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BARtalk – Raising The Bar | Aug 2015



In today’s incredibly competitive industry, customer service is now more important than almost anything else we do, my “The Server Vs Seller” training principle; which is also the name of my sales training course, really does mean what it says.

This workshop is designed to help your staff understand today’s guests and where their own desire for success fits into the mix and is more relevant than ever.

We often hear of today’s service level as being order taking or clinical and this cold service level harms our venues and the industry. We cannot be strictly servers, we must be seller/servers, hospitality people, focused on both sales and service and a strong genuine regard for our guests.

Our biggest promise to our guests must be to share what is a truly FREE product; one that we can lavish our guests with at no extra cost to the business. Lavishing our guests with the warm comfort of great hospitality is simple to say but often tough to achieve.

You will get good service from an ATM but you could not use that same cold level in hospitality. Expecting great things to happen from cold service style simply fails to sell your brand. Sadly, many times that extremely efficient order taking style is what we get.

If our goal is truly to be the best and our desire is to not just survive but thrive successfully, there has to be a genuine sales based process. The one thing we know is, people come to our hospitality outlets to be sold to and only a true server/seller can give a caring and passionate experience and sell the customer our brands and products they didn’t even know about.

Henry Ford once said; A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.

Companies, who are staying ahead of customer expectations, who are getting powerful reactions to their brands, products and people, will be the winners on the day, but it does not happen by chance – it’s because they set their business up that way.

It’s all about the level we set for our teams. Excusing poor employee behaviour or attitude problems can become the normal mode of operation very quickly, making it so very easy to fall all the way back to the bottom of the hospitality bucket.

I teach and talk about the hospitality bucket a lot in seminars and shows and I like the simplicity of the analogy. When I build a new brand I like to think of the bucket as a nice shinny Trophy Cup with a wide rim, easier to get them up on to and easier to hold them from returning to the old level.

When I begin the brand development process, this same bucket is the first thing I imagine when I go on site. My first job is to look in the eyes of the teams in the hope I can find some at the top, standing on the rim, or at least sitting on the rim of the bucket. This helps me understand the team dynamics and in turn makes training and development easier. When I build a new shiny bucket and take away the old rusty one many of the team members are inspired; it’s shiny and cool, but it’s still a bucket. Almost within an hour of a new brand launch, already some have gone all the way to the bottom looking for comfort and a lower work rate. Many hate change and it’s easy for them to find themselves back in the bottom with the bad habit team.

The key here is to keep enough out of the bucket long enough to build your brand, then eventually, for those left in the bottom, just fill it with water and make it un-liveable down there.

Remember the new way is the hard way, until it’s the only way!



CHANGE MIND SETS! Search for new products and new ways to promote

Changing the way you look at your product range is a great talking point lately. Some innovative hospitality professionals are creating quite the stir for their amazing milk shakes. People are queuing for these thick, decadent pots of goo that make our teeth ache just looking at them. Milkshakes are already a big part of my hospitality developments.


CAKES SELL WINE! and they always have, but do you duel market them? Do you use surrounding events to market a cake? Movies, theatre events, theme nights, you name it.

At a Shrek movie night, ginger bread men and bubbles worked well with the ladies! A new movie launch with a themed cake and wine and pre-movie deals will sell.

Imagine a novelty cake for the Magic Mike movie premier!


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


Smokin’ Joes increases turnover by over $5,000 in just 30 days!

Orange Door Pub Trivia continues to grow in the USA and like a thief in the night its unassuming stature may not have got your attention just yet, but it should have! It’s got everything you can hope for in a bar promotion.

1. You can run it for years one night a week, many of us have had over 10 years and still making great money.

2. It brings people back every week for great food and beverage and a sense of community from an event that gets regulars to compete each week.

3. For just USD59 a week you could make over $3000 or even more in extra turnover.

4. It’s simple to run and you don’t need to change much to get it running.

5. IT WORKS! It’s simple really; Orange Door Pub Trivia is ready and waiting to help you increase your profit!

You would have to be nuts to turn this down!



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