It’s Friday. The last weekend of the month. Payroll needs to be signed, and covered. At the same time you have put off as many vendors as you could till the end of the month. Guess what? The end of the month is here.
Many business whether restaurant, boutique, manufacturing or sales all face the same dilemma. However unlike the restaurant business the other owners give a sales talk to the staff and put them out in the field, or on the floor to sell, sell, sell. Seldom do we give the “we need more sales” pep talk.
Yes, we look at our waiters and other employees as servers. Those who carry the food, take the orders, offer small-chat customer service to make the customer feel at home. In realty, they are all sales people. And, they have to be prodded, driven, encouraged, forced and sometimes persuaded to sell more than they did the week, night or month before.
That’s where we come in. When was the last time you gave a perk to your staff? When was the last time they had to actually earn it?
I always made the last weekend of the month “Bonus Weekend”. I would devise a contest and offer a prize for the winner. Nothing stimulates a staff more than a competition with a worthwhile prize at the end of the shift. It need not be a mammoth handful of cash, or a case of wine. However, a nice bottle of wine is always a great perk. A meal at one of your competitors is also a tremendous reward; you do have a trade account with the owner down the street, don’t you?
And the contest is easy to come up with. Ask your staff what they want to sell. Each month change the sale point. Make sure you know the average amount of sales for the particular item. You don’t want to give a prize for the most desserts sold in a night if the desserts are already selling better than anything else. You want to promote items that do not sell well and have the staff push those. This also works as a solid way to find out what doesn’t belong on your menu.
And of course, you introduce the contest at the daily staff meeting. You will find that it boosts your team’s spirit, gets them motivated and excited for the night ahead, and will also help them realize that they are salespeople. On top of all of this the winner will also take home more tip money because of higher sales.
We all know what that means. Don’t look at the last weekend of the month as a problem. Use it as a way to motivate your sales staff. I mean servers.