Getting Your Restaurant Bar Ready for Autumn

08 Oct, 2015 | Tags: , , ,

Pumpkin Flavored Everthing

Don’t act like you’re surprised to see that pumpkin spice lattes are a huge hit this year… again. If we’re honest with ourselves, I think we all know that autumn is the best season. The fireplaces, the leaves changing colors, perfect weather temperatures, and last but not at all least, all the wonderful fall flavors. While pumpkin spice lattes are obviously a favorite amongst many, here are some other ideas to prep your bar for fall flavor favorites.
Pumpkin Beer: A must for your bar during this time of the year; it’ll be a favorite. Trust us. Imperial Pumpkin Ale is a brewing company from out of Easton, PA and a bottle promises “cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom”, it’s a promising bottle that most everyone will give a shot. Good Gourd out of Tampa, Florida is also arguably one of the best pumpkin beers ever.

Infusions

Let’s be real, infusions are perfect all year round, but now is the time to put away the strawberries and coconuts. Bring out your apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Grab your rums, bourbons, and vodkas, and prepare to have fun. Infusions are always a favorite, because it allows your bartenders to get creative. So bring out the big guns and give your bartenders a whirl at coming up with something spicy and new.
Spicy Sangria: If you’re in a part of the country that isn’t quite fall perfect weather yet, a glass of something that tastes like fall but is chilled might be a push in the right direction. So I give you…Spicy Sangria! Red wine, rum, orange liqueur, and cinnamon sticks will give you an amazing autumn tasting sangria. Perfect for places that are still settled in patio weather.

Apple Pie Infused Bourbon

Everything about bourbon feels so much like summer changing into fall, so why not make it part of your bar’s autumn drink specials? Try doing a bourbon infusion with apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of simple syrup. This is a delicious drink that’ll warm your customers right up!

Tom And Jerry

For the serious fall lovers and rum drinkers, try adding this unique little cocktail to your prep list. Eggs, brandy, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, dark rum, and milk are all on the ingredient list. This makes for a super hearty cocktail, but one that will leave the adventurous autumn tongue quite happy.
What are some of your favorite fall drinks your restaurant keeps on the menu? Don’t forget while you’re planning out your autumn drink schedule, you can also use What Time Do I Work to keep all your other schedules in line too!


Why Every Restaurant Needs to Use Scheduling Software

06 Aug, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s pretty easy to see that communication is a necessity to any thriving business.  In today’s economy, it’s paramount to have a step-up in your communication whenever possible. The restaurant business can be brutal at times, with small margins and long hours, not to mention all the variables that can quickly turn a successful start to a day into an understaffed nightmare!  Keeping a large crowd waiting too long at the hostess station and you may have just lost potential customers forever.  Between understaffed waiters/waitresses, tables that need to be cleared, food orders getting cold, and special customer requests, many times managers and their employees alike can quickly feel the stress of the situation, and that’s not good for anyone!  That’s where innovative technology comes into play.

Share the Load

Using staff scheduling software can lighten a manager’s load considerably by

  • allowing managers to have the ability to create their schedules from home, if they choose, instead of in the midst of all the commotion in their backroom
  • managers no longer need to cater to all those interruptions from employees asking when they are scheduled to work next
  • they won’t be inundated with scraps of paper with handwritten notes trying to decipher when their employee is requesting some time off
  • since now the employee is responsible for adding their own requests directly into the system, if you try to schedule this employee during an unavailable time, a pop-up will remind you about their request
  • when it’s time to schedule that team meeting, it takes the guesswork and out of wondering if you’ve contacted everyone because now, it’s only a button click away

Think of all the time you’ll save by not having to rewrite a schedule over and over again! 

