Guru Marketing Tips by Stu Leventhal

8 Jan


Today’s hospitality Industry, like all industries, is changing and developing constantly. To keep up and stay current and competitive Restaurants, bars, hotels, catering companies… need an Online Offline Web Champion in their corner, or you have to become a Guru Businessman or woman yourself!

Guru Marketing Tips by Stu Leventhal is empowering business owners and management personnel across many fields of business and industries the ability to create and implement a winning, competitive, profitable management philosophy throughout their entire company. Guru Marketing Tips is written in an easy to follow and understand language style that is unique for most business tutorials lately. Readers are finally getting it!

Business in cyberspace and business down here on planet earth are finally partnering together to explode incomes!

Complicated internet commerce is explained and comfortably combined with traditional business management and marketing principals that have worked for centuries. Then a few new special pieces of the business puzzle are added so your entire organization is working together towards the same goals again; building your brand, gaining clients and customers and running operations more smoothly! Sales go through the roof!

GURU MARKETING TIPS, The Online Offline Web Champion by Stu Leventhal is a modern day business management instruction and marketing philosophy for companies to stay competitive and solve business difficulties. Everything you need to know to succeed with managing and marketing a business today and well into the future is covered:

  • How to Run a Business.
  • Winning at the Game of Business.
  • Tools for Business Leaders.
  • Strategic Business Thought.
  • Making Winning Decisions.
  • Minding a Modern Day Business.
  • Inventive Business Theory for Steady Profit Growth.
  • Innovative, Creative and Effective Problem Solving.
  • Special Attention is Given to Modern Marketing and Promoting!
  • Networking the Modern Way!
  • Understanding Online and Offline Commerce!
  • Strategic Sales Methods for a New Age!
  • The Fundamentals of Growing a Business.

From start-up to corporate giant, the basic principles for business success do not change!

Learn how to become a Business Super Hero! Learn smart business theory and how to implement it!

GURU MARKETING TIPS is the modern age tutorial for conducting business wisely and profitably; small business, big business and every type of entrepreneur spirit in between!

Finally, modern day business management is explained through the eyes of the marketing department. GURU MARKETING TIPS is a business guide book for leaders, managers, owners and people who wish to become managers and owners of successful companies. The secrets and pillar strategies of running a business better and for consulting to businesses are revealed in easy to understand and follow along, layman’s language.

GURU MARKETING TIPS is a must read for anyone who owns a business, wants to start a business or runs a business or department in a business.

GURU MARKETING TIPS   by Stu Leventhal is filled with all the essential tips every business owner or manager needs to know. The format is actually written like a blue print for starting a business consulting company! This means the topics and methods are described and explained so they can be adopted to work for many businesses and business situations. Learn the theory behind GURU MARKETING TIPS and you can apply them to any type of industry or business you wish to own, work for or consult for!

Let GURU MARKETING TIPS by Stu Leventhal help sprout your business management career today!




Restaurant Marketing Update

6 Oct


Offline Restaurant Promoting Verses Online Restaurant Promoting

By Stuart Leventhal

The yellow pages are dead! Okay, so what has replaced the phone book ad? Internet mobile phone searches of course! But, you scream, the internet is so vast! How do I know where to place my restaurant ads to get the best exposure? Stop making it more complicated than it is!

To get an idea of what you need to do online to outflank your competition simply turn on your computer, pull up one of the big three internet search engines and type in your town’s name then add the type of restaurant you run. For example, search in Google, Yahoo or Bing for; Italian restaurant in Cape Town. Now look to see if your Italian restaurant is listed. How hard is it to find your listing? Are there plenty of other Italian restaurants listed ahead of yours? If so, then you got your work cut out for you!

While you are still at the search engine results page, take a few moments and browse. Click on a few of your competitor’s websites and see what they are doing. Why do you think Google is ranking these websites ahead of yours? What do you like about these websites? What would you change? Are the search engines ranking only websites on their first pages or are some YouTube videos, Google maps, review site posts and/or Facebook fan pages ranking above the websites? All this information can come in handy as you design your plan of attack to take over the first pages of the top search engine suggestions.


Are you really going to continue to allow people visiting your town, searching for a place to dine to find your competitor instead of you, only because the internet confuses and annoys you? Can a business professional today afford to be that stubborn? I got news for you, the internet confuses and annoys your competitors too but they got over it and they are now getting more and more customers every day. Your customers!

You spent all that time developing your signature recipes, designed your dining room décor to look so inviting and comfortable, trained your staff to be courteous, caring and helpful, invested tons of time and money to get your restaurant off the ground; now is the time to figure out a real online marketing plan. You do not just want to grab your fair share of online searches. You want to OWN THE WEB!

No matter what the people search for, you want them to be brought first to your menus, your specials of the day, your glowing reviews by happy customers and your testimonials by local celebrities, photos of your delicious looking delicacies, award winning appetizers and videos of your professional staff serving happy, smiling guests in all kinds of interesting situations. This is going to take some doing but first you need to know how the internet as a whole works. Then you need to put together a plan of action.

There is no use in just spinning your wheels, trying out every new web based marketing fad that some salesperson is pushing this week. Yes, online technology moves fast and what is trending today is soon yesterday’s news. But, not all the new inventions are relevant nor necessary for successfully marketing a restaurant, bar or entertainment business. There is cutting edge and there is cutting edge! Staying current and looking hip is important for any hospitality enterprise but you do not have to re-invent the wheel every other week nor do you need to invest in purchasing every new promotional gadget that comes out.

