Front-of-house food and beverage industry workers are salespeople!
Surprisingly, many people in the food and beverage industry don’t understand that they are actually in the sales business. I teach and advise about 50 to 60 entrepreneurs each year and it always surprises me that they are thrilled to tell me about their pursuits into entrepreneurship, but few view themselves as sales people. It requires a change off thinking and a change of attitude. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a food and beverage establishment, salesmanship should be your constant company mantra, for without sales there is no revenue and certainly no ability to maximize profits.
In the F & B industry it comes down to whether a server is an order taker or a salesperson. If you’re going to maximize your profit, you and your employees need to first and foremost understand that you are in the sales business and you just happen to achieve this goal by selling stuff, in this case food and beverages. Right from the get-go servers need to understand that they are in fact working in a sales position and fully understand that suggestive selling and up-selling (done right) is largely about offering better customer service. And you as manager or supervisor must be able to set up, continue, maintain and teach to that point each and every day. To drive this point further, as salespeople, servers do receive what are pretty good commissions of 10 to 20 percent paid daily and mostly in cash; to the rest of us they are called tips, and no less commissions paid on performance and paid on the spot by customers that have come into your place of business and have clearly pre-determined to spend money.
What current processes do you have that set up sales expectations among all of your servers, from the recruiting to the hiring, orientation, training and supervision stage. Where do you instill this? Indeed, all staff members that interact with guests need to be salespeople and have a sales attitude built in.
Daily, what do you include in your stand-up sessions with staff to put them and keep them in a sales-minded place to ensure that every staff member is actively involved in better customer service and increased sales to maximize profit?
Mike has worked across Canada as a food and beverage professional and currently divides his time between writing and teaching people how to start and run their own businesses.