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BARtalk | Mar 2017


Dreams so easily become fantasy.
Goals so easy become reality

This kind of thinking is not new, but it’s never been more relevant than right now. We so easily dream of lottery wins with odds at roughly 175 million to one.

If you believe in the odds of winning the lottery, then you should never fly or drive. That’s because you are more apt to be killed in a plane crash, where the odds are 25 million to 1, and far more likely to die in a car accident, where the odds are only 5,000 to 1. The trouble with dreams is they lack focus, research and a great timeline with checks. Goals have, as their very nature, all of these things.

If your goal this year is to increase your business by $200,000.00 in turnover, we break that down to $16.6k each month, $4,166.00 per week, then $595.23 per day – and so we are looking at $290.00 a shift. It’s important to break it down so our teams are not so daunted and it makes tracking and commitment more consistent.

Selling shirts where you don’t right now, increasing sales of deserts by using better digital marketing, driving sales and repeat business through great staff training it’s all very simple stuff and its works year in and year out, so why do we struggle to get goal orientated?



I have been running Raising the Bar Consulting since 1999 and proudly helped design, develop, build and launch a great collection of successful hospitality brands. Here are a couple of questions that I answer regularly.

Q. Hi Tony we love your blog and wondered what you best staff interview questions are?

A. Thank you so much! I conduct interviewing with these 3 steps:

  1. First I have a pre-interview form ALL new prospects have to fill out at speed. This helps me see the candidates real knowledge and gives me good insght before I sit down with them. (Please email me if you want a copy)
  2. My opening question is around “Why us? Why do you want to work in our business specifically” How much do they know about us?
  3. Then my most important questions are around sociability and their social circle. It’s true that a person’s friends say a lot about them.

Q. Hi I have a small bar/restaurant with a US craft beer focus and strong menu. We are doing a good weekly turnover but our profit is weak. Food costs and waste are both good and wage costs are for the most part are good, it’s just trying to get profit from our business, any ideas?

A. This is a great question and it’s all about value for money and providing a menu that’s exciting and relevant today, plus adding starters and desserts with great GP and then selling them! Extending guest visits and increasing guest spend are your focus, but so is working a plan for good profit hitting changes. If you need help drop me an email with all your numbers and I will take a quick look and help get you a great plan underway. It all begins with great 7 day marketing, a killer 90 day plan, and team training, marketing etc….all to drive for higher check averages per visit.


The Hot List

  1. Bar promotions (bingo, trivia, TV bingo)
  2. Bar sales promotions (beer towers, teapot cocktails and sports sweep stakes.)
  3. Group deals (family combo nights and combo tables, chefs table and more
  4. Non-Alcohol beverage trends (non-alcoholic cocktails, kids cocktails & tea selection’s)
  5. Novelty things (chocolate fountain is hot again)
  6. New gadgets (juicers FRESH fruit cocktails are off the hook)

Staff Training Tactics

They are not customers… they are guests… in your business so how do you treat a guest?

  • Welcoming Them
  • Using their Name, as soon as you can
  • Taking Care of their Needs, research this visit
  • Thanking Them, think about their needs
  • Inviting Them back, every time
  • You must start and nail the basics, if you use these steps every guest, every visit your business WILL grow

Your Customer Service training programs must be memorable. The approach has to be simple yet leave a profound message: treat your customers like guests in your home.

That’s the message behind any good team training; it needs to be a funny and fast moving workshop. Help your team feel at home…We all know how to take care of a guest in our home: we welcome them, we take care of their needs, we thank them for coming and we invite them back. A guest in your business is no different. It’s that simple and that important.

The fortunes of any business rise and fall based upon the level of the service it delivers to its guests. No matter how large or complex an organization may be, great service usually comes down to one employee, serving one guest, one day at a time EVERYTIME!

Successful bars & restaurants training must forever change the way your employees view their customers and help them see guests!


Until then, keep the questions coming and have a great profitable month.

Tony Wheeler

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