Its no secret that your staff hold the “key” to your restaurant’s success.. Whether you run a food truck, coffee shop or sit down place, your team are either building your brand or giving customers reasons to visit your competitors.
We all been to those restaurants that are just firing on all cylinders… the place is alive, fun and staff are shining. Let’s call this staff magic.
You’ll know you’ve arrived when your team are having more fun and making more money and your customers are having more fun and spending more money. This is the “Ureka” moment I call capturing Lightning in a Bottle and its the most powerful form of marketing out there. When your staff are making friends with your customers every day and both your staff and customers are spreading the word about your place, your building an unstoppable brand, especially in this age of online reviews and social media.
So give this episode a listen as Thea, (my wife and V.P. of Restaurant Rock Stars) and I share what that staff magic is all about, how to create team chemistry and most important how to build a culture of hospitality, family and fun.
Now go out there and Rock Your Restaurant!
Roger & Thea
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE:
COMPLETE TRANSCRIPTION BELOW
DON'T MISS A SINGLE EPISODE. SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST ON ITUNES SO YOU CAN LISTEN IN YOUR CAR, WHILE YOU WALK YOUR DOG OR WHILE YOU TRAVEL! KNOWLEDGE ON THE GO + FOOD FOR THOUGHT!
Restaurant Rockstars has customers in 22+ countries and we are just getting started!
Join our movement today to help restaurant owners and managers on a global level ROCK THEIR RESTAURANTS! This mission is so important to us that we are offering a crazy generous commission plan. Check it out!
More Great Podcast Episodes:
- Aug 14, 2018 Episode #128 Everything You Need To Know About Beer With Don Tse Aug 14, 2018
- Aug 6, 2018 Episode #127 One Cool Tip: How an ICEBERG can Double Your Restaurant Sales! Aug 6, 2018
- Jul 30, 2018 Episode #126 One Foot From Disaster, My Journey To Wild Success Jul 30, 2018
- Jul 17, 2018 Episode #125 If You’re Not a Social Media Junkie, Someone Better Be! Jul 17, 2018
- Jul 11, 2018 Episode #124 A Seasoned Operator’s Keys to Mega-Success Jul 11, 2018
- Jul 3, 2018 Episode #123 Why You Should Add “Scorpions” To Your Menu Jul 3, 2018
- Jun 27, 2018 Episode #122 Lessons Learned Going from Hotdog Stand to World’s Largest Nightclub! Jun 27, 2018
- Jun 20, 2018 Episode #121 One Word That Creates Staff Magic! Jun 20, 2018
- Jun 6, 2018 Episode #120 The Only Way To Staff Your Restaurant Jun 6, 2018
- May 31, 2018 Episode #119 Build Your Brand Inside and Out! May 31, 2018
- May 24, 2018 Episode #118 The AMAZING Power of EMPOWERING YOUR STAFF! May 24, 2018
- May 17, 2018 Episode #117 Ambiance or Food, Which Comes First? May 17, 2018
- May 10, 2018 Episode #116 When Concept Executions Go Wrong (or right) May 10, 2018
- May 3, 2018 Episode #115 Your Recipe For Success Fails Without This ONE Ingredient May 3, 2018
- Apr 24, 2018 Episode #114 Stay Relevant or Become the Next Restaurant Statistic! Apr 24, 2018
- Apr 17, 2018 Episode #113 Launching a New Concept - Mr Bing On Fire in NYC! Apr 17, 2018
- Apr 12, 2018 Episode #112 Talking Restaurants with World-Renowned Celebrity Chef David Burke Apr 12, 2018
- Apr 4, 2018 Episode #111 Where else can you get $250,000 in 10 Minutes? Apr 4, 2018
- Mar 27, 2018 Episode #110 Your people are your greatest asset Mar 27, 2018
- Mar 21, 2018 Episode #109 It’s All About Cash Flow And ROI Mar 21, 2018
- Mar 13, 2018 Episode #108 Build Your Brand with Ideas For Holidays & Big Events Mar 13, 2018
- Mar 7, 2018 Episode #107 Last Minute Tax Advice from an Industry Expert Mar 7, 2018
- Mar 1, 2018 Episode #106 Marketing Firepower Starts With Your Brand! Mar 1, 2018
- Feb 14, 2018 Episode #105 Why We Love That Old Staff Magic! Feb 14, 2018
- Feb 8, 2018 Episode #104 So You Think You Want To Start A Restaurant Feb 8, 2018
- Feb 1, 2018 Episode #103 Build Your House On This Foundation! Feb 1, 2018
- Jan 24, 2018 Episode #102 Can Your Operation Use a Makeover? Jan 24, 2018
- Jan 17, 2018 Episode #101 In The Age Of Online Reviews This Is Dangerous Thinking Jan 17, 2018
- Jan 10, 2018 Episode #100 Key Learnings from a Global Hospitality Entrepreneur Jan 10, 2018
- Dec 22, 2017 Top 5 Podcast Episodes of 2017 Dec 22, 2017
