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Hot ideas to make your restaurant soar!
Blue Plate Special?
A recent study revealed that the color "blue" works as an appetite supressant. This indicates that maybe it's a good idea to serve your "low cal" and "low carb" on blue dinnerware. If the study is right, the diner might be satisfied with a smaller portion if the blue color does its work.... just an interesting take to consider.
The Over-Portioning Woes!
A recent experience reminds me that the obvious isn't always the obvious. While dining with a friend at a local restaurant, my friend asked for more sour cream. The 18 year old restaurant employee returned with a 7 oz bouillon full of sour cream! As a restaurant owner, I sat in there disbelief! My friend wanted and used maybe an ounce.... the remainder being completely wasted and the cost came right from the restaurant's bottom line. The moral of this story is: An employee will fill a vessel to its capacity. It's up to you to determine the vessel used and to train employees accordingly. If you said, "All requests for additional condiments should be placed in a 1 1/2 ounce ramekin," then you've fought half the battle. The remainder of the battle is making sure the procedure is followed.
Here's an idea that worked extremely well at my restaurant! I created my own "restaurant money" on business card stock commonly available at any office supply store. Using Print software, I made free drink money... 20% off money, buy one/get one free money, dinner on me money, free appetizer... I even put my dog's picture on it. I printed the front and back. They fit neatly into a wallet and best of all... they disappear in the wash! The biggest bang for the buck is that they are different... and because of that, your restaurant will get free word of mouth publicity! Just sit back and think of the number of uses!"
Donations How many people ask for donations? Sure there are many good causes. We can't support them all but at times we feel obligated since a good patron is asking. Why not give them "dough" for "buy one get one free"
Prizes Best Halloween costume, weekly fish bowl business card drawing, complimentary drinks, you name it!
Employee Incentives Most specials sold, employee of the week... recognition... You can really have some fun with this!
What's that mean? - When you hear that chinaware is "vitrified" it actually refers to the degree of melt in a clay body. Literally, like glass, meaning the ceramic body is non-porous. The composition includes silica which transforms to glass when fired at high temperatures. It is stronger, thinner, and more translucent than ware fired at lower temperatures and for shorter periods of time. What does this mean to the restaurant? Other than it's natural strength, fully vitrified china does not absorb moisture. If ware is not vitrified, it will absorb moisture. The body will expand and contract at different rates than the moisture, thereby by causing internal stress leading to breakage. Bottom Line --- Insist on vitrified chinaware!
Understanding Customer Dynamics
The single biggest reason that someone stops frequenting a restaurant is not because they’ve had a bad experience, not because the prices are too high… but because they’ve had something interrupt their life pattern. It’s not because of you at all. They may have changed jobs, got a divorce, and went on vacation, started working out, the list is endless. Almost any interruption or change in their life pattern can affect their dining habits. While it’s hard to believe, it’s true!
Your best customers frequent you 2 times per month. Our goal is to make it 3 times. If every one of your customers came to your restaurant just one more time a month… your sales would increase dramatically!
Employee Pay Rate
If you paid your people $100,000 each, there’s no doubt that you could attract the best applicants possible. We know, however, that you’d go broke. At the same time, if you pay the least amount possible, you’ll probably not attract the best applicants. Minimum wage is another way of saying “I’d pay you less if I could.” I recommend that you pay something more than what your competitors pay. It doesn’t have to be much more… just make it more. Word will get around and you will yield a better group of applicants from which you can choose!
IF YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHAT THEY WANT, YOU CAN CHARGE FOR IT
Another way to say this might be “If you meet your customer’s emotional need, you can charge a premium price.” This principle explains why someone would spend ½ million dollars on a car or $500 on a purse.
A business associate moved from New York to an old southern city. She couldn’t believe how cheap it was to have her hair done compared to New York pricing. It was the same process and the same result… at a fraction of the price. Once she got to know her hairdresser, she asked “Why don’t you have a $200 hair cut?” The beautician almost choked, replying “Why in world would I do that?” My friend replied “Because some people want to pay $200.” There’s an important lesson here.
I tested this principle in my restaurant with drink specials. I made up a unique menu insert and named the drinks odd names like Mississippi Mud & Guck, and She’ll Say Yes… and so on. I purchased expensive, colorful handmade glasses. I specified that these glasses were only for these drink specials.. and I put the glasses where everyone could see them. I figured out what price the drinks would be normally be, based on the ingredients… and then I doubled it! No one thought we could charge $15.00 for a drink special at our location. They were wrong. We sold them every single day. Distinctions like this are very, very easy to do. They’re profitable and they make your restaurant stand out from the crowd.
Remember: Never, ever reduce the food quality because you don’t think you can charge enough. If it’s good, you can charge for it. If it isn’t good, any price is too much!