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How to entice restaurant guests

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The readers of Restaurant Hospitality were all over the map with ideas and complaints in the world of foodservice. Here are excerpts of what’s on their mind.

I have a suggestion to draw customers in on slow days. Mondays and Tuesdays are our slower days with Tuesday being the slowest. That is until we introduced our Taste Test Tuesdays. A few years ago, we started offering samples of a new cake creation during lunch.  We would post on Facebook every Tuesday morning what we would be sampling, usually something not on the menu and a little off the wall. Our customers would come in, place their order, get their lunch and a complimentary slice of cake. Then, they’d be presented with another slice to taste and offer feedback. Our cake slices are a three or four bite sampling size, just enough to taste, savor and enjoy. In all both slices are less than a regular slice of cake.  Some were a hit, some not, but it brought people in. This turned our Tuesdays into one of the busiest days of the week. Plus, since it was at the beginning of the week, chances were likely for them to come back again. Win-win for everyone. Hope this helps.

Ryan Jarahian
The Sweetery
1814 E. Greenville St.
Anderson, SC 29621

I learn so much reading Restaurant Hospitality, and the management articles often contain tips that apply to any business. But your January feature on Robert Irvine under the management heading is mislabeled. Irvine gives weekly lessons in mismanagement. I understand that he’s playing a role, but any restaurateur who sees him as a role model is doomed for a life loading a dishwasher. Screaming, berating, insulting, name calling and public humiliation are among his favorite management tools, and although they may occasionally be needed with the rare two-strike employee on the verge of dismissal, they should almost never be employed. They’re a recipe for high turnover, pilfering, disgruntled former employees and self-inflicted ulcers.

I fear that his Food Network shows will perpetuate the myth that the restaurant is a military environment not a place for teamwork, collaboration and cooperation. And that is not a healthy recipe.

Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn

Most recently, I left my long-term management job to begin a semi-retired life as a server. I ventured out to see what all the hubbub is about in restaurants that are so hot on social media. It isn’t pretty, but it isn’t hopeless either. It’s easy for me to please people. That’s why I chose this trade in the first place, but not all servers get it. Customers do not want to be rushed or manipulated. They are not stupid. They simply want the items they want, the way they want them and served promptly, correctly and in a friendly and efficient fashion. It isn’t rocket science and it never was.

On the other hand, social media has done nothing to improve guest service in my opinion. It has provided an avenue for people to lash out online at certain restaurants that have not responded well to unreasonable demands.

Mary Armacost
Glyndon Grill
Glyndon, MD

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