Be creative with your employee incentives! Think about the things that really excite them. Maybe feeling like they own a part of the company is one way to make your staff get motivated and really sell! Maybe you have a younger staff and some freedom of scheduling would be a nice way to boost morale.
Whatever the goal, contests between your servers create healthy, competitive spirits. Keep your contests short and the goals attainable. Thirty days is a standard time frame in which to keep a contest. You can always start fresh after the 30-day period is over. Rotate contests and bring the popular ones back when you feel boredom is setting in.
Up the ante! Many of your servers may reach the goal of selling five bottles of wine in one night. Raise the bar and make it 7 or 8, even 10! You don’t want to alienate your servers who aren’t reaching the goal of even five bottles of wine per night, so keep some other contests going in which you know they can do well. I’m not talking about feeling sorry for them; I’m saying they need more time to build up their confidence. They’ll get there. Build your sales team slowly and steadily. If they never get the opportunity to build their confidence, they will just leave and you’ll be training another new person.
What to give as the prize for attaining these goals is up to you. You might consider giving a bottle of wine to the person that sells the most wine. Perhaps a gift certificate to a more upscale restaurant would be nice to give if you have the kind of staff that would appreciate it. Cash is an obvious easy prize, but that can get costly for your pocket!
One of my favorites is a week or two of a “free” schedule. The winner gets to choose his/her schedule for the designated period of time. Servers love to make their own schedules! What a great motivator!
Contests don’t just have to be for servers. Get your kitchen staff, hosts and bussers involved in some creative contests of their own! They are a part of the team and should have their own incentives for contributing to the team goals.
Employee incentives keep your staff interested and motivated. They will be successful because of it. After a while, they will just be successful because they want to be.