10 Ways to Run Your Own Advertising Campaign
Taking on your own advertising campaign is no easy task. You can do it on your own but get ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Your Marketing Plan Nothing can help you identify your goals more than your marketing plan. You learn a lot about your company, your competitors and your long-term goals by creating and following your marketing plan. This is crucial to knowing what type of advertising is best for you.
Create a Plan of Action Once you have your marketing plan, you must create a plan of action. This model shows you how freelancers and agencies put their own plan of action in place. Your plan of action also gives you crucial info you can use in executing your ad strategy.
Define Your Advertising Budget How you advertise depends on your ad budget. You need to strategically use your advertising money. If you're only allowing a small portion of money to advertising, you wouldn't want to throw it all into the production of one commercial that runs at 2 a.m. Know exactly how much you will spend on your advertising first so you can make wise decisions in the creation and placement of all ad mediums.
Hunt for Affordable Opportunities Running your own ad campaign means you have to be your own media director. You've got to find the best ad placement and the most affordable opportunities to fit into your budget. If you're limited to a very small budget, you can find many ways to bypass high advertising costs.
Know Your Target Audience You can't advertise effectively if you don't hit your target audience. Know who they are before you start creating your ads. If your company sells scooters to seniors, you don't want to invest in cable ads to run on MTV.
6 Ways to Find Out What Your Competition Is Up To
How to Gather Competitive Intelligence on Your Competitors
One fast way to hamstring your small business is to ignore your competition. While you're busy ignoring them, they may be chomping away at your market share. If you don't know what the competition is up to, you can't make the intelligent decisions that will keep the customers you have or entice new ones. But as a small business person, how can you gather the competitive intelligence you need to keep or expand your market share? Here are six ways:
1) Pay attention to their ads.
Of course you read the local newspapers, watch the news, listen to the radio, and spend time surfing for information about your industry. But when you do, don't just pay attention to the articles; "read" the ads, too. Your competitors' ads can tell you a lot about the particular audience they're trying to target and what particular products or services they're trying to promote - useful information indeed when you're planning your own promotions or advertising campaigns.
2) Visit regularly.
The best competitive intelligence is current intelligence. So if your competitors have brick-and-mortar stores, make it a point to make regular visits. Dropping by is a great way to keep your eye on what products or services are being promoted, check on prices, and even get display ideas.
Does your competition have a website? Visit it regularly, too. Websites can be particularly rich mines of information, telling you more about your competition’s plans, marketing strategy and even the company's personnel than you could ever find out in a single visit to their physical plant. For more on gathering competitive intelligence through competitors’ websites, read watch 'Em Through Their Websit.
3) Ask your business colleagues.
The next time you're with your networking group or socializing with some business colleagues, ask some of them individually what they know about your competitors by name. You may say, for instance, "Have you heard of J.B.'s Big Business?" Or if you know the person is aware the business exists, you might say, "Hear anything about J.B.'s Big Business lately?" Keeping your ear to the ground this way might net you some advance knowledge of your competitor's plans, such as a coming sale, a personnel change or even a wish to sell the business.
4) Ask their customers/clients.
This doesn't mean you should hang out outside their store buttonholing people when they come out. But some of their customers/clients may be your customers/clients. Or you may encounter some of their customers/clients in social situations. It's easy enough to ask someone if he or she has ever dealt with your competitors. If a person says he has, ask what he thought of the service he got or the work the competitor did. What your competition's customers tell you might be something your business could improve on or give you an idea you could adopt.
Don't be afraid to delve; remember, you're looking for information that you can use. If someone says, "The service was great", that doesn’t tell you anything except that he liked it. Dig deeper by asking a question such as, "What did you especially like about the service?" or "What do you think they did especially well?"
5) Be a customer.
It surprises me that more people don't do this as it's such a great way to keep on top of whatever new products and/or services your competition comes up with and find out just how your competitor's customers are treated. If I'm selling coffee and someone else is selling coffee at the other end of the street, wouldn't it make sense for me to go over and have a cup of coffee? Besides being able to compare things such as price, products and customer service on the spot, I might even gather some great tips about how the other guy does things that could improve my own operations.