- Dec 13, 2017 Episode #99 The Truth About Your Competitors Dec 13, 2017
- Dec 5, 2017 Episode #98 If You Build It Will They REALLY Come? Dec 5, 2017
- Nov 28, 2017 Episode #97 Inventory in Half the Time, No Kidding! Nov 28, 2017
- Nov 14, 2017 Episode #96 Too Crazy To Believe - A True Story Nov 14, 2017
- Nov 2, 2017 Episode #95 Is Technology Replacing True Hospitality in your Operation Nov 2, 2017
- Oct 25, 2017 Episode #94 More Money in Your Register, Night after Night! Oct 25, 2017
- Oct 17, 2017 Episode #93 A Winning Strategy For Your Restaurant From Your Favorite Sports Team Oct 17, 2017
- Oct 11, 2017 Episode #92 HIT THE JACKPOT with your Restaurant’s Marketing Oct 11, 2017
- Sep 26, 2017 Episode #91 Is Your Restaurant Running You? Sep 26, 2017
- Sep 14, 2017 Episode #90 Maybe The Most Important PROFIT BUILDER In Your Restaurant Sep 14, 2017
- Sep 6, 2017 Episode #89 Are Millennials REALLY Hard to Manage? Sep 6, 2017
- Aug 29, 2017 Episode #88 Astounding Service That Knocked My Socks Off Aug 29, 2017
- Aug 22, 2017 Episode #87 Make THOUSANDS of NEW DOLLARS with Relationships Aug 22, 2017
- Aug 17, 2017 Episode #86 How To Crush Restaurant Marketing With Erik Shellenberger Aug 17, 2017
- Aug 8, 2017 Episode #85 I Started A Mug Club And Earned Almost $50K More A Year! Aug 8, 2017
- Aug 4, 2017 Episode #84 The Secret To Getting + Keeping Great Restaurant Staff Aug 4, 2017
- Jul 26, 2017 Episode #83 8 Great Things To Tell Your Staff Today Jul 26, 2017
- Jul 18, 2017 Episode #82 The Cash Is In Your Pocket Or Theirs Jul 18, 2017
- Jul 10, 2017 Episode #81 Staff Turnover...NEVER again... Jul 10, 2017
- Jul 5, 2017 Episode #80 These 3 Things are Vital to Your Success Jul 5, 2017
- Jun 22, 2017 Episode #79 How To Deliver AMAZING Customer Experiences Jun 22, 2017
- Jun 13, 2017 Episode #78 Disaster may be around the Next Corner Jun 13, 2017
- Jun 6, 2017 Episode #77 Get Bulletproof or Die! Jun 6, 2017
- May 31, 2017 Episode #76 A Financial Expert Tells All May 31, 2017
- May 23, 2017 Episode #75 Are your Customers Peeved? May 23, 2017
- May 16, 2017 Episode #74 WOW Your Customer or your Competitors Will! May 16, 2017
- May 9, 2017 Episode #73 A Secret Weapon For Your STAFF May 9, 2017
- May 1, 2017 Episode #72 Here’s A Profit Center More Profitable than your Restaurant! May 1, 2017
- Apr 25, 2017 Episode #71 How To Print Money in your Restaurant with Cash Cows Apr 25, 2017
- Apr 18, 2017 Episode #70 Explode Your Restaurant’s Marketing Firepower! Apr 18, 2017
- Apr 13, 2017 Episode #69 "Paramount Service" Knows NO Pricepoint! Apr 13, 2017
- Apr 6, 2017 Episode #68 Secrets From A 5-Star Kitchen w/ Rachel Wiener of the St. Regis Deer Valley Apr 6, 2017
- Mar 28, 2017 Episode #67 Could You Leave Your Restaurant? Exit Strategy Part 2 Mar 28, 2017
- Mar 22, 2017 Episode #66 Never Quit, Never Say Die Mar 22, 2017
- Mar 17, 2017 Episode #65 How To Absolutely Dominate The Competition! Mar 17, 2017
- Mar 9, 2017 Episode #64 The Money’s Either in Your Pocket or Theirs! Mar 9, 2017
- Feb 22, 2017 Episode #63 The Heart & Soul of a Restaurateur Feb 22, 2017
- Feb 14, 2017 Episode #62 Would Your Restaurant Win an Oscar? Feb 14, 2017
- Feb 2, 2017 Episode #61 What Would Happen if You Left Your Restaurant? Feb 2, 2017
- Jan 26, 2017 Episode #60 Why and When You Should Close Your Restaurant Jan 26, 2017
- Jan 9, 2017 Episode #59 Recipe for Disaster in Your Restaurant Jan 9, 2017
- Jan 2, 2017 Episode # 58 How to Tell if your Menu is Printing Money or Losing Money Jan 2, 2017
- Dec 27, 2016 Episode #57 Find Out NOW if Your Least Profitable Menu Items are Your Biggest Sellers! Dec 27, 2016
- Dec 21, 2016 Episode #56 How to Save 4% on your Food Cost - Do This Now! Dec 21, 2016
- Dec 12, 2016 Episode #55 Dominate Your Competition With Personalized Guest Service Dec 12, 2016
- Dec 7, 2016 Episode #54 How To Sell More Gift Cards This Holiday Season! Dec 7, 2016
- Dec 5, 2016 Episode #53 A Simple APP That Rocks Your Beverage Sales & Trains Your Staff - PART 2 Dec 5, 2016
- Nov 28, 2016 Episode #52 This Chain Has it Dialed & Your Restaurant Can Too! Nov 28, 2016
- Nov 22, 2016 Episode #51 Are There Leaks In Your Restaurant's Labor Costs? Nov 22, 2016
- Nov 16, 2016 Episode #50 Boost Your Beverage Sales & Train Your Staff With One Simple App Nov 16, 2016
- Nov 7, 2016 Episode #49 Is Hospitality A Lost Art? Nov 7, 2016
- Nov 1, 2016 Episode #48 Why The Absolute Best Servers Assume The Sale Nov 1, 2016
