Waitrainer+ Blog

Why IN-N-OUT has it right

Posted on March 23, 2012 by Celeste Edman, Marketing Expert

Say what you want about fast food, but IN-N-OUT is the standard that we should all hold ourselves to. Your restaurant may be fine dining or have a specific niche, so you may be wondering what you could possibly learn from IN-N-OUT.

I recently went to a restaurant where I ordered a very high-end dish whose description raved about the quality of the fish and the freshness ...
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Know Thy Business

Posted on March 16, 2012 by Celeste Edman, Marketing Expert

When determining how to outfit your restaurant, it is important to consider the type of restaurant you're opening as well. For example, you wouldn't want fine linens in a fast food concept any more than you'd serve filet mignon on paper plates at a fine dining establishment. But, there's more to having your concept be consistent in look and feel-- the service and food have to ...
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Sacrificing Soul for Service?

Posted on January 27, 2012 by Celeste Edman, Marketing Expert

Atmosphere has a huge impact on how we experience our meal when dining out. Many believe that there are certain colors that help us relax and encourage us to eat more and stay longer. There has been a significant amount of study done to determine if music and more precisely, certain tempos, will change how and what we buy. All these elements play a role in our overall dining experience. ...
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The Last Table is as Important as the First

Posted on January 20, 2012 by Celeste Edman, Marketing Expert

I've talked with many people in different industries, and it seems true for all-- if you sell lighting you notice lights everywhere you go-- if you are a chef you are constantly critiquing food that others cook and so on. I was talking with a woman about this who has managed Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants as well as small niche hot spots about whether or not she's able ...
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The skeptic's guide to positive thinking

Posted on January 13, 2012 by Meredith Schweiger, Waitrainer Content & Support

You were short-staffed last night for dinner service. The chef had an off night and orders went out wrong. To top it all off, you're trying to reconcile your till and you're coming up short by $250. These are the days that really try you as a restaurant owner or manager. How do you dig in, re-focus the team and, more importantly, keep your own attitude where it needs to be to ...
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Time is Money

Posted on December 30, 2011 by Zac Bond, Content Manager for Waitrainer

You wouldn't rely on guesswork to figure how much you're spending on chanterelles or tri-tip each week-- yet many restaurant owners and managers have no idea what their costs are for training and maintaining employees. Employee overhead is one of the largest costs in the service industry and it's also one of the most difficult components to manage efficiently.

There ...
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What makes a great server?

Posted on December 23, 2011 by Zac Bond, Content Manager for Waitrainer

Truly excellent service has a je ne sais quoi about it-- that seemingly unknowable quality that sets it apart-- it's hard to pin down but you know it when you see it. Great service flows with grace that appears effortless and seems to perfectly anticipate the guest's needs.

This sort of service is rare, and it doesn't always show up where you expect. You'd ...
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The Tomorrow Theory

Posted on December 2, 2011 by Celeste Edman, Marketing Expert

Your new restaurant is nearly ready. You have the menu printed, the staff (mostly) hired, and the concept is shaping up beautifully. Among the million other things you have left to do is to write the employee manual. And then print it. And get your staff to read and sign off on it. You'll get to it tomorrow, you tell yourself, just need to get through the food order for next week's ...
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Nobody Told Me

Posted on November 18, 2011 by Celeste Edman, Marketing Expert

You've probably heard the best way to inform people about what you want to say is to tell your audience what you're going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them. This may work for speeches and result in temporary improvements, but it is not the best way to ensure that what you've said has been understood.

The challenge is, how do you communicate ...
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A server walks into a restaurant...

Posted on November 4, 2011 by James Keil, Sr. VP of Sales

Stop us if you'd heard this one before. A new server walks into a restaurant and the following hilarity (that's sarcasm, folks) ensues...

Server: I'm so excited to join this restaurant!
Manager: You should be! We have a strong training culture and an incredible reputation. It's our goal to make sure our employees understand ...
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