6) Sign up.
Your competitor's business may offer customers some sort of membership or customer loyalty program. Membership usually includes being notified of sales or events by mail or email. Don't pass up this opportunity to keep up with what your competitor is offering her customers. Also sign up for your competition’s newsletter, if there is one. It's another super easy way to gather competitive intelligence.
When it comes to your competition, the more you know about what they're doing now and what they're planning to do in the future, the better decisions you'll be able to make about your own small business. Gathering competitive intelligence on your competitors needs to become one of your regular habits.
More on Competitive Intelligence
8 Rules for Good Customer Service
Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.
Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.
If you’re a good salesperson, you can sell anything to anyone once. But it will be your approach to customer service that determines whether or not you’ll ever be able to sell that person anything else. The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers – a relationship that that individual customer feels that he would like to pursue.
How do you go about forming such a relationship? By remembering the one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly; “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.”
I know this verges on the kind of statement that’s often seen on a sampler, but providing good customer service IS a simple thing. If you truly want to have good customer service, all you have to do is ensure that your business consistently does these things:
1) Answer your phone.
Get call forwarding. Or an answering service. Hire staff if you need to. But make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business. (Notice I say “someone”. People who call want to talk to a live person, not a “fake recorded robot”.) For more on answering the phone, see Phone Answering Tips to Win Business.
2) Don’t make promises unless you WILL keep them.
Not plan to keep them. Will keep them. Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception. If you say, “Your new bedroom furniture will be delivered on Tuesday”, make sure it is delivered on Tuesday. Otherwise, don’t say it. The same rule applies to client appointments, deadlines, etc.. Think before you give any promise – because nothing annoys customers more than a broken one.
3) Listen to your customers.
Is there anything more exasperating than telling someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person hasn’t been paying attention and needs to have it explained again? From a customer’s point of view, I doubt it. Can the sales pitches and the product babble. Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses, such as suggesting how to solve the problem.
4) Deal with complaints.
No one likes hearing complaints, and many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time”. Maybe not, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time - and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service.
5) Be helpful - even if there’s no immediate profit in it.
The other day I popped into a local watch shop because I had lost the small piece that clips the pieces of my watch band together. When I explained the problem, the proprietor said that he thought he might have one lying around. He found it, attached it to my watch band – and charged me nothing! Where do you think I’ll go when I need a new watch band or even a new watch? And how many people do you think I’ve told this story to?
6) ) Train your staff (if you have any) to be ALWAYS helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
Do it yourself or hire someone to train them. Talk to them about good customer service and what it is (and isn’t) regularly. Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions, so he never has to say, “I don’t know, but so-and-so will be back at...”
7) Take the extra step.
For instance, if someone walks into your store and asks you to help them find something, don’t just say, “It’s in Aisle 3.” Lead the customer to the item. Better yet, wait and see if he has questions about it, or further needs. Whatever the extra step may be, if you want to provide good customer service, take it. They may not say so to you, but people notice when people make an extra effort and will tell other people.
8) Throw in something extra.
Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective. The local art framer that we use attaches a package of picture hangers to every picture he frames. A small thing, but so appreciated.
If you apply these eight simple rules consistently, your business will become known for its good customer service. And the best part? The irony of good customer service is that over time it will bring in more new customers than promotions and price slashing ever did!
How to Deal With Drunk Customers
If you are planning on serving liquor at your new restaurant, than you should be familiar with all the laws and responsibilities that come with it. While liquor laws vary from state to state, in most cases if a person is involved in an accident while drunk you, as the owner of the establishment that served them, may be held liable as well.
The best way to avoid any potential lawsuits stemming from drunkenness is to not serve a customer who appears inebriated. Of course, some people can hold their liquor very well, and your staff may not realize the patron is drunk until it is too late. If you are faced with a customer who has had too much to drink, here are some tips for handling them:
• STOP serving them immediately. If the customer has wandered in from another bar or restaurant, you can refuse to serve them. They may claim you’re acting illegal, but your not. You are acting responsible. • Offer the customer some coffee and some food, as an alternative to a drink. • Call a cab or another ride home for the customer. Do not let them drive! • If a customer becomes belligerent or angry, escort them outside of the restaurant and call the police, who can look after the customer, until he or she is safe and sober.
TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) is a program that teaches restaurant staff about the responsible sale of alcohol. It gives advice on how to identify if someone has had too much to drink, and how to deal with them effectively. Visit the TIPS website for more information training your staff.
Guide to Restaurant Catering
Everything a restaurant needs to start their a catering business
Catering lets you bring your food to the customer, outside of your restaurant.
Longtime readers know that I am a firm believer in restaurant catering. Not only do restaurants have a built in catering clientele in their customer base, they have all the resources – food, equipment, staff- for catering potential big and small events. Restaurant catering offers you a chance to increase both your sales and your customer base. People already love your food, so why not capitalize on that and offer catering services as well? To help readers get started, I’ve put together a quick guide to restaurant catering. I’ve also added information garnered from the About.com Guide to Event Planning, Rob Hard.
Four Rules of Successful Catering
There are four basic rules every restaurant should follow when offering catering services. They include:
• Organization• Headcount• Time limits• Minimum number of guests
Day-to-day operations of any restaurant require a tremendous amount of organizational skill. So does catering. You prepare and serve a large number of meals at one time, and orchestrate other aspects of the function, such as pouring champagne toasts, cake cutting and serving and overseeing the bar. Requiring a final headcount, setting firm time limits and requiring a minimum number of guests will ensure that you are making a profit on each catering job.
Basics of Restaurant Catering
The basics of restaurant catering include a breakdown of what equipment is needed to cater both large and small parties, how much staff is needed, the types of parties that restaurants typically cater as well as how to go about writing and planning catering menus. Both on-premise and off-premise catering has become increasingly common for many restaurants. Restaurants with private dining rooms and banquet facilities can increase sales by catering private parties and large functions such as weddings, holiday parties and business conferences. Off premise catering is another area of the restaurant industry that continues to grow.
10 Differences between Advertising and Public Relations
If you're searching for a career or trying to promote your company, you may have questions about advertising vs. public relations. These two industries are very different even though they're commonly confused as being one and the same. The following ten properties just scratch the surface of the many differences between advertising and public relations.
1. Paid Space or Free Coverage
Advertising: The Company pays for ad space. You know exactly when that ad will air or be published.
Public Relations:Your job is to get free publicity for the company. From news conferences to press releases, you're focused on getting free media exposure for the company and its products/services.
2. Creative Control Vs. No Control
Advertising: Since you're paying for the space, you have creative control on what goes into that ad.
Public Relations:You have no control over how the media presents your information, if they decide to use your info at all. They're not obligated to cover your event or publish your press release just because you sent something to them.
3. Shelf Life
Advertising: Since you pay for the space, you can run your ads over and over for as long as your budget allows. An ad generally has a longer shelf life than one press release.
Public Relations:You only submit a press release about a new product once. You only submit a press release about a news conference once. The PR exposure you receive is only circulated once. An editor won't publish your same press release three or four times in their magazine.
4. Wise Consumers
Advertising: Consumers know when they're reading an advertisement they're trying to be sold a product or service.
"The consumer understands that we have paid to present our selling message to him or her, and unfortunately, the consumer often views our selling message very guardedly," Paul Flowers, president of Dallas-based Flowers & Partners, Inc., said. "After all, they know we are trying to sell them."
Public Relations:When someone reads a third-party article written about your product or views coverage of your event on TV, they're seeing something you didn't pay for with ad dollars and view it differently than they do paid advertising.
"Where we can generate some sort of third-party 'endorsement' by independent media sources, we can create great credibility for our clients' products or services," Flowers said.
5. Creativity or a Nose for News
Advertising: In advertising, you get to exercise your creativity in creating new ad campaigns and materials.
Public Relations:In public relations, you have to have a nose for news and be able to generate buzz through that news. You exercise your creativity, to an extent, in the way you search for new news to release to the media.
Customer service is an organization's ability to supply their customers' wants and needs.
Customers and business managers alike like to talk about what good customer service is (and isn't), but I think this definition by ACA Group sums up what excellent customer service is beautifully: "excellent customer service (is) the ability of an organization to constantly and consistently exceed the customer's expectations."