- Oct 24, 2016 Episode #47 This FREE Restaurant App Is A Game Changer Oct 24, 2016
- Oct 20, 2016 Episode #46 - Hiring the Wrong People with the Wrong Approach? Oct 20, 2016
- Oct 17, 2016 Episode #45 Part 2 - Your Burning Restaurant Questions Continued with Jaime Oikle of Running Restaurants Oct 17, 2016
- Oct 12, 2016 Episode #44 Part 1 - Burning Questions From Restaurant Owners with Jaime Oikle of Running Restaurants Oct 12, 2016
- Oct 4, 2016 Episode #43 TOP TIP - Why Fast Food and Full-Serve Restaurants Don't Mix Oct 4, 2016
- Sep 27, 2016 Episode #42 Systemize Your Restaurant Right From The Start Sep 27, 2016
- Sep 14, 2016 Episode #41 Fix what's broken or you'll repeat your mistakes! Sep 14, 2016
- Sep 1, 2016 Episode #40 Don't Hire Another Employee Until You Hear This Sep 1, 2016
- Aug 17, 2016 Episode #39 You Can’t Have TOO Many HOOKS!! Aug 17, 2016
- Aug 3, 2016 Episode #38 Kill It Or Get Killed - 25 Actionable Ideas For Your Restaurant! Aug 3, 2016
- Jul 28, 2016 Episode #37 Fill Your Seats night after night for $300 Jul 28, 2016
- Jul 20, 2016 Episode #36 TOP TIP - Why CLOSING your Restaurant will SAVE you $$$! Jul 20, 2016
- Jul 13, 2016 Episode #35 A Rocking Marketing System On The Cheap Jul 13, 2016
- Jun 18, 2016 Episode #34 Don’t Fear Technology… Fear a Restaurant without a System! Jun 18, 2016
- Jun 7, 2016 Episode #33 Wobbly Tables Wobble Your Customer - The Solution Once and For All Jun 7, 2016
- May 31, 2016 Episode #32 This Customer Convenience Adds Higher Profit Sales Without Taking Up Seats May 31, 2016
- May 18, 2016 Episode #31 How to Run A Restaurant That Doesn't Run You - Jaime Oikle of RunningRestaurants.com May 18, 2016
- May 11, 2016 Episode #30 The Real Scoop on your State Restaurant Association May 11, 2016
- May 9, 2016 Episode #29 If Your Staff Doesn't Notice, Your Guests Will! May 9, 2016
- May 4, 2016 Episode #28 Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable - Why I Surround Myself With Industry Leaders May 4, 2016
- May 2, 2016 Episode #27 How to Build Your Brand & Print Money by Dining in Your Own Restaurant! May 2, 2016
- Apr 27, 2016 Episode #26 Got the Back of House Blues? Here’s your Answer! Apr 27, 2016
- Apr 25, 2016 Episode #25 Is Your Restaurant Crazy Profitable or Just Popular? Apr 25, 2016
- Apr 20, 2016 Episode #24 How To Launch A Hot New Concept With Brett Payne Of Classic Rock Coffee Apr 20, 2016
- Apr 18, 2016 Episode #23 When Hospitality Goes Wrong - And I Wine! Apr 18, 2016
- Apr 13, 2016 Episode #22 What Happened to the Service in a Service Business? An Interview with Chef James Clary. Apr 13, 2016
- Mar 10, 2016 Episode #21 The MEGA Power of Your Restaurant's Daily Pre-shift Meeting Mar 10, 2016
- Feb 9, 2016 Episode #20 The Power of Using Restaurant Intelligence To Build Your Business & Brand Feb 9, 2016
- Feb 3, 2016 Episode #19 What's My Dentist Got To Do With It? Feb 3, 2016
- Dec 21, 2015 Episode #18 Building Your Dream Team Dec 21, 2015
- Dec 11, 2015 Episode #17 Fantastic Food Overshadowed By Inconsistency Dec 11, 2015
- Dec 11, 2015 Episode #16 The Challenges of Leasing vs Buying Dec 11, 2015
- Oct 30, 2015 Episode #15 The devil is in the details in Denver Oct 30, 2015
- Oct 12, 2015 Episode #13 - Get a free copy of my new book Oct 12, 2015
- Oct 1, 2015 Sales Stars Server Training - Double Your Profits Oct 1, 2015
- Oct 1, 2015 Episode #12 - The Power of A Kid Friendly Restaurant Oct 1, 2015
- September 2015
- Aug 27, 2015 Episode #9 - Is Your Restaurant Wildly Successful? Aug 27, 2015
- Aug 18, 2015 Episode #8 - Make More Money Aug 18, 2015
- Aug 11, 2015 Episode #7 - Are You Running a Restaurant or a BUSINESS? Aug 11, 2015
- Aug 4, 2015 Episode #6 How to Build Affinity, Loyalty and Repeat Business. Aug 4, 2015
- Jul 20, 2015 Episode #5 - An Amazing Dining Experience in Columbus Ohio Jul 20, 2015
- Jul 14, 2015 Episode #4 - How to Cost Your Menu to Maximize your Profits Jul 14, 2015
- Jul 2, 2015 Episode #3 - How to Achieve a Restaurant Hat-Trick Jul 2, 2015
- Jun 23, 2015 Episode #2 - Assume the Sale Jun 23, 2015
- Jun 15, 2015 Episode #1 - Create a Kick-Ass Brand (not just a restaurant) Jun 15, 2015
EPISODE #105 TRANSCRIPTION
[Start of Transcript]
You’re tuned in to the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast. Powerful ideas to rock your restaurant, here's your Host, Roger Beaudoin.
