August 22, 2011
About the blog, Kansas City, Managers, Servers
David Hayden, david haydon, Hospitality Formula, Hospitality Formula Consulting, Hospitality Formula Publishing, Kansas City, Server, The Hospitality Formula Network, tips for improving your tips, tips for tips, tips2, tips2: tips for improving your tips, tips4tips, tipsfortips, Waiter
- You should be over here right now
Recently I have noticed a small spike in subscribers to this blog. That is great. I appreciate you choosing to subscribe. I hope to reward you with outstanding content that will make you glad you did. The problem is that this is not where I am doing that anymore. In December, I transformed this humble blog into The Hospitality Formula Network. The network consists of five specific blogs that each focus on a different facet of the hospitality industry. There is a blog for restaurant servers, restaurant managers, restaurant guests, and even one filled with restaurant humor. You can learn more about The Hospitality Formula Network here or just visit the home page for previews of the content available on each of the sites.
So I am not going to ask you to take the time to click a link without giving you some reason to do so. Here are three reasons why I think The Hospitality Formula Network is worth visiting or revisiting if you haven’t in a while.
Weekly Skills Focus: For the last 6 weeks, I have been laying out what I believe are the fundamental keys to improving sales, tips, and creating return guests. We are currently on week 6 of an 8 week series. I have dug back through the archives and am spotlighting on key post each week. I am adding further explanation on the server blog, but doing much more on the manager blog. Each lesson at The Manager’s Office is also accompanied with key teaching point to make this your pre-shift meeting topic of the week. In addition, I am including a “lesson plan” as such to explain how to teach the topic throughout the week to increase understanding and server buy-in. I fully believe that restaurants that follow this plan for all eight weeks will see a dramatic improvement in revenues, morale, and guest happiness.
In-Depth Knowledge: When I started this blog, I felt it necessary to cover the big picture issues first. This lead to a lot of posts that introduced philosophies that create the paradigm by which I analyze the restaurant industry. This is where topics like the 10 Rules of Serving and my Leadership vs Management series for managers came from. Now I am able to simply reference and link back to those posts when discussing more situational topics. This blog provided a great deal of background information, the current posts deal more with the real world applications of it.
The Writing is Better: If I am going to be honest with you, I cringe when reading some of the early posts on this blog. I never claimed to be a great writer. I have found though that writing like most other skills is something you get better with the more you practice. 300+ posts and over 250,000 words later, I think my writing has improved a bit. I have a stronger voice and feel more confident writing in it. I address a number of topics now that I was scared to when I started this blog. The transition was most apparent to me when shortly after starting the network I began a final round of rewrites and edits on my book. The blogs and the book both benefited greatly from the efforts that began trying to peck together posts for this blog.
Speaking of which, did I mention that I released a book? My first book Tips²: Tips For Improving Your Tips was released just two months ago. I truly believe it is the finest book available on the topic of the skills servers need to make exceptional tips. I do not say that because I wrote it, I say that because I have spent some time looking into other books available on the topic. I did not write the book to make a quick buck. I did not slam some information together and print it up on a Xerox machine. I did not release an eBook and hope to sell a few copies. I spent two and a half years writing, testing, editing, rewriting, copy editing, designing and publishing. I am not looking to sell a few copies while I am working a desk job. This is not just another product I can sell my consulting clients.
This book is my manifesto on serving. After 16 years in the business and countless misguided server training programs, I distilled the information that has allowed me to be a successful professional server into a simple format that servers can benefit from immediately. I founded Hospitality Formula Publishing to help provide this information directly to the hospitality industry. I have two more books in developement and am on the lookout for other strong voices within the industry that I can help be heard. This is not a way to market myself. This is my attempt to fundamentally change the way that servers are trained.
I take seriously the fact that I am not just some consultant who wrote a book. In less than five hours I will be tying on an apron to start another week serving at The Majestic Restaurant in Kansas City. I have to say it is a bit odd at times living the double life of author and server. Over the last two months I have received a bit of publicity. I have been featured on/in KSHB, KCTV, KCUR, The Pitch, The Kansas City Star, The Employee Lounge, and Tony’s Kansas City. This leads to the inevitable, “Hey aren’t you that guy who wrote a book?” If you ever really want to increase the pressure of serving, try to be the server who wrote a book on serving. There are no more off nights. You are expected to bring the show to every table every night. I refuse to be a hypocrite about the things I write about. I know they work because I do them.
So thank you for visiting this site. I hope you enjoyed the post, now get over to The Hospitality Formula Network and let’s change this industry together.