Accepting this definition means expanding our thinking about customer service; if we're going to consistently exceed customers' expectations, we have to recognize that every aspect of our business has an impact on customer service, not just those aspects of our business that involve face-to-face customer contact.
Improving customer service involves making a commitment to learning what our customers' needs and wants are, and developing action plans that implement customer friendly processes.
Common Misspellings: Customer service.
Examples: Providing excellent customer service is one way a small business can distinguish itself from the competition.
Top Considerations When Choosing Restaurant Venues
Event planners organize a range of special events throughout the year in the private rooms of restaurants. Whether it's a business seminar to announce the latest product updates or a rehearsal dinner for the big social event, restaurants are a popular choice.
However, it's important for planners to make sure they are choosing the best venue for their event. Consider the following before signing any agreements.
1. Conduct a Site Visit.
It is highly recommended that everyone conduct a site visit of all venues under consideration for a special event or meeting. When the catering manager provides you with a tour, please keep a close eye out for each of the following:
Estimate that the room layout can comfortably accommodate your group.
Consider the ventilation system's ability to maintain a smoke-free environment.
Identify the proximity of restrooms and their ability to handle the group size.
Ask when the carpets were last updated and look for signs of wear.
Ask about other events that are scheduled concurrently.
Check out the additional suggestions listed on #6 below.
2. Meet the Chef.
Depending on the event, it is important to have a chance to taste test the menu when meeting with the catering manager during a site visit. And frequently the executive chef will join you during various courses or at the end of your meal to discuss your preferences. Many chefs enjoy customizing their menu to an event's specific needs, such as incorporating corporate colors or addressing menu preferences.
When meeting with the catering manager, ask questions about the establishment's executive chef and pastry chef for your program. The chef plays an extremely important role in the success of your event, so go so far as to request that he or she be responsible for the program in the event contract itself.
3. Ask About Staff Turnover.
It is common for restaurant management and staff to have a high rate of change, so there’s a significant chance that someone who you speak with today may not be around to execute your program in six months.
Although it’s impossible to guarantee that the same team who you meet will be around for your event, ask about the length of time that employees and managers have been in place. And, just because you had a great program there this year, don’t assume the same staff will be around next year.
4. Investigate Health Inspection Reports.
Contact the city's department of health and find out if they post food inspection reports online. Many cities provide you with the ability to search restaurant names directly online; others provide limited information online. Regardless, feel free to contact the city's department of health and ask for food inspection report information about any restaurant of venue under consideration. This is considered public information.
For example, the following cities publish the inspection reports of restaurant and other venues for public access (consider investigating the restaurant in these and other locations):
5. Ask for References and Call Them.
Groups usually like to host events at new venues to vary the locations of where they are hosting their attendees. That means many planners frequently schedule events at restaurants and other venues for the first time.
Even if a restaurant has a reputation for being trendy today, that doesn’t mean they could be the best location for a specific event. Newer restaurants often don’t have the experience at handling a range of programs and events, so their management and staff could spend their time learning on your dime.
However, event planners should also be cautious about scheduling events at a venue that has been around for many years but hasn’t refreshed their facilities and/or menu.
6. Arrive Unannounced and Check All Facilities.
After a site visit is concluded, but prior to contracting any facility, spontaneously arrive and check out all facilities. Consider the suggestions listed in item #1 above. If possible, sneak a peak into the room under consideration – especially if another group is there – and consider the following:
Listen for noise levels and acoustics.
Scan the room for setup and flow.
Look at the condition and cleanliness of the floors.
Observe the staff in action, especially their personalities.
Step into both men’s and women’s restrooms and check how well the stalls, sinks, garbage, mirror, soap and other supplies have been maintained.
7. Pull Credit Reports.
Regardless of the actual statistic, it is generally accepted knowledge that many restaurants fail within their first three years, and cash flow is frequently tight in some establishments.
The best method to avoid these risks is by having your procurement or accounting department run credit reports on the venues under consideration. The information found during this process may help caution your decisions.