Roger: Welcome back everyone to the Restaurant Rockstar’s Podcast, in last week's episode, I had such a great time because I introduced my wife who's also a VP of our company and very few people know what her role is. I seem to be in the forefront but everything that this company is about really is driven by Thea, so welcome to the show today.
Thea: Thanks, I'm super excited to be back.
Roger: So, I've got all this experience in running restaurants and being an operational Entrepreneur that's created these concepts and when we sold our restaurants years ago, I wanted to continue helping people because I don't passion for this business but you have this vision about how we could go beyond just the local market where I was doing some consulting and really rich people on a global level and your vision has come true. I mean we have customers in 23countries.
Thea: And there might be more than that now, I haven't checked in a while.
Roger: Your idea is sort of made that happen so tell us about that vision and how we're now helping people all over the place.
Thea: Well, I just remember thinking when the restaurant so obviously you wanted to continue using your knowledge and help other people and I remember thinking we could just sort of travel around and help other people but we could help a lot more people globally and have a really expansive business that also wasn't so heavy on your personal time.
Because I mean you only have so much time and one of the things that super important to us is family time and travel and we knew we could incorporate the business into that but I just remember thinking, I think we can turn this into a global expansive business and how restauranteurs all over the world staff members all over the world I sort of thought that intention and then we put everything into place and yeah we're now in ocular can see exactly how many countries but that is super exciting I mean for a while we had a big map up with the pins in it and count that's not up now I will have to look.
Yeah, I think it's really exciting; I mean I think you still love working one-on-one when you have time to do that.
Roger: But you get the tech skill set that allowed us to translate all this to a global audience via the Web.
Thea: So, yeah that's what's going to help and that wasn't just me and it continues to take a lot of help of our team members but yeah we're always learning and expanding and it's great to stick to the roots of the one-on-one.
Roger: And stay in touch how it is how many times restaurant world with real live operators today which I continue to do and I so enjoy that but also to reach out to customers that are reaching out to us all over the world with questions or either virtual Consulting which I do, I mean with a customer in Dubai, we have one in Katmandu and it's like I’m consulting for these people and it's just a ton of fun and we're working with a fast growing franchise as well.
So, everything that we're doing is all about just translating the passion that we both have for this business and helping other operators just take their success to the next level or you can start a restaurant from scratch. So, that's what we did together and that's what I'm really happy to have you on the Podcast which takes us into tomorrow which is a big deal it's Valentine's Day; special for us and we have plans to go out and we're still sort of debating exactly what we're looking for in an experience.
Thea: I think so you can go obviously the traditional candlelight dinner Valentine sort of thing, so we really gave that some thought this morning about how much time we had and what kind experience we wanted so I think we're leaning towards a wine bar with maybe some soft music type experience at the place that we're thinking of going we've been to before and we have had mixed experiences that so we're really hoping that the service will be better.
I've been there and had the service not so great and I've been there and have the music too loud for the space so I'm had sort of intuitively what popped into my mind as the kind of Valentines.
Roger: Is that the old space of the new center space?
Thea: Yes, they moved so I'm hoping that the space helps which I think happens all the time for good or bad when restaurants expand or at least whatnot they change spaces and sometimes it's awesome and sometimes you know you miss that old space.
But this is a new space, it's bigger, hope that it will be better and maybe they have some new staff members and so I just I don't know if that was a kind of how do you think?
Roger: Well, it's about three things service, ambiance and the food and drink and I've always believed that the service is the key component because you really want to be treated special it's a special night out for us and we want to have this perfect evening and the staff that we interact with are going to impact that neither make it great or make it ordinary.
And you know I'm biased because I believe that dining experience is should be extraordinary. So, I'm looking for a greeley personable attentive staff that sort of take us through the whole experience and make some suggestions because the food's important too not that I want to have heavy entrees or meals but you know just a tapestry menu with a couple of you know glass of wine or two would be just perfect for our valentine.
Thea: For the amount of time that we have, yeah.
Roger: And it brings to mind that the chemistry of the staff and the culture of the restaurant are really paramount because I believe that the staff are the cornerstone of your business and unfortunately and this is so sad for me to say and that's why we're trying to help and change restaurants one at a time no matter where they happen to be; here in America or overseas or whatever.
We eat out so frequently and it could be anywhere across the country and unfortunately nine times out of ten, we're still getting that ordinary order taker experience versus the personality and the education, the information and the entertainment which is kind of the magic three.
You put those three things together educating, informing, interchange of your customer is important because I've always believed that this business is show business, it's about entertainment. And you know people select restaurants for a variety of reasons maybe they drove by, maybe they heard about it or they saw an ad in the paper but they don't know the first thing about what makes your place special.
So, it's really up to you to train your staff to not only know the menu inside know but to know the absolute What makes your restaurant tick what's special about it so that's what we're looking for I think.
Thea: And I think we've been to wine bars where they didn't make any suggestions, and I'm thinking how can you run a wine bar and not have a single suggestion.
Roger: What are you in the mood for? Do you like White? Do you like red? What do you have for food? This pair is great with that this is my favorite one, you're absolutely right.
Order takers, they leave so much opportunity on the table, they leave the experience of the customers to choice; it's all about impressions every single impression in any restaurant counts.
