Some habits are more difficult than others to break. Since I am addicted to restaurants I carry many of the bad habits that are honed in the profession with me on a regular basis. One of those is keeping every receipt, piece of mail, or promotional collateral I can get my hands on.
I have never been to a restaurateur’s office that didn’t have stacks of clutter in clear sight. This is of course, is usually because the drawers, cabinets, closets and other convenient storage spaces are either full or overflowing. The same holds true for me today with my home office. Therefore on a regular basis I have a sorting day. And usually, the finds are treasures.
So is the case with an envelope that I came across on Saturday during a sorting session. Upon opening it I realized inside was a promotional video- The Perfect Server, sent to me on April 12, 2007 from Stefanie Hutson, the marketing director of Vat19.
Finally, I cam across the perfect server, I sarcastically thought to myself. And as I read about the CD, I thought I might have actually found something that could help all of us.
First, let me say that I am not a huge fan of serving training videos. To have a team of servers, or a restaurant staff watch them is often condescending as few are done professionally enough to enhance confidence, style or professionalism. However, the Vat 19 DVD has some valuable points that bring to light some of the problems restaurants are having today with less than professional staffing and morale problems.
The two points or catalysts for each other and the only way to keep morale and professional standards above the bar is to constantly talk with, offer suggests and get input from your staff.
It would be easy to buy a video for your new hires and has-beens and ask them to watch it. That however is not training. Of course the video – which is well done, by the way- offers the imperative tips for a training program, every coach and manager has to establish a personal bond with their employees and lead by example.
Using your attitude and standards as criteria for boosting morale, The Perfect Server video may help in outlining a program and guiding you through the implementation of the server’s basic fundamentals we all take for granted.
If apply the same principles to our restaurant staff as we would any other team than morale- and boosting it- plays an important role in the overall success of the business. Now it is more important than ever to keep your staff’s morale high and their enthusiasm at a level not realized in other restaurants. The perfect winning combination in the world today is to offer value, ambiance and above-average customer service. Attitude plays an important role in that.
I recommend The Perfect Server video as it has the good and bad sides of servers within its chapter format. However, if funds are tight, develop your own game plan highlighting the weak points that you see and talk to your staff about how they must become more professional and attentive towards the customer and their position in your organization.
Remember, your staff is just like any other team. Except if they lose the game, it costs you more than just a trophy at the end of the season.