Wednesday, September 29, 2010

9 Commandments of OUR Guest

9 Commandments of Our Guest

1. Our guest is the most important person in our business.

2. Our guests are not dependent on us. We are dependent on them.

3. Our guests are not an interruption of our work. They are the
purpose of it.

4. Our guests do us a favor when they come in. We are not doing
them a favor by waiting on them.

5. Our guests are parts of our business -- not outsiders.

6. Our guests are not just money in the cash register. They are
human beings with feelings, just like us.

7. Our guests are people who come to us with their needs and
wants. It is our job to fill them.

8. Our guests deserve the most courteous attention we can give
them. They are the lifeblood of this and every business. They
make it possible for each of us to receive a pay check.

9. Without our guests we would have to close the doors of our


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rules of Thumb for Liquor/Beer/Wine Costs

Rules of Thumb for Beverage Costs: How's Your Restaurant Doing?

Although every restaurant is unique, industry rules of thumb can
provide a valuable starting point for evaluating and
understanding how your restaurant is performing.

While there will always be exceptions, here are a few beverage
cost rules of thumb that we've found to be quite reliable over
the years when working with operators who have collectively
managed thousands of diverse restaurant operations.

Alcoholic beverage costs: Liquor, beer and wine costs will vary
among restaurants due to a number of factors but here are typical
costs in percentages:

* Liquor - 18 percent to 20 percent.
* Bar consumables - 4 percent to 5 percent as a percent of liquor
sales (includes mixes, olives, cherries and other food products
that are used or consumed exclusively at the bar).
* Bottled beer - 24 percent to 28 percent (assumes mainstream
domestic beer, cost percent of specialty and imported bottled
beer will generally be higher).
* Draft beer - 15 percent to 18 percent (assumes mainstream
domestic beer, cost percent of specialty and imported draft beer
will generally be higher).
* Wine - 35 percent to 45 percent (the cost percentages of wine can
vary dramatically from restaurant to restaurant depending
primarily on the type of wines served. Generally, the higher the
price per bottle, the higher the cost percentage).

NOTE - All percentages above are the ratio of each item's cost
divided by its sales, not total sales or total beverage sales.
For example, liquor cost percentages above are based on liquor
costs divided by liquor sales.

-taken from

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Type of Owner Are You?

Taken from

What Kind of Owner Are You?

As you know, there are two basic ways to improve profitability, 1)
lower costs and/or 2) boost sales. Nothing new about this but it's
surprising how many business owners focus much more of their
time and attention to #1 and virtually ignore #2.

Studies show that there are essentially 2 types of CEOs (and if
you own a restaurant then YOU are the CEO): accounting minded or
marketing minded.

An accounting minded CEO will focus primarily on reducing costs and
overhead. This may appear to make money in the short term but
actually loses customers over the long term which causes the CEO to
work even harder at reducing more costs.

Things like the cost of wasted napkins, employee wage rates,
vendor prices, food cost, etc. are the main concerns of this type
of CEO.

It may be easy to add up the number of customers last year and give
an exact number of dollars lost for wasted napkins but it is very
difficult if not impossible to quantify how many customers were
lost as a result of "cutting costs" and giving guests just 1

Instead, marketing minded CEOs are laser-beam focused on taking
the best possible care of the customers they have as well as adding
more. Their primary concerns are things like company appearance,
brand recognition, CUSTOMER SERVICE and employee training, quality
of food, cleanliness of the restaurant, etc.

Marketing minded CEO will often have higher costs than accounting
minded CEOs but in the end will have more customers (& sales). When
times get tough restaurant, it's easier for marketing minded bosses
to find and trim the unnecessary fat vs. the company that is
already as lean as can be but has fewer customers and sales to work

In short, you want to find the right balance of marketing versus
accounting but never forget the part of the equation that really
drives long term profitability and success.

Case in point: What would you rather have, 25 customers paying 25
cents more for extra sauce on their sandwich or 100 customers
getting the extra dressing "free"?"