And I don't want to specifically pigeonhole restaurants because we could be talking about food trucks where it's the counter service and you could be making recommendations over the counter or what's popular, what's special, what your customers really appreciate this might be your very first visit to this food truck or this restaurant or this dinner or whatever and it's really up to the staff to educate, inform and entertain every customer and that to me translates into a paramount dining experience no matter where it happens to be.
Thea: Well, one of our kids' favorite restaurants is a fast casual Mexican restaurant they also have a food truck which is often out and about. They have the same experience and they do it just fantastic, they do both well and it's literally want to conserve their place.
Roger: And it's got a great vibe you walk in the door they have Mexican cuisine, their Peruvian cuisine and you just feel like you're part of that by and the staff are authentic and they treat you as if we're so happy to serve you our food because we know you're really going to enjoy it and we're so pleased that you chose our place and you walk in right door and there might be a line out the door and they treat every single person as if they are the only customer in the place and that is a powerful form.
Thea: And in they go out like you say in the community another get the food truck every single community of them they are there and they are better than...
Roger: Almost I think everyone's favorite Oh yeah we love it, you know and they have Taco Tuesdays and they have Margarita as you know and the kids love the Burritos.
Thea: Anyway, that's why we go there oh that's we're not going there to my no we're not
Roger: But it's a family staple but primarily because of those three things the food is great, the service is amazing it's consistent and they make you feel special and the vibe of the place just takes you away from your everyday reality and just gives you a special evening out and that's why we love it.
Thea: And anybody could duplicate that with any kind of food or that concept happens to be what it is as they like that.
Roger: So, another thing that strikes me Thea, is you know I've worked in a lot of different jobs before I started restaurants, I was in the advertising business and I worked in Banks, I did so many different things.
And it just strikes me that yes there are cliques in there are friendships in any kind of company or business but it's something about interacting with the ultimate customer that sort enlivens and fires up the staff and just creates this dynamic chemistry where the customer just feels the spirit and it takes so much; it takes a combination of well it's three things-- it's empowering the staff to think like an owner and to put themselves in the customer's shoes in order to experience what the customer is going to experience. And seeing things that are broken before the customer sees them, a wobbly table that sort of thing.
And then it's that balance with personality where you want everyone to be really sort of a person, a personality you know a unique person and authentic and then you want structured training that brings all three of those things together and that's what builds what I call this culture of hospitality family and fun; where fun is important and everyone feeling like family.
The customers feel like family the staff feel like family and then the hospitality part is just that key idea that just turns everybody and you either have hospitality present in your restaurant or your food truck your operation or its absence [exactly] all those things are so important.
Thea: I think in some people places, you know have nailed certain parts of that but they don't have all of it [not the whole equation] This last weekend, I had the girls' weekend away and we had a real mixed bag of experiences and we had very pleasant order takers who took our order and they brought our food but didn't make any suggestions, didn't make it super fun for us, didn't make it you know we didn't try any specific dishes because they recommended them that was sort of an ordinary experience.
And then we did a pub crawl one night in the leader of the pub crawl, sort of the organizer, his whole goal was that everybody have fun! I mean he was such a dynamic personality you could tell he so authentically cared that everyone was having a great time, all of the places we went along the line, the staff members didn't have that same attitude.
Even the last place that we went, where everyone was dancing and things, you could tell the DJ didn't even care. We’ve been to places where we've had a ton of fun in 5-star restaurants and we've had a ton of fun in dive bars; you can go out for karaoke like any number of thing the biggest thing is are the staff members trying to give the customer the best experience whatever that is?
And in this particular instance they weren't and it was such a super bummer because the poor guy that was leading the pub crawl had that in mind and really was trying to make sure everyone had fun and that he's up against going into you know a couple of the establishments where you can tell the staff didn't really care.
They're like “OK, they're all here we're going to make a bunch of money people are going to buy a lot of drinks” but they were just going through the motions and it was a bummer.
Roger: Your staff are either engaged or they're disengaged which sort of leads me to this concept of every business, every restaurant, every hospitality operation has an A-team, a B-team and a C-team.
The C-team are just there for the wrong reasons; those people that are just taking up space for a pay cheque and they're negatively impacting every customer experience and 2, their bringing down the morale of the good staff.
So, you have to get rid of them immediately and focus on having that you're talking about A-player the leader of your group was clearly a take charge A-player that really cared about showing everybody a great time and he was doing his best even though he was running up against the C-players at all right places you went to.
And then there are your Bs where they've got great promise and they show with just a little bit of polish and a little bit a shadow of the A-team they're going to be great and then pretty soon all you have are A-players and that is the foundation for this hospitality family and fun culture.
So, you've got to get rid of the Cs and you just got to focus on building your As and Bs and that does two things It lowers your turnover, it increases in enhances the customer's experience and it also increases the checkout originalist means that such a powerful idea.
The As and the Bs and how they impact your business versus detraction your business and I think in this age of online reviews and social media.
Thea: Oh for sure and I think the training, you hit the nail on the head. Training is such a big thing because some of those staff members may have just been overwhelmed by the sheer number of customers that they were getting all at once and the difference between somebody embracing that and being able to take it to the next level and then being overwhelmed and a little in the weeds is just training.
They're either trained to handle whatever comes their way with a smile and enthusiasm or it's a little out of their comfort level and then they completely just shut off and they're on automatic mode and they can't give that extra special service because they're too overwhelmed.
So, I don't know what the situation there was but we've certainly been to places where someone holds a little promise and seems great and then as soon as they get in the weeds, their entire personality shuts off.
So, I think that goes back to training and teamwork because if you have if you have someone that's in the weeds and you can help them out you pull them out and enhances the experience for everybody.