Employee Approved

Your employees will love using the online employee schedule system too!  They’ll be able to

  • access their schedule via smartphone, or simply check online; no more time wondering when the schedule is completed, or having to run back up to the restaurant to check the board
  • input their own requests for time off, eliminating potential disagreements or friction; no more keeping your fingers crossed in hopes that your manager remembers your request
  • receive reminders for when you’re scheduled to work; no more awkward feelings, wondering if you should call work to find out, or just show up and hope you were scheduled   

The Bar

Another important area of a restaurant that cannot be overemphasized is the bar. If a bartender doesn’t show up due to a lack of communication this can cause a potential great loss in revenue to everyone involved. Using a streamlined bar scheduling software can open up lines of communication and increase a restaurants profits substantially by

  • having each bartender’s hours specifically laid out in such a way that meets everyone’s needs; bars typically open during later hours, and bartenders are typically balancing many schedules throughout their day
  • bartender’s having the ability to put in requests from their smartphone or computer saving them time, and better organizing their daily schedule which expands communication
  • increasing profit margins by keeping the bar open on time and keeping those drinks filled; generating greater profits for everyone
  • keeping the highest profit margin available means that employee hours don’t get cut; everyone in the restaurant can be affected by this    

Now, everything goes directly into the system, all in one, easy to use place!

The folks at WhatTimeDoIWork.comhave made a huge impact to help you save time, improve even the best communication, all while saving you money.  This new innovative scheduling software didn’t happen overnight.  It was developed by experts with over thirty years of scheduling experience who took the time to sit down and listen to what managers and their employees both needed and wanted to become more successful.  Taking all their data into consideration, this team has developed a polished system where everything transpires in one place and can be accessed any time, day or night, from any place in the world.  They have produced the gift of giving you less stress and making life easier, while at the same time allowing you more time to work on those other important tasks for your business, you know, the ones listed under all those other papers that you can now throw away!


3 Ways to Promote Restaurant Staff Communication

06 Jul, 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

Restaurant staff members are like family, and as such, they act like family. That means they love each other, but they can also have moments of serious conflict. Any restaurant owner or manager knows how easy it is to succumb to the “family life” in the restaurant business. But no owner wants to play the parent when things go sour. Here are some ways you can start promoting a professional atmosphere without losing the family feel that makes working in the restaurant business so much fun. One of the most important things you can always work on in the restaurant world is promoting lines of communication between staff, BOH and FOH, and managers.

1. Pre-Pop Meet-Up

You know the busiest times for you restaurant. Sometimes the most helpful way to promote healthy staff chemistry is by looking ahead for trouble. When servers and cooks are the busiest, that’s when they are most likely to make mistakes. By gathering the back of house and front of house for pre-pop meet-ups, you’re acknowledging as a manager that things are about to get busy, but you should take the time to ask your staff, “what do we need to get through this busy shift as a strong and capable team?” By doing this you’re making everyone feel involved and ready to take on the busiest points of their shift. Also by coordinating these pre-shift meets, you’re creating an atmosphere of professionalism in the workplace.

2. Open Door Policy

One of the reasons the restaurant business can feel so much like family is because more often than not staff, managers, and owners all work in the same space. The “open door policy” that most corporate offices have, doesn’t really work the same way if you’re manager doesn’t have a “door”. Even if you do not have a private office for staff members to come and speak with you at any time of any given work day, you can help by setting aside a set time each week for staff members to feel invited to come and speak with you about any issues. It’s also helpful to give your staff members a more private way to request a meeting with you. Consider posting a phone number, email address, or even anonymous text information poster in the staff room, anything that will help a staff member talk about issues, before acting out on them while on your floor.

3. Strategic Scheduling

You know your restaurant employees. You know who works best with whom, and that means from the kitchen to the front of house staff to the managers. Consider carefully when you put together the work schedules for the week. How can you make the most of the staff you have? Consider if there are some people who enjoy each others time more and work well together. Consider if there are some employees who could use more help during peak rush hours and perhaps that individual should be scheduled with someone who can help that employee during the shift. There is much to consider when scheduling for your restaurant, but by choosing whom you schedule and when carefully, you will make a more productive and enjoyable shift every time. Use What Time Do I Work for your scheduling needs to help you clear your lines of communication!


