50 Great Ideas

50 Great Ideas

31. Training for soft skills

Golden Corral looked at how it retains high-potential workers who want a career with the brand. The chain adjusted its trainer and management education to teach them not just the tactical skills of running a restaurant, but also soft skills such as giving feedback and alerting a manager to a red flag, said John Aiken, senior director of learning and development, at the Restaurant Leadership Conference. One way the chain is doing this is by incorporating in-person classroom learning, bringing GMs to its headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., for a week.

50 Great Ideas

30. Drop spot for delivery

Fast casual B.Good is playing to consumer interest in delivery, especially in busy urban markets, with delivery hot spots in office settings that serve as a common pickup spot for lunch orders. The first one launched in July in Jersey City, N.J.

Big Beach Brewing Co. in Gulf Shores, Ala., has a Mind Your P’s & Q’s wall. Customers can prebuy beer for a friend, and a small card relaying that message goes on the wall. When the friend arrives, they can redeem the drink.

An optional surcharge on customers’ bills at Daisies in Chicago helps pay for workers’ health insurance, adding up to about $100 a month per employee. The restaurant pays the rest, which helps recruit and retain talented employees.

Shake Shack was testing a four-day work week in Las Vegas locations as part of a recruitment and retention strategy.

Sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s has a lingo that not only helps staffers but also makes loyal guests feel like insiders. Diners can ask for “CPR” for cherry pepper relish, “light juice” for light oil and vinegar or for their sub to be “gutted” if they don’t want all the bread.

Farmhouse Tavern in Toronto has found a way to attract customers on typically slower Sundays while also reducing food waste with its F*** Mondays program. The concept runs eight hourly promotions every Sunday, reducing prices and discounting items until all of the food is gone. The restaurant can close with an empty refrigerator until it reopens midweek.

Instead of presenting creamer on the side, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery uses a stir stick as a hook for miniature cream pitchers. This also makes it easier for servers to carry.

During finals season, Panera Bread extended its hours at units near campuses, boosting off-peak traffic. The chain pushed a Brain Food Menu of protein-rich wraps and salads while offering free baked items and coffee.

Every week, Woodhull Public House in Yarmouth, Maine, offers a new taco, allowing customers to be the official tasters and decide if the item will join the menu permanently.

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