimum of 20 hours of dedicated labor to fill and hospitality managers are finding there is not enough time in their weeks to perform an effective talent search.  Through our website, Goliath Consulting Restaurant Jobs, we’ve created an online portal to connect our clients with top talent.  We utilize a series of metrics to rank potential candidates on standards ranging from qualifications to personality to potential career longevity.

Reach out to us at GetResults@GoliathConsulting.com to find out how Goliath can optimize your recruiting and help you find your next all-star employee.

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