3 Books Every Restaurant (and Small Business) Owner Should Read

08 Jun, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Many of us are looking for successful individuals who have triumphed over failure and risen to success, and then written guidebooks to their success. Learning is a valuable skill business owners and entrepreneurs require to continue moving forward and up. The following are 3 books that have proven to be great reads for business owners.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t 

By Jim Collins:

Jim Collins wrote “Good To Great” in 2001, and in the year 2015 it is still a very well known book among business and restaurant owners, as well as many other individuals in leadership positions. Collins wrote his book by way of many years of research. His book was written in hopes of helping leaders understand why their business grows and then stops, or for businesses that can’t seem to get off the ground. Many leaders talk about how this book changed the way they did business completely. Collins really pushes the reader to change the way they think business should work, and guides you into a new realm of business thinking.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5 

By Timothy Ferriss:

Ferriss’s book, “The 4-Hour Workweek”, teaches the reader step-by-step how he went from making $40k per year working 80 hours a week to making $40k per month working 4 hours a week. The 4-Hour Workweek was on the number one seller list for 7 consecutive years. Many business owners love the book because of its many tangible daily goals that can be implemented immediately. You can also check out the blog (www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/) that Ferriss began two months before the release of this book, and to this day continues to frequently update.

Setting The Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

By Danny Meyer:

Danny Meyer is CEO of the famous restaurant group, Union Square Hospitality, in New York. Meyer has been highly successful in opening several well-known restaurants in New York City, but his success has not come without some failures. In his book, “Setting The Table”, Meyer explains those failures as well as how he bounced back and what he learned during those times of failure. The approach Danny takes in writing his book is very personal and relatable for the reader. His focus in the book is his recognition of the power of hospitality as it relates to customer satisfaction. “Setting the Table” is a powerful book for any leader, but specifically business owners whose business relies on hospitality. 

Which other books have you found helpful in your time as a business owner? Share how those books changed the way you did every day business or changed your daily goals as an owner.


Turning Your Restaurant into the “Spot

20 May, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

You know you’ve watched Friend’s and wished you were sitting on that vintage couch, drinking coffee with the gang at Central Perk. And why wouldn’t you wish that? The Friends gang found their perfect spot: a table (with a reserved sign, if you never noticed) surrounded by comfy seating, enjoyable atmosphere, and a great menu. But have you ever wondered why they chose Central Perk as their favorite hangout? Sure, maybe it was because Rachel worked there, or because they lived upstairs.

But it also brings up some basic principles of being a great restaurant. Becoming a favorite spot isn’t as difficult as you might think. Some basic etiquette can quickly turn your restaurant into your guest’s favorite go to spot.

Invite Your Guest

Your restaurant is more than a restaurant; it’s the place people want to go when they aren’t at work, catch up with their best friends, or take their significant other out for a date. Your staff members are the gatekeepers of your doors, and everyone enjoys a friendly gatekeeper. Simply existing as a restaurant isn’t enough to become a favorite spot. Be an inviting restaurant. Smiles, greeting at the front door, and friendly service are all ways you can be inviting. Invite your guests to come, invite them to stay, and invite them to come again.

Remember Your Guest

Did your guest return? Remember them! Starting conversations and asking questions helps your guest feel welcome. And if you remember their answers, you’re winning at guest relations. Simple questions can help you in making your restaurant their favorite spot.

Some starting questions could be: Do they have a favorite table? What’s their favorite item on the menu? Do they have a favorite staff member that gives them great service?

Asking these types of questions (and remembering their answers) will help you tailor a perfect setting for your guest. Remember your guests and they will return!

Serve Your Guest

You’ve succeeded in making your guest feel invited, you’ve remembered their favorite table, now give them service that will make them want to return again and again.

Thankfully, unlike Central Perk, you own a business in the 21st century; there are so many digital options at your fingertips to help your service run smooth.

Using What Time Do I Work for your employee scheduling will ease your mind and give you more time to spend on the floor with your guests. It might even help avoid conflict with employees, which leads to happy employees and even happier clients.

OpenTable is a great option for your guests to let you know when they’re coming to visit, and to save their favorite table. Using digital technology in your restaurant gives you more control of your floor.

Your guests will become staples in your seats because they know what to expect when they visit: genuine and enjoyable service. Smiles at the door, their preferred table in the corner, their favorite server remembering their usual drink order, and it’s all uphill from there. Congratulations. You’ve just been chosen as your guest’s favorite “spot”.

Strive to give your guests dependable and enjoyable service that will make them love your restaurant and want to continue to return. Working closely with your staff members will ensure that your goals will be met.

Also, if you didn’t already know, Rachel wished Central Perk had used What Time Do I Work for their scheduling needs. It might evan have allowed her to spend more of her time focused on fixing her dating life!

Good luck helping your guests make the right choice to choose you as their favorite spot! Let us know how you make your restaurant your guests favorite go to spot.