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Bill Main

Articles by
Bill Main

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Making a list and checking it twice

The holiday season offers many opportunities for fun, goodwill and lots of business. But behind the glamour of hospitality, there needs to be some basics to keep things running smoothly.

The tills are alive with the sound of music

"Music is the food of love", according to William Shakespeare. It's also money in the bank for restaurant owners. A recent study conducted in central England showed that classical music has the power to persuade people to part with their cash.

Do you have an emotional bond with your customers?

Fast Company is a magazine for, about and inspirational to organizations that embody the attributes that define the best ways to compete, work, and win. In "Is Your Company Up To Speed," from the June 2003 issue, Fast Company poses these questions to businesses who want to be "fast."

Motivating your waitstaff to improve their service is a challenge. And concentrating on what everyone is doing "wrong" gets really old really fast. So years ago I tried an experiment based on two premises.

By now I'm sure you're all used to regular visits from the health inspector, fire inspector, and maybe even building inspector. It's a regular part of the job. And for many, a regular part of the stress.

The reports are in and (Gasp!) food and beverage costs are up again. By your calculations they should be around 34%, but this week you've hit 39%. Last week 32%, and the week before 37%. There's obviously something wrong here.

I haven't found an operator yet who wouldn't like to boost incremental sales. Retail sales are a great way to do this, and more and more restaurants are dedicating space to feature unique clothing, food products, souvenirs, etc. The trick is often getting guests to pause long enough to notice...and hopefully purchase.

In today's crowded marketplace, only the most loyal of guests stay loyal. Research has consistently demonstrated that any but this most loyal group are as...

Building a great staff hinges on a lot of different factors. We look for people with the right personality, a basic level of skills, a polished appearance, etc. If we're lucky, we find talented, loyal, friendly employees who take care of our guests.

We've talked before about using cage-rattling interview questions to get below the surface when face to face with job candidates. But just because you have some fancy tricks up your sleeve doesn't mean that you can forego more fundamental interview questions.

The next time you're out on the dining room floor, watch as guests are handed your menu. Do they glance down at the cover? Open it right up to find something to order?

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