But if someone is trained and you just did a video about this that we released on Facebook where you were talking about Bingo and that is one of the trainings that I think is super helpful whether you're an A-team member or a B-team member it's just super helpful in focusing, OK what are we doing tonight so maybe you want to share?
Roger: I want to talk about the Bingo but I'd like to start with the beginnings before you can have these contests and incentives you mentioned a second ago, how do you keep people out of the weeds and clearly train is part of that right but it's all in the foundational start to every meal and you either control your tables by taking charge through your personality so that the next time you approach the table your customers can't wait to see and hear what you're going to do and say next versus being controlled where you have those timid people that they kind of hover around the table and they feel like they're bothering the customer because they haven't even looked at the menu yet and they're just sitting there and the whole experience isn't even getting off the ground.
So, it's all in the training so that these people they have those unique we staff people that even juggle that they able to and told jokes but they caught the attention right off of that upon the first introduction and then they held people's attention and interest by virtue of their entertainment and showmanship and education and information those things were important.
And then sales rose the customers had a better experience because you know there's too many people they're losing money they're not getting great experiences so that's the foundation so the training really focuses on taking control and now we move into these concepts.
Thea: Just to go back; so last weekend was a good experience and we have had it certainly a number of times where somebody isn't taking control of the situation but the customers like you and I are like my girlfriends and I this last weekend, we're just having a really good time, we're catching up with each other we haven't seen each other in a long time or we're talking about what happened last night or whatnot and if someone is not going to take control of that, the orders aren't going to get taken or nothing is going to be happening and then pretty soon people are frustrated.
People are telling stories but then they're like I'm starving like where's the food? Where's the server? What you know or whatnot and the reality is we can talk we're going to be talking all night long. So, they may as well interrupt a control take command right now you're turning out to go they're really guiding as they're being sort of our guide through the dinner.
Roger: Well, that's like all the journey path.
Thea: Yeah! And that he has just had her journey
Roger: Telling people everything that's great and what they're going to enjoy and then the customers can order and take the suggestions and all those great things happen.
OK so let's move on to Bingo. So Bingo is this really, really powerful idea and it's exactly what you think it is because it starts with a Bingo card but you create your own Bingo cards and they're actually bigger than a standard card, it's a need to have by 11pieces of paper and you can create these on the computer however you choose to do it but just like in a normal Bingo game, it's up, it's down, it's sideways, it's vertically, it's horizontally, it's However you feel this Bingo card and know your staff go out there trying to sell things that you most want to sell and you most want to turn your customers on to.
So, every single square on the Bingo card contains your most profitable items or those items that are signature items for the house that you really want to introduce all your customers to, maybe it's something that's perishable that you want to move, maybe Brian fish that we can it didn't really sell as fast as you thought it should that should go on the Bingo game.
Maybe it's off the menu specials whatever it is coffee drinks every single square has a different item of things that you most want to sell and then you turn your staff loose and you say, “OK we're having a contest tonight and the first person to get Bingo by selling up down sideways backwards however it works gets a Bingo and then you reward them with a great price and the ROI is there because the sales go through the roof, the staff have fun, the customers have fun, you move the merchandise and everybody wins and it is just tons of fun and it's very simple to do because the staff love it, it's interactive and it's fun and it gives them a real purpose to go out there and it's just a healthy competition that's Bingo.
Thea: I think it's one for sure, it's one of the more popular precept exercises because it does bring the whole team together, they get a little bit competitive with each other here and it helps people focus if someone struggling selling appetizers or wine and you make that the focus now they're not trying to remember everything when they approach that especially some of the newer staff members or whether you're in fast casual or full service.
When you first start you're trying to remember that a lot, so if you give them this focused Bingo and it changes as you play it throughout the year or whatnot, it gives them something very specific to practice to sell, to talk about, to explain whether it's the ingredients or the kind of wine whatever that is and then pretty soon they're doing that often and after that now they're super comfortable with it yes, so I really think it's one of the more powerful precept exercises that any store or restaurant can do.
Roger: It's about conditioned behavior where you want this approach to the table or over the counter to be consistent in every table every time, every customer every time you want to provide a consistent experience and you're telling them everything that's great about your place and it gives you an edge, it's a competitive advantage over the guy down the street, you know it's a funny interactive way that you can train your staff that ultimately impacts the guest experience and it like I said it's a win-win.
Thea: Right yeah it's one of our favorites and we just posted it on Facebook on the restaurant rockstars facebook page. You can go watch Roger’s video on that it will be there and it will be on YouTube too
Roger: So “spirit” that word everyone knows what spirit and soul is and we all know those great restaurants that are just humming and all as soon as you walk in the door and you can tell that the customers are having a ball and staff are having a ball and you know that cash registers ringing and it's just very festive night, every night feels like it's a special event and that all comes from spirit and chemistry.
And it's so interesting because that is such a powerful formula. I used to call it capturing lightning in a bottle, I still do you know that's one of my cash phrases and what that means is your staff are having more fun and making more money while the customers are having more fun and spending more money and that is just that [and posting more reviews] there you go let's not forget because online reviews in the social media thing.
But that also brings when the staff are having so much fun and they feel like they have such a belonging to your place, then they're posting all the fun, they're writing on social media.
