Stop the Struggle in Your Restaurant

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Employees, Marketing, Operations

By David Scott Peters

Make your restaurant fun and profitable again

I teach independent restaurant owners how to use operational systems to be more efficient and to position themselves to compete with the chain restaurants around them. But running a successful restaurant goes beyond systems. It requires the right attitude as well.

You work hard every day to make your restaurant a success. But if you’re not having fun, do you think your employees are? So give yourself a timeout and see if your restaurant could benefit from implementing any of the following ideas. I know you can make your restaurant fun and profitable again.

  • Appreciate your guests. There is an acronym in the industry that focuses on putting your customer first. GUEST stands for greet, understand, educate, satisfy and thank. Without your guest, you have nothing, right? So show them that you appreciate them and that you appreciate that they want to spend their discretionary income in your restaurant. Make them glad they chose you to do business with.
  • Appreciate your employees. One of the best ways to make work fun is to make it fun for everyone who works with you. And you can make coming to work and being at work more fun in the way you treat your employees.
  • Try some new and inexpensive marketing ideas. When you’re lean on cash and can’t afford a lot of advertising — outside your four walls — I encourage you to look inside your four walls for advertising opportunities, also known as four-wall marketing. You’ve got them in your doors, now you need to tell them what you do. Give them more reasons to come back.
  • Increase the chatter. Teach your employees that they have everything to do with how much money they make. If they simply take orders instead of taking an opportunity to sell with each order, it’s their bank account that suffers. If they can increase ticket averages, they can increase their take-home dollars. It’s the art of the upsell.
  • Create a little competition. Develop server incentives and contests that encourage upselling and increase sales. Not only teach them how to upsell, but pick items, whatever it is that you want to sell, and create a concept, something fun. For example, the server who sells the most specials one night gets the prize. Or whoever sells the most bottles of wine in one night wins. Get them to compete with each other, increase their ability to sell, increase their average ticket. They make more money, you make more money. It may have cost you a little bit of money to put up, whether it’s a cash prize or movie tickets or whatever, but it’s a lot less than advertising. And it fuels great customer service, giving your customers the feeling that they’re special.

You spend a lot of time inside your restaurant’s four walls and so does your staff. But it shouldn’t be a struggle. A few simple things can make work fun again. I challenge you to implement just one of these ideas and see the response you get from customers and employees. If it works, let me know.

David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert, coach, trainer and speaker, specializing in teaching independent restaurant owners how to use systems for increased sales and increased profits. He is the nationally acclaimed restaurant coach whose unique “SMART Systems” approach to boosting profits has earned him the title of, “The man who can walk into any restaurant in America and find $10,000 in undiscovered cash before he hits the back door – Guaranteed!” Visit for more. Learn more tips, tricks and secrets in David’s free five-part e-course, “How to Explode Your Restaurant Profits NOW!” Simply sign up to receive the e-course at

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