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Tracking is essential tool for achieving revenue goals

I often speak with businesses about ways to get each individual part to work as efficiently and effectively as possible in an effort to grow revenue. The path to increasing revenue starts with two things: trackability and accountability.

I have always believed that “if it can be measured, it can be improved.” Work with your staff to track their efforts. You can start by figuring out the success metrics most relevant to your own restaurant. Some suggestions of metrics to track are: number of tables per server per hour, average revenue per table or maybe average time of a guest’s visit. These metrics will vary, as each restaurant has specific places that need improvement. Set reachable goals for all of your employees and then decide what behaviors will allow them to reach those goals. Then, track their efforts and make them accountable for the results.

In my sales training seminars, I teach a three-step process that ensures the salesperson is always working toward maximum efficiency and effectiveness. I call it the LIT system. (Pronounced “LIGHT,” as in “Light a fire under your employees and you will see improvement!”)

Here are the steps of the LIT system:

1. Learn what it takes to be successful.

2. Implement what you have learned.

3. Track the results and make any changes that will help you optimize for the future. Repeat.

When you are tracking metrics, be honest with the numbers. In my opinion, there is no problem with showing numbers that fall short of whatever goals you set. But there is definitely a problem if you aren’t using those numbers to optimize for the future. For example, if you set a monthly per-table revenue goal, and one of your servers falls short, I don’t necessarily see that as problem as long as the manager works with the server to identify why he missed the goal. Was it because he only averaged three people per table and other servers averaged four? What it because of the menu suggestions that he made? Was it something personal?  As a restaurant manager, make sure that your servers each take responsibility for the shortfall. It is difficult for someone to improve if they are not accountable for their actions. Once the limiting factors and roadblocks have been identified, it’s easier to work together building a plan to overcome those challenges in the future.

Learn. Implement. Track. Repeat. This process can be applied to any part of your restaurant and will ensure that all of your employees are working as efficiently and effectively as possible. You will see an increase in revenue as a result.

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