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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.

Look Ma I’m On The Radio

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The Dave Scott Show

I mentioned this briefly on Saturday’s post, but it is official today.  I will be on The Dave Scott Show this Friday discussing serving and the industry in general.  It should be an interesting listen.  I’ve never been a fan of my own voice (although I have been accused of loving to hear myself talk), but if you all want to suffer through I promise to try to make it interesting.  He hosts a restaurant themed show every Friday.  In recent weeks he has talked to consultants and managers.  I think it will be a refreshing change to have someone who spends time with the guests giving a different opinion.  Have I sold you yet?  Here are the three best reasons I think you should listen in.

1) Someone is putting a server on the radio.  There are so many talented server bloggers out there making their voice heard.  I think this is a great chance to reach a larger audience.  There are several people who I frankly think should be further ahead in line for something like this than me.  I hope this goes well and gives many of them the opportunity to be heard as well.  I will be dropping some names to him of people on that list.  People I would much rather listen to on the radio than myself.  I’ve never seen anyone who sits down at a computer to write about serving as a rival.  This is a mighty fine community we have and what helps one of us helps all of us as I see it.

2) I will be making a big announcement about the future of this site.  January 1st this site will no longer exist as you know it.  For the last week or so I have been up to my eyeballs in uploading, installing, truncating, and redirecting.  The Holidays are probably not the best time to do this.  On Friday’s show I will be announcing a new home for the blog and a new format I hope you all will really like.  Of course you will hear about it on this blog next week, but who wants to be the last to know?  Only one group will get to know sooner and those are the people who are signed up for my twitter feed.  They will get first crack at it on Thursday.

3) It’s the day before my birthday.  Yeah, I will play that card.  I am cutting my birthday celebration a bit short (who gives up a Saturday night shift in December?) to partake in the interview.  Consider it my online b-day party and you are all invited.  No present necessary.  Sorry, no cake.

So if you are near a computer on Friday between 6-7 central time, I hope you will direct it to LVRocks.com .  Dave seems like a great guy and hosts a very interesting show.  His past restaurant shows can be found on his page.  All are very good listens.  I would be curious to hear what you thought of past guests.  I will try to not embarrass all of you.  Back to regularly scheduled posts tomorrow.

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