Roger: OK so now your staff are brand builders for your business and your customers are brand builders for your business and that is the way powerful combination when those two come together, it's like and that's free marketing, it's the same it's not costing you anything, it's not buying a TV commercial that cost ten thousand bucks and you don't know if it's going to work or if you're going to get an hour live or you're guaranteed to get an hour live when your customers are singing your praises and your staff are doing the same thing and your staff are making friends for your place, your food truck, your restaurant, your coffee shop whatever it is every single day of the week, super powerful there is nothing more powerful than that.
Thea: Your place needs to be the place people want to work and then customers want to go to and where your staff wants to go when they're not working.
Roger: So all this has to start from the top and now we're talking about leadership style and I've always believed that in order to create this chemistry, the spirit, you have to be the ringleader and lead by example and demonstrate how things are done and not to be too important like you the MC of the whole show but you're also not too important to clean a window, bus the table, pick up a piece of paper on the floor before the guest sees it and then your staff see you doing it so of course, it's going to catch on and they're going to do it and that's the empowerment part, no one's too important, it's all part of the team teamwork and respect
Thea: And the way you interact with your customers do you really think that super important stuff to you when they see owners or managers out talking to the staff, talking to the customers, checking in [right] that makes all the difference.
Roger: You know that was something that I sort of expected of my management team as well as myself the back office is not your office, the floor and everywhere that the customer sees and experiences is your office.
That’s where the action happens, that's where yeah that's where you impact the most people and everyone should have this kind of experience with the customer that's what's memorable.
Thea: But be careful because we did have one Valentine's Day oh yeah where an owner sat down I mean we went to this restaurant quite a bit. But if it's Valentine's Day or a special holiday and anniversary or something we had an owner sit down and literally join us for our Valentine's Day dinner which was so awkward
Roger: And they weren’t eating anything they were just sitting with us while we had our Valentine's Day dinner and she stayed there for at least 40 minutes when we looked at each other like is this really happening?
Thea: I mean we loved, we always loved having her check and obviously it feels great to have her check in, how are you? good to see you! thanks for coming in! but she literally stayed for our entire meal.
Although you would I mean I think you built some amazing relationships with customers who became great friends, who you end up dining with all the time.
Roger: Well yeah, I mean that's interesting because I wanted to talk about recognition and rewards of the staff but we also recognized we wanted our customers to a variety of ways so we had so much of it was about relationship building, we were building relationships with our staff because they were giving impressions every day and we were building relationships with their customers because we wanted everyone to feel special and like they belonged there.
Thea: Why don’t you give an example of each, what was one of the top ways you recognized and rewarded staff members?
Roger: OK so staff members were recognized every week on a Saturday night I would call the whole team together before the doors opened at 5pm there probably be 30 people standing around the circle in the kitchen and either a manager for recognize someone during the week or I saw someone and it was all about making a difference.
How did these two people make a difference either in a customer's experience or helped out a team member and really the show must go on and whether you know the Busboy tripped in the kitchen you know spilled a whole bus bucket full of dishes and they all broke and someone jumped in and picked up the mess with that person so the show must go on something like that it was about recognition.
So, no one knew who was going to be picked because it was a complete surprise and at first it might have been a little embarrassing to be recognized but once people got into this program they really looked forward to Saturday night because it set the stage for the whole rest of the evening and it just literally buddy up and fire them up to go out there and dazzle the customer, so what we did was I would recognize these people and I would just give a short little ….. this is what this person did that made a difference and then everyone would clap and I would hand that person a $20 bill and a can of Red Bull and that was called difference dollars.
And then we put their name on the employee wall and we'd say this is this person won this week and this is what they did that made a difference and just that recognition and that praise and that feeling that they made a difference in that they were appreciated for their contribution and it had nothing to do with the money, you know it was all about [being recognized] it's right so that's the stuff side of things
Thea: And so, I think when you go and imagine a staff members going in and the two things on their mind if you compare those two together they're going in with a clear focus and say if they go of what they're talking about and what they're selling and they're also going into that shift with the mindset of what can I do to be helpful [absolutely] because they know there's different dollars coming right at some point so the whole focus is how can I be helpful?
Roger: It raised--- it just elevated the whole spirit, that culture of hospitality, family [teamwork] teamwork, respect all those things it just went up 10notches and it was such a simple program anyone can do this in any type of enterprise and it doesn't matter if you're the Barista or if you're making food in the back of your working the counter or you're serving food over the food truck town or it's a full service or you can do this anywhere so that was the staff recognition.
Thea: What about customers’ reward how did you reward your best customers?
Roger: Well that was really exciting because we wanted everyone to feel like they belong to our place and one of the ways any place can do if you've got a modern point of sale system they have an affinity rewards component where you pass out affinity cards to your best customers and every time they spend money in your place when you swipe their card you can randomly awarded a prize and we did that quite frequently but these cards also tracked spending habits and at the end of every season we rewarded our best customers, our highest spenders with a custom Barstool that had their name carved in the top it was a beautiful hardwood, barstool top with their name in their mug club number carved in it and then a real substantive metal based really contemporary made by a local artist and boy if that wasn't a huge hit yeah.
This creates such a buzz in the marketplace everyone wanted to It’s a sheers formula, people want to go where everyone knows their name and that's the recognition part right you got your idea [my stuff happens so you can do with the Affinity cards you can all to do with the coffee punch cards right from things like that but I think there are so many creative ways to do it now]
Roger: Maybe we should go to that to that place in Boston and they had at the end of the meal they've come to the table [they mistake that the jar and if you like it had way had something in it yeah they were wooden like wooden dice a survey I think yeah and it had a star on it or it had some little marking and if you know they shook the dice and then they rolled it on the first one that came out on the table if it's had a cigar or something yeah you won your meal for a spring but every time you know before you pay the check it's like they'd roll the dice and people would win and it was just super, super fun
Thea: And that sort of increases your odds you're thinking well where do I want to go for dinner maybe somewhere I might get my meal for free?