Good Customer Service Means Losing the Battle
Watch Your Customer Service When Dealing With Customer Complaints
Dealing with customer complaints, problems and issues is a fact of life when you sell a product or service. And every person in sales has certain customers who are more challenging to deal with. Some customer service situations start as minor difficulties but quickly escalate into huge drawn-out battles. Unfortunately, many sales people unknowingly cause customer complaint situations to escalate. Here is what I mean.
My wife overhead a conversation in a local grocery that escalated into a customer service disaster even though the customer's original concern was well-handled and properly taken care of. From what my wife could gather, the customer had bought some fruit (seven plums) that were not to her satisfaction. She wanted to exchange them and the 'customer service' person told her to get the replacement plum and verify them her with before leaving the store. The customer did so. End of story. Problem solved. Quickly, easily and without hassle.
Well, not quite.
Don't Make Customer Complaints Escalate
You see, as the store employee bagged the new plums she said a condescending tone, "You know, we normally charge for the difference in price. So you're lucky today." I guess she was assuming that the weight of the customer's new plums weighed more than the returned ones or perhaps the price had increased since the original purchase.
As you can well imagine, this did not go over well with the customer. She immediately exploded, "I should be happy? You should be paying me for my time and trouble and be happy that I'm not shopping at your competition. In fact, based on your tone with me, I will go to your competitor." And she stormed out of the store.
It was obvious to my wife that the customer service person made an unnecessary comment. The interesting thing is that this occurs more frequently than people think. When dealing with customer complaints, too many sales people feel that they have to point out a customer's mistake or get in the last word to show the customer how much effort went into solving the problem. But your customer doesn't care about that!
If the problem was caused by you, someone in the company, or a defective product, it was your fault! And if the situation is your fault then you owe it your customer to solve it quickly and without hassle. They don't need to know why the problem occurred or how difficult it may be to resolve. They just want a solution. And if your customer service doesn't give the customer what he wants, he’ll go elsewhere.
Poor Customer Service Hurts Your Bottom Line
For instance, my wife and I used to buy two to four cappuccinos per day from a well-known coffee chain and the barista frequently added too much milk for our liking. When we questioned how the coffee was made we usually got a response like this; "Oh, it's made properly, you just want a dry cappuccino." No, we didn't because a dry cappuccino does not have enough milk. Because of the hassle, we invested in a cappuccino machine and now make our own.
From time-to-time, I get calls and emails from people who order my audio CD's. While I take great pains to ensure high quality, sometimes the sound quality is less than perfect or the CD simply does not play. When someone contacts my office, we do not challenge them or ask them twenty questions before we issue a replacement. We send out a new item that day.
This may sound like a simple concept to apply when you're trying to provide good customer service. However, the challenge is your ego. Most people feel the pressing need to get in the last word. They want to make it clear to the other person where that individual went wrong because it helps them feel less taken advantage of. Many sales people have large egos. After all, this helps deal with the rejection and challenging customers.
However, it is critical to recognize that customer complaint situations are not about you. They are about helping one of your customers get what they want and resolving their problems.
Behaving in a manner similar to one described above may make you feel better and lessen the pain of dealing with a challenging customer. But let's look at the financial impact for a moment. The comment from the baristas at the coffee chain caused us to buy our own machine which represents a financial loss of fifteen to twenty dollars per day for that particular coffee store. That's $5400-$7300 in lost revenue every year for that store!
The Last Word on Customer Service
Here is the bottom line when it comes to customer service. Getting in your last words may help you win the battle. However, even if you do win the battle, there is a good chance you will lose the war. That means your customer will find a reason to jump ship and shift their business to one of your competitors. Are a few last words that make you feel better worth that loss?
Is There a Right Time to Open a Restaurant?
Just as there are certainly bad time to open a restaurant – Christmas Eve, the middle of a recession and the first day of the World Cup spring to mind – so there are particularly good times.
Although essentially you will need to accept that whenever you choose to open your own restaurant there will be something that conspires to make things a little bit tricky for you, you can try to aim to open your restaurant business at the best possible time with a little forethought and some strategic hospitality research.
