The Daily Rail: Does Your Restaurant Know When to Comp Guests?

MEDIA: 4 Alternative Entertainment Options for Sports Bars & Restaurants

The search for content has always been a thorny task for operators. By content we mean any activity, programming or engagement you deliver to your guests while they visit your restaurant. Most operators have the programming part on lock down, but how do they do when it comes to alternative forms of content? Here are four ideas to get you started.


Are Specific Drinking Glasses BS?

You have a beer glass, a wine glass, maybe even some brand-specific specialty glasses that are supposed to bring out the aroma and flavor of the drink better. But do those actually work or is it all just BS and marketing?

Dangerous Travel

If there were ever doubts as to the inherent dangers of riding a motorcycle, figures from Ian Savage at Northwestern University should put them to rest. In his research paper entitled 'Comparing the fatality risks in United States transportation across modes and over time', Savage analyzes the number of passenger fatalities per billion passenger miles in the U.S. from 2000 to 2009. With a rate of 212.57, riding a motorcycle is by far the most deadly way to get around.

Infographic: The Most Dangerous Ways to Travel in the U.S. | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Facebook Violations

Between January and March of this year, 1.8 billion posts categorized as spam were removed from Facebook, accounting for 96% of all content taken action on (excluding fake accounts). 34 million posts containing violence and graphic content were also taken down or covered with a warning.

Infographic: The Most Common Violations Against Facebook's Rules | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


Why it matters to you: Knowing when to comp a dissatisfied guess can be an important marketing strategy.

One of the more nuanced aspects of our business is managing compensation for a guest that had a bad experience. Not every guest has the same level of outrage and your response must be equal to their angst. That’s not always as easy as we would prefer, but that’s our job as a restaurant manager. This review does a good job of setting parameters for training your managers on the appropriate process to compensate an injured guest. Deciding when to give away product can be tricky, but the ability to divine when should and -- equally important -- shouldn’t comp product can challenge a manager.

For example, you don’t want to overcompensate for a small problem equally as much as you don’t want to undercompensate for a big one. The only way to ensure you make the right call is to be active in your efforts to check in with guests during their experience. Just by being present and connecting with guests in your dining room or at your bar, you will be ahead of issues that many managers allow to bloom into disasters.

For example, encouraging your staff to be proactive when food is late will allow you to present yourself to guests before they complain. That simple act can be the difference between a one-star yelp review and a salvaged guest that will return to your restaurant. With that much on the line, giving your team the tools to cope with these choices is truly a marketing strategy.

[Source: Toast POS]


Why it matters to you: Once again industry sales increase while traffic stumbles.

Here we go again with the mixed financial reporting seems to be the story of 2019. Restaurant sales are up, but consisted of fewer folks that are spending more. May sales clocked in at a 1.1% growth rate over last year rebounding from a -.5% drop last month, but traffic dropped again by almost 2%. This is the troubling trend that has seemed to be unshakeable these last few years. As we discussed recently in this space, we are the tip of the spear when it comes to the economy and these continued disparate sales trends are unsustainable. Whether you blame a raging trade war or over saturation of locations, you can make good argument for causality for either, but our economy is more complicated than any single explanation.

The key to successfully navigating this new paradigm is the most basic of approaches. As successful operators like Texas Roadhouse will assert, start by being the absolute best operator you can. This means doing a better job attracting and retaining a team that will support your best service execution, creating an atmosphere that you yourself would want to visit, and delivering the best products you can produce. Yes, that’s every restaurant operator’s goal, but are you truly doing the things that make achieving them possible? So, assess your own performance, openly and honestly, then fix whatever is ailing you. You just might see your sales grow if you eliminate that which is holding your guests back from coming to visit again and again.

[Source: Restaurant Business Online]