Roger: Yeah well we won, we won our meal ones so I did actually happen to us and we and that frequently we only won once but we saw other people win while we were dinning.
Thea: It was part of the show like everybody couldn't wait for that to come out it's you know there's so many of those little the hooks that that are just that make a place super exciting
Roger: The birthday candles come to mind how much fun the birthday candles are and the whole dining room would erupt in applause because these birthday candles would shoot a shower of sparks like 3feet off the desert and it would last for about 20seconds and you'd come to the table and everyone would look it would capture your attention it would be a birthday or a special occasion
Thea: And you could see it from last there on your bed that was whole and the other night around still have some you wouldn't have them yes our friend's birthday and how everybody and it made a show across the whole restaurant even though it's just sort of all the free entertaining for their customers that night it wasn't their deal but maybe now they will do that but it made a statement I mean and it would like the whole table had fun and the gal who's you know birthday it was blown away
Roger: And you're perfectly safe but it creates such a spectacular display and that so you know that's a that's what sets your place apart and have too many of those ideas and hooks right
Thea: So rewarding the staff members rewarding the customers making a show offering entertainment I think all of that goes into how we decide where to go you know our favorite places and those are all the things that came to mind as we thought about where we wanted to go for a Valentine’s Day.
Roger: And it's what every owner and manager of any type of hospitality related needs to think about because you want every single customer to think this is my place I have this feeling of belonging and I want to tell everybody I know and that's where the staff are having more fun the customers are having more fun and it is this super powerful formula
Thea: And I think that in the age of online reviews, people are very quick to post negative reviews right if something goes wrong yet they are on merrily telling everybody about it when people are as called to online reviews if it's just a really positive experience right as they are if they're like have a grudge and they have something to say but if you truly make it this amazing experience I feel like they can't help but do that
Roger: And that's where the empowerment comes in because your goal is not to give anyone a reason to not have an amazing experience and let's face it the human error element will always be in every restaurant because we're serving sometimes hundreds of people a day in our operation food truck or whatever you know you might serve one hundred or two hundred people and it's impossible for everything to go perfect but it's all in the approach of the staff and how the situation is handled that either has someone give you a second chance or post a negative review and never come back and [write] that's as basic as it gets it all comes down to impressions every impression has to be positive even if something goes wrong how the staff handled the situation and not say Oh I don't know or let me call the manager over, No it's about taking care of the customer
Thea: Right and at the very least I think when you do that they'll go you know post take a picture if your food fantastic and your service is fantastic chances are someone is snapping a picture twenty times but I try to Instagram you know whatever they are and that's just free market
Roger: And that's wow factor that's and I want to my Montrose and it all started with the food who wanted every single plate in all of our restaurants to out when you put a plate in front of a customer no matter what it is an appetizer, non-trade dessert you want the customer to say wow and pull out their camera phone and start snapping pictures and then we said well why shouldn't stop at the food the whole place should be about wow factor, the way the customers treated by the staff, the vibe the feeling of the place we talked about our favorite place that just has that vibe it's like it's all about wow so thought [and how you feel when you leave] absolutely you've got to create a wow factor across your operation no matter what it is fast, casual, full serve, hotel lobby bar whatever it is so yeah wow factor [wow factor and bingo]. So are we looking for a wow factor tomorrow or something else what do we look for?
Thea: Yeah so I want to try a few new ones I'm hoping they have some suggestions right and some may be interesting for you some pairings will be traced I did you know in order what I would normally order but I think tomorrow I'm really hoping they'll have some suggestions that I'll try some things and pair some things that I wouldn't generally …. [You’re in experimental mood tomorrow, I am sort of like having a personal shopper like I want someone to guide me through that magical Terry and I'm hoping the timing is good not too rushed not too slow those are sort of my expectations I don't want the music too loud last time one of the last times I was there the music was overpowering it was hard to have a conversation so I'm hoping that doesn't happen again so those are yeah that's what I'm hoping for.
Roger: So we talked today about leading by example, we talked about empowering your staff, we talked about recognition, we talked about spirit, we talked about chemistry and just this magical experience what else, what did we miss, we talked about Bingo.
Thea: Well, I think all of those things are included in the sales price program so if anybody wants to learn more I mean you've talked about them a lot on different podcast about so it's there's also a ton of free blog posts and things that are clean if somebody wants to implement this they can go over I think the term yeah this is hearing in February. So, I think right now the sales force program is still 40% off I don't know how long that's going to last re-animate he added a fast casual version as well so I think if they want to learn more and they want to execute some of this stuff they can head over to Restaurant Rockstars and click on staff training
Roger: Well, maybe our experience tomorrow night will be a future episode will see
Thea: I think I would welcome report back I hope that it's good I hope that both for our sake and their sake not that will mention any names but actually if it's good will mention that they are right when we haven't given it a go and we have a negative teaching we try not to colony went out on that but yeah we'll report back on how it went I'm excited
Roger: Anything else?
Roger: No, I think that's good I'm good well that's the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, thanks for joining us and will see again bye everybody.
Thanks for listening to The Restaurant's Rockstars Podcast. For lots of great resources, head over to restaurantrockstars.com and while you're there, download a copy of the book, ‘Rock Your Restaurant’ it’s a game changer, See you next time!
[End of Transcript]