top of page


Updated: Jun 22

You're either proactive or reactive in business? You're either looking for opportunities or simply waiting to be asked. You're either maximising every revenue opportunity or just tending to the transactional needs of the guest. Regardless of your industry the same applies. 

Then, just when you think a guest facing team can't get any less effective, they go one step further and start telling the guest what they don't want! Yes seriously! You couldn't make this up, and yet I've witnessed it twice in the last week. 

"You're probably too full for dessert", and "Let me remove that wine glass, you're not having wine tonight are you?" Well if you knew me, you'd know I'm never too full for dessert and there's no way I'm not indulging in a cheeky glass of wine, regardless of the day of the week. 

I mean who told them to say such counter intuitive things? Worse still, why haven't they been told what 'to' say and what ‘not’ to say?

Just imagine if the server had taken a few seconds to ask how my day had been and then suggested a small glass of their South African Shiraz with my Short Rib or told me to save room for their Sticky Toffee Pudding with homemade honeycomb ice cream.

Selling is not a dirty word. In fact if you don't do it you won't be in business for long. In my industry selling is not only helping your guests make good decisions. More importantly it's showing them that they're worthy of your time. To achieve impressive additional sales you just have to be interested. In the guest, their experience, your reputation and that of the business you represent.

And yet not everyone that works for you has had the privilege of working for manager that looks to maximise every shift through coaching and encouragement. It doesn't mean they're not interested; it just means that they might be unaware of the impact they're having on the guest experience, sales and dare I say the future of the business.

Imagine if they were told how significant their contribution was and how they would benefit from the increase in sales? Imagine if they knew how easy it was to sell and provide better service?

It's time to share your knowledge and wisdom. Here are 5 simple yet hugely effective selling techniques that could add 20% to your sales. 

Positive language. Essential for a positive outcome. Example: 'I hope you saved room for dessert', or ‘We’ve some delicious new cocktails on our list, it’s the perfect way to start your experience with us.’

Assume the sale. When a someone stops to look at a menu box, they're considering if they'd like to enter. But once they're sat in your restaurant they've decided to part with their money and how much is dependent on the team serving them. Example: 'What wine will you be enjoying with your meal this evening?' or ‘What starters will you be sharing this evening?’


Friendly. It's a fact that people buy from people they like. The friendlier the server, the happier the guest feels, the more likely they are to return and tell others to do the same. No one ever returned to a place where the team were miserable or displayed indifference. Example: “Hi! How are you this evening? I’ll give you time to look at the menu, but if you have any questions or need some suggestions please don’t hesitate to ask, I’d be delighted to help.”

Recommendations. The team that work in a restaurant or bar usually know what's best. So it makes sense to use that knowledge to help guests make the best decision for them. Example: ‘If you’re still unsure what to have I thoroughly recommend our 24hr braised short rib, it’s stunning and so tender the meat just falls off the bone.’

Trust. Before you can expect a someone to trust you or your brand, you have to earn that trust through behaviour that's honest, humble, sincere and above all authentic. Something  best established in the way you greet and interact with guests and the consistency in which it happens. Trust like integrity is consistently doing the right thing, even when no one's watching. 

Selling is easy when you believe in the product and enjoy seeing others have a great experience. As the former ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.”

I’m a restaurant geek on a mission to help proprietors improve sales and profit and inspire management to train, coach and develop their teams, helping their team members maximise their earning & career potential.

But why post on LinkedIn? Why share my wisdom or two pence worth here? I hope a restauranteur, Ops manager or General Manager will take 3 or 4 minutes to read this post and say ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ And share it with every single manager in their business.

Just like the late, great Russel Joffe did for me when I was just starting out. He taught me, inspired and even bullocked me (not sure you can do that anymore?). I know that sharing your passion for hospitality makes a difference, I’ve been doing it for years and low and behold have helped create the next generation of successful managers. So if you're reading this it’s now your turn to use it and share it because nothing happens on its own, you have to make it happen. 

For more insight and inspiration to take your service to the ‘next level’, get in touch.  


1 view0 comments


bottom of page