Spring and Autumn
Spring and autumn are good times to open a restaurant as they give you a little breathing space before the next major event – summer and Christmas. You do not want to start a business in the restaurant trade at these times because any issues can be far worse at a busy period. By opening your restaurant in spring or autumn you can deal with any teething problems before you are at your busiest, so you will not forfeit great chunks of much needed profit.
Local Boom Time
By concentrating some of your hospitality research on understanding when your target area (or perhaps why you choose a particular target area) is going to be enjoying an especially up beat time. Perhaps your local region is going to be featured in a magazine, or a celebrity chef has opened a restaurant there. Whatever is going on locally, make sure you know about it and make it work to your advantage.
No Family Worries
Of course, when you have a family there is never really a time without any worries at all, but some times are certainly less fraught than others. Do not choose to open a restaurant when a close family member is seriously ill or when your wife is about to give birth to your first child. Any family issues that you are aware of should be taken into account, although you cannot plan for every eventuality.
No Money Worries
Again, that golden time when you have plenty of money and plenty of time to enjoy it is not all that likely, the best we can hope for is to grab the good times as they come along. However, starting a restaurant business will take up a large amount of your ready cash, so try to plan it around children starting at university or your daughters wedding.
Rather like the ‘local boom time’ option, think about the current economic climate when you research restaurant trends. Are people tightening their purse strings because less good times are predicted, or are people able to enjoy a little more disposable income at the moment?
Either way, a restaurant can still be a positive business venture as long as you take social issues into account. Maybe people still want a blow-out for their birthday, or are keen to treat themselves with a decent pizza every now and then – as long as you are in tune with the economic climate you can tailor your marketing to suit.
Should Server’s be required to Tip Out General Management?
Thursday April 23, 2009
I was recently talking with a good friend who waits tables part time. She was venting because the wait staff at the restaurant where she works is required to tip out the general manager. The GM often works the bar, so he is already making tips from the bar customers. While my friend has no problems tipping out staff who helps her, like bartenders, hosts, and bussers, she did not feel it was fair for a salaried worker to take tips, especially when wait staff in Maine make less than $4.00 an hour. What do you think? Should the wait staff have to tip out general management, who are on salary? Share your thoughts at the Restauranting Forum.
April 23, 2009 at 8:09 pm
(1) gina says:
NO, I don’t think management should get tipped out. I am in the same position working for a University Pub. The management staff should not get tipped out because they make more money than we do and they are getting tips from the patrons if they are also working the bar. They are essentially taking the bar tender job away from a bartender. The manager should not accept tip outs, especially from servers, we already tip out the kitchen 4% of food sales and I have NO problem tipping out the bartender if they are in my same position, but management, No way! If management wants to be tipped out for bartending they should apply for a bartending job.
April 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm
(2) Bobby Fitzgerald says:
I have operated in eight states plus D.C. and in every one of those places that is illegal. A quick check with the states restaurant association will confirm.
April 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm
(3) Springs1 says:
“The GM often works the bar”
Since you said that, what the “GM” makes is MEANINGLESS to what’s FAIR. If the general manager is doing the bartender’s job, he’s (assuming this is a man) the bartender, so OF COURSE it’s fair.
It’s unfair that you look at the “SAME JOB” that is being done by the GM as to what he gets paid per hour. That doesn’t matter.
It’s kind of like at Starbuck’s, where you see tipping going on. Do you see a tip jar with money when you go in(if you do)? Do people care what these people make per hour (which over here about 4 yrs ago, it was $6.50/hr plus tips)?
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you get paid per hour. It only matters if the SAME JOB is being done.
I worked at a donut shop about 10yrs ago. We had to split tips evenly with the other counter person or others (on the weekend I’d work with more people). Sometimes, the counter worker didn’t show up, so sometimes my boss or one of the kitchen staff workers worked the counter with me. I split the tips with my boss or the kitchen staff lady when they worked with me. It’s only fair. They did the SAME JOB, WHY NOT GET THE SAME PAY? They were serving customers, why shouldn’t they have been entitled to the tips since they WERE ACTUALLY HELPING SERVING THEM?
It doesn’t matter what you get paid.
gina“The manager should not accept tip outs, especially from servers, we already tip out the kitchen 4% of food sales and I have NO problem tipping out the bartender if they are in my same position, but management, No way!”