What kind of owner are you? What affect is it having on the success
of YOUR business?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Jump for a Cure"

Jump for a Cure
by The BarMan

DISCLAIMER: For the most part, I do not write blogs that are personal.... I usually write about things I have been asked or how to build a promotion or how to control liquor costs, etc, but this time I decided to write something that is near and dear to my heart.

"Jump for a Cure"...

Now being in the service industry for so long it is easy to say that all of those people who work in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs are nothing but a bunch of alcoholics who help people get wasted and really never give back to anything in society. For those of us in the service industry, this is probably a reputation that we will never get passed, but there are those tiny moments when no matter what anyone else thinks or has to say, we do our very best to give just a little piece of our hearts to a cause that means so much to so many people all over the world.

The idea was to gather a group from local bars and restaurants....convince them to skydive....and then raise money for Multiple Sclerosis Research. I know it sounds crazy, but we are the type of people that take everything to the extreme anyway, so why not?

Well, what started as an idea a few years ago has now become a REALITY. Last week we kicked off the 1st Jump For A Cure Skydiving Adventure to raise money for MS research. 11 people, including myself, gathered together in Waverly, TN at the Adventure Skydiving Tennessee jump center to take the leap.

I will be the first to tell you that I went into this thing thinking it was going to be an extreme, scared-shitless adventure(which it was), but what it turned out to be was a something I will never forget. A bond with those people that I cannot put into words except AMAZING. Sure we flew in a plane, had a free fall from 14,000 feet, and all landed safely but in the end we managed to not be "service industry" people for a day... for one day we came together as human beings to do something that is bigger than all of us.

And although we didn't raise enough money to change the world, we did raise nearly $1000 for MS Research and what we did was set the tone for the next Jump Event, which will be even bigger!

Thank you so much to those 11 people that shared what I will always consider one of the best days of my life.

To the staff of AST, you guys are amazing and I consider you not just amazing instructors, videographers, pilots, and staff members.... I consider you my friends.

Specials thanks to Tyler "T-Bagz" Parrish, Donnie "Lower Case G" Frierson Jr., Hunter Tigert, Jim Goodman, Tiffany Fox, William Murray, Paula Byrd, Becca Weller, Jennifer Wallace, Trevor "T-Rev" Baril, and all of the Staff at AST.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Top Franchises to Buy...

Here is a question that comes to me often.... "I have some money and I want to invest in a bar or restaurant, what should I invest in?......."

I do not have the perfect answer for this, but I ran across this article today from which lists the top restaurant franchises based on failure rate to pay back SBA Loans. For basically a small investment, you can own your own successful franchise, lower your risk, and capitalize on the work that others have perfected over the years.

Note: Just because others have been successful with these franchises, does not mean it is easy. It still takes time, lots of effort, sacrifices to your personal life, and many stumbles along the way to make any project work. So good luck!

Here is the link to the article....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Capturing the Service Industry

Capturing the Service Industry

I see all the time in every market the typical promotion of a Service Industry Night(SIN Night). Nearly every club owner or manager tries to turn an early weekday into a profitable night by getting nightclub workers to come to his or her bar by enticing them with cheap drinks and specials. I am not against this(as I have seen places do well with this promotion), BUT this is not at all what I am talking about.

The type of Service Industry I am referring to is building a loyal client base of surrounding restaurants, pubs, and bars on all of your nights. Think about this…. Where do servers, bartenders, cooks, and managers go after they close down at midnight. That’s correct… they head to a bar and have a drink.

**************THIS IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!****************

Now, how do you get this to work? It takes work, but it is a really simple concept. Think about your area of town and all of the restaurants within a couple of mile radius. Write them down. Now once or twice a week, start visiting them for lunch, dinner, or drinks(I am willing to bet you go out to eat once or twice a week anyway). Introduce yourself to the server, bartender, or manager. TIP BIG! Leave a business card and invite them to come hang out after work for a drink. DO NOT PROMOTE TO THEIR CUSTOMERS, ONLY TO THEIR EMPLOYEES!

