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Shake Things Up, For Goodness Sake!

January 3, 2013 By: Robert Plotkin

Every day you open your doors, then close them. Open. Close. And everything in middle starts to blur together as what you do between opening the doors and closing them. Little wonder why we lapse into complacency and let our business go stale.

Well, grab your business by the ears and shake it up! There’s no room at the top for the complacent and uninspired. It’s all about stepping over the rut, not falling in it. So take our list, grab a stepladder, and start shaking things up.

Facility Facelifts — Regularly change how your place looks. Move a mirror, or paint a wall. Even subtle changes can make a difference in the feel of the place. Guests will appreciate the scenery change, and so will the staff.

Sales Contests — Light a fire under your staff with regular sales contests. Base it on something easily tracked, like weekly sales, highest ticket average, or most specials sold in a week. Then acknowledge the winner at a staff meeting and make the award truly desirable.

Periodic Profit Sharing — At the end of a good month, give your staff unexpected bonuses. Opening an envelope and finding cash builds good will and is a great motivator. Don’t forget anyone on your staff, including bussers and dishwashers. If they contributed, they should share in the benefits.

Featured Events — Don’t call your “special of the day” a special if it’s not. Coming up with fresh ideas every day is challenging, but featuring dull, boring specials is worse than featuring nothing at all. Get your best people on it and plan a month in advance.

Change Your Uniform — Give your staff a new look. Wearing the same clothes to work gets old, and takes a toll on staff morale. Put a bounce in their step with a uniform change. Better yet, form an employee committee and let them choose their new look.

Random Acts of Generosity — What if you periodically bought people in your establishment their dinners? Or sent a bottle of wine to a table, compliments of management? Or bought a party a round of drinks? There’d be a massive outbreak of goodwill.

Give Yourself a “Retro” — Change decades now and again, and go “retro.” It’s a blast for the staff, a novel change for the clientele, and a boost for business. Pick a decade and work with it — music, costumes, vintage drinks, period decor, etc. Have fun.

What’s Your Sign? — Give your business a slightly new public image by changing your exterior signs. Swap out the neon beer signs in your windows. Change the color of the exterior trim. Spruce up your curb appeal.

Throw Yourself a Party — Why not throw a “Christmas in July” party for your customers? Or a beach party in January? Any excuse to have a good time helps break-up the week for both the clientele and staff, and increases sales in the process.


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