December 3, 2010
A Little Humor
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Nobody wants to work with "that guy."
We were all rookies at one time. We walked in confident the first day at a new restaurant only to end up with a deer-in-the-headlights look by the first rush. I’ve worked at plenty of restaurants over the years and know the feeling all to well. I have most certainly been “that guy” as well. There is something unnerving about being a rookie at a new restaurant.
I have also been the veteran at several restaurants. I have been around long enough to see countless rookies come through my restaurant and make the same mistakes. Most of them are incredibly well meaning. I try to be patient with all of them. Sometimes I even bother to learn their names after a couple of months.
Read the full post at Restaurant Laughs
November 23, 2010
angry customer, angry guest, complaint, demanding customer, demanding guest, hostile customer, hostile guest, how to deal with, how to handle a, Restaurant, rude customer, rude guest, Server, skills, Tips, tips for, tips on, tipsfortips, Waiter, waitress
There was a better solution
One of the most difficult situations any server faces is the hostile guest. I call them hostile, because they are angry with you long before you have even greeted them. Some people just bring all the hostility of their day in to a restaurant and dump it on their server. From the moment you greet them, they make it clear that they know you are only smiling because you have to and that none of your upselling mind tricks are going to work on them. The average server can spot this right away and provides adequate service while avoiding small talk at all cost.
This approach is the response the guest is accustomed to. It reconfirms their belief that the only reason you were being friendly in the first place was to get their tip. They peg you as a phony and the restaurant version of détente is underway. Most servers try to avoid this type of guest. In reality though these guests are the ones you can make the biggest impact on. Once you learn how to defuse these time bomb guests, you are well on your way to building a regular for life.
Read the full story at Tips For Improving Your Tips
November 16, 2010
A Little Humor, Foodies, Servers
Better, comments, compliment, constructive, Critic, criticism, criticizing, critiquing, friendly, how to, is it rude, leaving a note, nice, polite, restaurant server, review, rude, Server, surly, Waiter, waitress
Next week we review the biopic of an amateur server critic entitled, "Why did you shove that fork in my eye?"
As you are reading this, I am most likely sitting in a courthouse awaiting a trial. Not my trial or anything of that nature. I was summoned for jury duty. If this is the last post for a while, you will know I was sequestered for the crime of the century. In anticipation of my potential selection, I have spent some time thinking about my recent guest post and a comment it included. The idea of critiquing a server was brought up in the post and confirmed by some comments posted afterwards.
I have never been a lawyer, but I was on the mock trial team at North Kansas City High School. I love Law and Order. I have several friends who are lawyers and even know a couple judges. People tell me all the time that I should have been a lawyer. All of this makes me fully qualified to tell the lawyers what they could do better next time. Right?
Read the full post on Tips For Improving Your Tips
November 12, 2010
A Little Humor, Foodies, Servers
customer service, Foodie, gratuity, higher wages, how restaurant owners can increase sales, how to be a better restaurant server, minimum wage, Money, motivating servers., not tipping, Restaurant, Restaurant Customer, Restaurant Guests, Restaurant Manager, restaurant server, restaurants, Server, Server Blog, server minimum wage, server pay, server wage, server wage in, Servers, Service, service charge, Serving, Tip Credit, tipping, Tips, Waiter, Waiting, waitress
A world without tips
I am still incredibly grateful for my recent guest post on tipping. It inspired my response that discussed the economics of tipping. It also raised a few other interesting points that I am now learning are common misconceptions about restaurants. For people who have never worked in a restaurant, these misconceptions can easily be mistaken as facts. Upon further consideration they may not be wise to pursue. One interesting idea that she raised in the post was raising the wages paid to server by restaurants to replace tipping. While on the surface it seems quite logical, it would have a disastrous impact on the industry.
Restaurants are operated on incredibly thin profit margins. As discussed in a previous post, large corporate restaurant chains are extremely susceptible to anything that affects their stock prices. With a huge spike in the cost of labor, restaurant stock prices would crumble. Independent restaurant owners struggling to stay afloat would shutter. Consumers would lose choices. A vast majority of restaurants would survive this initial wave, but be forced into the next step.
The remaining restaurants would set a wage for servers considerably lower than what the servers make now. Professional servers with years of experience would have to settle for the new rate or venture into a new career field. Between servers quitting and terminations, restaurants would reduce the size of their server staff by about a third. Servers who worked four table sections before would now be required to work six tables for less money. This would reduce the damage to the restaurant’s bottom line, but also drastically reduce the quality of service that was provided to guests.
Read the full post at Tips For Improving Your Tips