Do not be afraid to give them a gift certificate. Tell them to bring friends and co-workers. Make sure they ask for YOU when they do come. Buy them a drink. Do a shot with them. Make them feel important.

Do this every single week for the life of your business and I will guarantee that if you visit these other service industry places, they will all reciprocate the gesture.

Taking it to The Next Level

Now that the easy part is done, it is time to take it up a notch. Get business cards printed with a catchy name…. i.e. “SIN Loyalty Cards”…

On the other side of the cards, design something that allows the patron the opportunity to be rewarded the more times they come visit, or the more beers they buy. Something like, every time you buy a beer, get a whole punch or a signature…. 5 Beers and the next one is on us. Give these cards to every single service industry person that comes in the building. Give them to every single server, bartender, or manager that you visit during the week. Make sure they know how much you appreciate the loyalty.

Easy enough.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Secret to Having Happy Employees

The Secret to Having Happy Employees

by Jay Goltz
Thursday, March 11, 2010

provided by The NY Times

About 10 years ago I was having my annual holiday party, and my niece had come with her newly minted M.B.A. boyfriend. As he looked around the room, he noted that my employees seemed happy. I told him that I thought they were.

Then, figuring I would take his new degree for a test drive, I asked him how he thought I did that. "I'm sure you treat them well," he replied.

"That's half of it," I said. "Do you know what the other half is?"

He didn't have the answer, and neither have the many other people that I have told this story. So what is the answer? I fired the unhappy people. People usually laugh at this point. I wish I were kidding.

I'm not. I have learned the long, hard and frustrating way that as a manager you cannot make everyone happy. You can try, you can listen, you can solve some problems, you can try some more. Good management requires training, counseling and patience, but there comes a point when you are robbing the business of precious time and energy.

Don't get me wrong. This doesn't happen a lot. There's no joy in the act of firing someone. And it's not always the employee's fault — there are many bad bosses out there. Bad management can make a good employee dysfunctional. On the other hand, good management will not always make a dysfunctional employee good. And sometimes people who would be great employees somewhere else just don't fit your company, whether it is the type of business or the company culture.

In the worst cases, the problem of a bad fit can have a bigger impact than just one employee's performance. Being in charge does not necessarily mean you are in control, and being in control does not necessarily mean being in charge. Have you ever seen a company or department paralyzed by someone who is unhappy and wants to take hostages? It is remarkable how much damage one person can do. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch "The Caine Mutiny." Basically, one guy takes apart the ship. He was unhappy. It only takes one.

This is only my opinion. I don't have a Ph.D., an M.B.A., or even an economics degree. What I do have is a happy company. And that makes me happy. Now I know some people argue that business is about making money, and not everyone has to be happy. That is also an opinion. Everyone has a right to his or her opinion. When you own a company, you also have the right to surround yourself with the people you choose.

I have spent the last year and a half focusing on cutting costs, figuring out how the market has changed, and worrying about the economy. Things seem to be getting better, or perhaps I am just getting used to it.

Either way, I had a good day today. Not because I got a big order, great financial reports or even an employee stopping by to tell me what an awesome boss I am. (That generally doesn't happen. You have to tell yourself. It's a boss thing.) I had a great day because I spent most of it walking around the company and appreciating the fact that even after a year and a half of soft sales and cutbacks and furloughs, I have wonderful people working for me. They care. They are committed. They understand the whole customer–staff–company triangle, where all of the legs support each other.

If you read books on great companies, they usually leave out a dirty little secret. It doesn't make for good public relations — like talking about how you "empower people" or how your "greatest assets" are your people. Both of these well–worn clich├ęs are true. What is also true is that it's hard to build a great company with the wrong people.

When you have the right people, business is much easier. I know because I have tried it both ways.