The Daily Rail: Gamify Your Server Sales Instead of Coercing Them

GUESTS: Choosing the Right Sports & Fan Clubs for Your Bar [Presented by FanWide]

Let’s say it’s your lucky day and a guest asks, “Would you be able to host our fan club chapter at your sports bar this season?” Before you get too excited about the ton of new guests you’ll get during the season, you had better more know a bit about the sport, team, and fan club. You may only get one chance to impress your prospective fan club chapter, so it’s important that you do your homework so that you know which opportunities may be coming up.


Hooters Sold

Hooters of America has been sold to Nord Bay Capital and TriArtisan Capital Advisors. Details of the deal were not disclosed but more than 430 Hooters restaurants in 38 states and 27 countries will now switch hands. The new owners plan to expand Hoots, the franchise’s fast-casual spinoff designed for people who are in a hurry but want Hooter’s wings. The dress at Hoots is more modest than the parent company.

Gender Disparity in World Cup Money

When France beat Croatia in last year's men's final, they took home $38 million in prize money. The winning team at the women's World Cup will only pocket $4 million. Overall the 24 women's teams are competing for $30 million, double what it was in 2015. For comparison, the 32 men's teams competed in Russia last year for $400 million.

Infographic: The Gender Disparity In World Cup Prize Money | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Bottle Cap Challenge

If you exist on the Internet even a little, you’ve probably seen at least one Bottle Cap Challenge. It’s a viral video challenge where you try to kick a twisty bottle cap off a water bottle. Jason Stathem and Donnie Yen have some of the best vids, but even chef Andrew Zimmern got into the action… kinda…


Why it matters to you: Gamify your server sales instead of coercing them.

A recent question submitted to Restaurant Business Online asked, “As a waiter, we are being made to sell dining club memberships to each table for $25, for which we get nothing. If we do not sell, our shifts are cut or we're given bad sections. Is it legal to force us to be salesmen?”

There is a lot to unpack about this question, but first and foremost the answer is: YES, it is not only legal, but an expectation that you as a server should embrace. If any member of your service/bartending team asks this question in earnest, then you have done a lousy job training them. Any good sales focused training starts with your leadership and the will to hold your staff accountable for their performance. While the questioner was wrong to wonder if they could be made to sell, they weren’t wrong to question why that would happen with no incentive.

A specific role of restaurant management is to manage the sales in your location. When that happens with coercion rather than incentive, you will invariably get terrible results. Sure people who are scared of losing their jobs might try harder, but fear has never been a good long-term strategy for business building. We strongly encourage you to build an incentivized approach to your selling. We have talked often about gamifying your sales so your team is excited to sell, instead of resigned to it. The incentives never need to be huge, but they do need to be real. It can be as simple as competing against their peers for bragging rights to a serious prize associated to long-term success. In either case, you are inviting your team to join you rather than standing behind them and yelling, which sounds equally more pleasant for them as for you.

[Source: Restaurant Business Online]


Why it matters to you: Brands are built in many ways and you can learn from these two examples.

There are a lot of ways to build a brand, but it does always seem to be by targeting a specific demographic with a product they will find relevant. In a tale of two brands, there is evidence that this method has been successful for a very long time. For example, take Nathan’s Hot Dog’s that just completed its 35th consecutive year of their famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. When Nathan Handwerker created his eponymous brand in 1916, he had previously worked at the most successful restaurant in the world called Feltman’s. You won’t be surprised to learn that Feltman’s was known for their delicious frankfurter sandwich. But Nathan had a plan and priced his hot dog’s at half of Feltman’s -- $0.10 each.

This simple understanding of the market and its demographics has allowed Nathan’s to dominate the hot dog mind share for the intervening 100 years. In much the same way, the folks at Impossible Burgers are targeting their own specific demo -- Generation Zers. This generation and Millennials are righteously concerned that animal-based proteins are causing irreparable damage to our planet and Impossible Foods (makers of the Impossible Burger) is already courting them. This is an easy calculus for a company that has already gotten contracts with big restaurant operators like White Castle, Burger King, and Qdoba. What we can learn from both Nathan’s and Impossible Foods is that a brand can be grown in many different ways, but that you have to recognize your core market and satisfy them first. The rest is the consequence of having a great product with an established base.

[Sources: BBC & Mother Jones]