Advice Guy

An industry expert answers questions on improving restaurant operations

Want to ask Advice Guy a question?

Submit your question here

Question: 
One of my coworkers got fired for taking food home. It was cooked stuff from a party that the sous chef told us to toss. It doesn’t seem fair. What do other restaurants do?
Answer: 

For someone like me who loves food and appreciates all of the effort that goes into growing, preparing and serving it, seeing it go to waste is painful. And when taking...

Question: 
Is it possible to hold servers accountable for sales? What is the best way to do that?
Answer: 

Last week Sanjiv Razdan, COO of Applebee’s, and I spoke on a webinar...

Question: 
How do I train employees when they have never really worked at a restaurant before? I have one employee that is making lots of mistakes but I really want to keep him and love his attitude.
Answer: 

When I first started working in culinary and hospitality education, I convened a group of employers to give us feedback on what they were looking for in our graduates. I...

Question: 
With a lot of restaurants deciding to do away with tipping, I need to ask what that will do to customer service. I have servers that go the extra mile and some that do as little as they can get away with. Is it really fair to have them both receive the same amount? 
Answer: 

It may not be fair that under a no-tipping arrangement—or a tip pooling arrangement for that matter—a great server would earn the same amount as a mediocre server. But...

Question: 
I told a cook not to use his smartphone during service. Now he’s on that smartwatch. What should I tell him now?
Answer: 

Managing employees can be very rewarding. There’s nothing more gratifying than developing someone who comes to you needing work and seeing him or her emerge as a leader....

Question: 
How do I ensure that adding beer and wine to my small pizza shop will not cause headaches with people viewing us as a “bar” as opposed to a family-friendly establishment?
Answer: 

I probably don’t need to tell you that if the license to serve alcohol is reasonably priced, you will have a nice additional revenue stream. Your question is whether...

Question: 
As a supplier, I'd like your advice on the best way to approach restaurants in my area. I'm finding it difficult to get in touch with a decision-maker. If I leave materials with a manager or another employee, the answer is inevitably “no” from a faceless entity I never have the opportunity to meet.
Answer: 

Your question is the lament of every salesperson. Finding the right decision-maker or gatekeeper for purchase decisions is a challenge and, since our industry has diverse...

Question: 
If you have an employee that has been with you almost 30 years but has personal problems, is it OK to change his job duties if you increase his pay?
Answer: 

Unless you have an employee on a contract or a collective bargaining agreement, both relatively rare in restaurants, you have a lot of latitude to change job descriptions...

Pages