Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Art of Upselling

For those unfamiliar with the term, upselling is when a waitress (or any other type of salesperson) can talk the customer into purchasing something slightly better and more expensive than they initially asked for.

The company encourages us to do this because, in the end, it means more sales for them, a higher check average for us, and a more satisfied customer.

Yesterday, I worked an afternoon shift. People don't tend to order as much at lunch, so I had to make the most of the tables I did have.

Upselling is not just about offering the wonderful options. It needs to be done with a little finesse. Servers need to be able to read their guest to gauge the best way to approach the suggestions.

There is a certain stigmatism associated with words like loaded, smothered, king size, super size, monster, etc. So if a customer orders a baked potato, don't ask if they want it loaded. Explain the choice in descriptive words that make it harder to resist. Would you like cheese, bacon, and chives melted on the top of your potato?

You can always upsell by getting the customer to purchase a larger size of the item they already ordered. Many of our appetizers come in a regular and large size. When they are ordered, I don't ask if customers want small or large. I offer them 8 piece or 12. The same goes for our salads and several of our steaks. I offer by ounces. 16 ounces is a respectable size for a meal. But you have no idea how many people can't resist the thought of a 24 ounce plate of steak.

When you offer an appetizer or a dessert, be sure to have a specific one in mind.

Did anyone save room for some chocolate cheesecake?
Ohhh That does sound good. Hmmmm... All right...

It takes a bit of practice, but for the most part, I can raise my sales by quite a bit, just by knowing the menu, and discovering how the customers need to be approached. It definitely shows in my tips at the end of the night...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Trash Picking???

There is a continuous silverware shortage at my restaurant.
This is a serious and very frustrating issue for the entire staff.

Well, to make a frustrating situation even worse, we have opened several cases of forks and knives. SO WHERE HAS IT GONE?

Obviously, the wait staff is throwing it out. That is the only possible solution.
So, how do we resolve this issue? Well, we try the magnetic thing that goes over the top of the can to catch the silverware. It didn't work. We STILL ran out of silverware.

Obviously, the wait staff MUST be intentionally shoving it deep into the barrel, just to mess with us...
So, how do we resolve this issue? Place a pan over the top of the barrel for all servers to dump their trash into. Then make the dishwashers pick through it to get all the silverware that the waitstaff insists on throwing out...

I wish I were kidding.
Am I the only one who has an issue with this?
Is there a better solution for "Silverware Retention"?

I Quit My Day Job

Every now and then, I dissapear...

I always promise to be back, but sometimes... well, you know.

I am a junior high teacher by nature, and I spent the last year teaching preschool (I KNOW, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!? Well, they offered me free preschool for my 3 yo. son...)
Anyway - teaching preschool didn't exactly pay my bills, so I still had to waitress. So basically, I gave up a 3 hour waitress shift and picked up 15 hours of daytime work. How I managed to think that would work out, I don't know... I spent many days teaching in the morning and waitressing the same night. Exhausting...

But I made it through the year and I just gave up the teaching job. Now I am back to waitressing again.

I really liked teaching preschool, but the waitress perks are just too much to resist. That everyday payday is my favorite.

It Ain't My Hair!

Umm - Yes, it most certainly is!!

I put the dressing on the salad! I carried it out to your table. I would have noticed a GIANT hair in the bowl of dressing.

AND - I do not have LONG BLACK HAIR!!

But, I'm not in a position to argue, so I'll apologize and take it off your check.

(AND can you believe that they had the nerve to walk out on their check?!?!?)