Posts in Operations
Stop Wine-ing or: How to Sell More Wine

When guests come into your restaurant, oftentimes the server or bartender is the only person they really speak to, except for a brief moment with the host team, if you have one. This is why it is crucial that your service staff, the ambassadors of your brand, know at least a base-line about the wine list. There is so much information out there and we only have so much time because our primary job is to get through a smooth service. The question is, especially with wine, where do you even start?

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Training, OperationsDana Koteen
Ordered Chaos: A Manager's Mantra

I fueled my mornings with iced triple espressos, and I put myself to bed with two to three cocktails nightly. There were days when it took everything in me not to turn the car around when I saw my exit. I could write a book on the highs and the lows, the joys and the frustrations that made up my years with that company; that's not what this blog post is about. This post is about one simple quote my boss passed on to me that has informed just about everything I do in the restaurant business. 

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OperationsDana Koteen
Ordered Chaos: Steps of Service

Think of your restaurant’s fan base as your springboard to success, your greatest marketing tool, and your number one solution to many day-to-day challenges. How to build a strong following of regulars, however, is not as simple as training a staff that’s proficient in order taking and menu preparation. They need to be exceptional at selling your experience—your brand—to every guest that walks through your doors. 

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Convert First-Time Diners into Regulars: "First Impression Advantage"

Understanding this idea helps us better manage the guest experience, particularly regarding first-time diners. In retail they talk a lot about "conversion," a word we don't use in our restaurant vocabulary. What they mean is to convert a person walking who has come to browse into a paying customer. Well, we need conversion, too! We need to turn first-time diners into regulars. 

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Cutting Expenses: The Battle Against Turnover, Part I

The cost of turnover for one new employee is said to be between $4000 and $14,000...

The fact is, when you own or manage a restaurant or restaurant group, you have to wage war against turnover. In addition to what can be quantified, are non-quantifiable costs to be considered as well, such as changes in staff morale, relationships with regulars, and the trust you build in your employees. People come and go all the time; it’s part of the narrative, but there are things that we can do to reduce these costs and build a better team. 

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Training, OperationsDana Koteen