That’s because you are SELFISH!!! The manager should receive tip outs if they are doing the same exact job as the bartender. It’s only fair. They ARE a BARTENDER if they are serving customers, therefore, they should be treated the same exact way as a bartender. If you were a manager, wouldn’t YOU want more money if you could have it? Be honest now?
It’s only fair they get tipped out if they do the same job. Now, if they are just being a manager, NO WAY it would be fair. I am talking about that in this situation, the **MANAGER WORKS THE BAR***. If the manager works, the bartender, HE IS THE BARTENDER!! Same rules should apply for ANY bartender regardless of if he’s normally just the manager. It’s only fair. It’s unfair for him not to receive tip outs, because HE IS THE BARTENDER in this situation.
I had to share my tips with my boss at the donut shop. Did I care what he made per hour? He was doing the same job that my co-worker that wasn’t there would have done, therefore, the situation should be treated the same exact way to be FAIR. I shared my tips with the lady in the kitchen when she’d have to work the counter with me when workers didn’t show up or it got so busy that we needed her help.
What’s fair is fair and what isn’t, isn’t. You are selfish to say that the manager shouldn’t get tipped out just because he’s a manager. He wasn’t just being a manager. He was working the bar, therefore, should be treated as if he worked the bar. Now, if he only worked the bar an hour of the shift, the only an hour of the shift should he get tipped out of the sales for that hour. If he worked the entire shift as the bartender, then his tip out should be based on the entire shift. It’s only fair and none of this should be based on what someone makes an hour.
Pros and Cons of Buying Used Restaurant Equipment
One of the biggest expenses of opening a new restaurant is buying equipment. A $100,000 loan might seem like a lot of money when you are first getting ready to open, but too quickly it can run out. Stoves, ranges, grills and coolers all represent thousands of dollars spent. In addition, much like a new car, these items depreciate the minute they leave the showroom. When you begin shopping around for restaurant equipment, you will soon find out how expensive new pieces are. Selecting gently worn second-hand equipment can save you a lot of money. However, used restaurant equipment does present a few liabilities. Read on for the pros and cons of buying used.
Pros of Buying Used Restaurant Equipment
• Moolah. Buying used equipment will save you precious start up cash that you can put toward your first food order, payroll, or insurances. • Due to the high failure of new restaurants (not yours, of course) many second hand pieces of equipment have only been in service for a year or two. If you go to a restaurant auction, do your homework and find out how long the place was open. Examine the appliances, looking for tell tale signs of wear and tear like rust, missing parts, ect. If you are really lucky, you can still get the warranty with a piece that is not too old.• Haggling. Dealers of used restaurant equipment are often open to price negotiations. If you are good at haggling then don’t be afraid to counter their offer. • Freebies. If you are buying several pieces of used equipment from the same vendor, ask for a freebie, such as prep table, a mixer or toaster. They may throw it in as a sign of goodwill.
Cons of Buying Used Restaurant Equipment
• Warranties or lack thereof. Used restaurant equipment is usually sold “as is.” Meaning, if you hook it up at the restaurant and it doesn’t work, you’re out of luck. This is the gamble you take when buying used. The good news is that many pieces of restaurant equipment are nearly indestructible. If one small part goes, it is easy to replace. • Spending more money. If you do buy used equipment that breaks, then you may end up spending more money than if you had just bought it new. However, certain items are better suited to buy used, and have a better chance of working properly for a long time to come.
The following items are all good candidates for buying used:
Gas Ranges and Ovens – Gas ranges have a pretty long life span as far as restaurant equipment goes. If it is missing some knobs don’t fret, they are easily replaced. Electric models are not well suited for restaurants, because of the long time they take to heat up, and they have lots of bits and pieces just waiting to break.
Fryers- Ditto for fryers. Gas is better than electric. You just want to make sure the fryer is calibrated and get the instructions on how to change the oil.
Tableware- Salt and peppershakers, centerpiece vases, dishes, glasses and such can all be purchased second hand with confidence. The only problem you will face is finding pieces that fit with your restaurant décor.