Bear in mind people have been choosing where they dine based on the same four things for thousands of years; taste, value, ambiance and service! If you are reading this article, I know you are working 24/7 on giving your customers each of those. Now, all we have to do is let everyone know about your extraordinary, extra efforts and we will have them lining up around the block.

Below are a few restaurant internet marketing best practices that will help you stay one step ahead of your competition without having to pull your hair out and rack your head against the wall trying to keep coming up with crafty and cute new idea after crafty and cute new idea.

  1. SEO Search Engine Optimization is the name of the game when it comes to consistently ranking your restaurant website and other web real estate above your competitions’ for web searches. You need to hire a great Restaurant SEO Specialist who can assure you your site will rank on the first page searches for all the right search word combinations.

SEO is a technical science. Hiring an expert SEO with hospitality field expertise, especially restaurant field expertise, will give you an advantage over other SEOs not specialists in the food and beverage industry. One reason is because the keywords that customers search for are specific per industry therefore a SEO exert who knows intimately the ins and outs of running and promoting a restaurant as well as knows key restaurant terminology can easily out flank a regular SEO relying on his common sense to design his restaurant keyword strategy.

Obviously SEOs who work within the same industry get better and better at ranking web real estate for that specific industry because they can develop relationships within the online community for their niche of expertise. These relationships help Restaurant SEOs with all kinds of chores web related to getting great search rankings. For instance copy writing by restaurant experienced copywriters will make meals sound mouthwatering just by reading the descriptions all while incorporating a keyword density strategy into the text. This enables the SEO to rank the pages these well-constructed articles are on, fast, easy and with authority!

Restaurant SEOs on good standings with other restaurant related webmasters like review sites and restaurant webzines can establish fast relevant authority backlinks to the websites they work on which delights the search engines. Regular SEOs without those web master relations will take months longer and cost more to build up the same amount of link juice pumping into your website. Also restaurant SEO experts stay current on every new facet of restaurant SEO. They constantly tweak their methods to optimize performance because they are always working on hospitality type websites. And, as with anything else, practice makes perfect.

2.        Restaurants and bars by their very nature have always been thought of as the social gathering places of the community. That philosophy has to be incorporated into your web strategy too. Your website, blog and Facebook fan pages, Tweets, text messages and email campaigns should all discuss everything that is going on in your neighborhood just like your patrons come to your place of biz to gossip and debate community issues. Think of the small town diner where everyone congregates before and after work and on the weekends after the movie theaters close or the corner bar where everyone knows everyone’s personal business and more.

Now-a-days, a hospitality business; bar, club, or restaurant must create a large internet presence if they wish to remain being considered an important authority figure of their community. Remember, you are competing with large national chains that have big budgets and internet marketing divisions trying to monopolize the first page of the search engine searches. Beating the big boys starts with setting up your own website and blog using all your local knowledge to insure that your site and blogging is much more interesting and relevant than a website being run by someone thousands of miles away.

You must also have plenty of social site profiles, pages and posts that address hometown issues and local fun facts. Your review site posts should have replies by you talking the way the people of your town talk and making frequent references to local things. Your traditional ads should show your hometown spirit and loyalty too. News-releases are great especially if you support a local charity or kid’s sports team. You have to court all the local food bloggers to review your menu items and services. Just send all the food critics invitations for a free meal and believe me, they will come.

Remember, the more articles and posts you have out there, the more your restaurant SEO will have to work with for getting those all-important backlinks which raise your value in the eyes of the search engines. Every post has the potential of getting to the first page. So do not just focus on your website. Sometimes it is easier to rank a video or even your Google map showing direction to your restaurant on the first page and the more first page spots you take up the less spots that are left for your competition to occupy.

3.        It is important that you explain to your restaurant SEO one of your priorities is to set up a strategy for your website, blog and social sites to all accumulate email addresses so you can send out email coupons, special offerings and announcements. It is even a good idea to keep in touch with your clients via an opt/in monthly emailed newsletter.

4.        Make it is easy for your customers to place their orders online. Install an integrated online to go ordering system. Your staff will love the fact that the phone rings less. The customers do their order placing themselves which frees up your employees to do other things. On that same note online reservation taking allows your customers a means of instantly making their reservation via their cell phones too.

5.        Sell your gift cards on all your web platforms. You have to strike while the customer is hungry and salivating. You have gone to a lot of trouble to add delicious looking photos of all your new signature dishes to your blog, website and Facebook pages and you may even have paid a restaurant copywriting expert to describe your menu offerings using words that readers can actually taste! By offering your web real estate visitors an exclusive discount on gift cards that can only be had on the web, you are selling meals in advance. Regulars are not stupid. Some will purchase a bunch of gift cards for themselves and use them all year long for the discount but this is just what you want! The more the merrier! Now you have customers committed to dine with you for months to come. Do not sweat the discounts because you will make the difference up in other ways.

Full dining rooms and full tables fix all the major financial numbers of a restaurant. You have less spoilage and food waste. You can purchase at lower bulk rates thus adding to the bottom line. Fixed expenses like utility bills rent and insurance do not go up so the cost per customer goes down as you serve more customers. And best of all many gift card redeemers will bring other diners with them who pay full price!

6.        Post your job openings online on all your web real estate; website, blog and social sites. This saves you time and the cost of placing help wanted ads as well as helps bond you with your community showing you are confident in hiring locals.

7.        Design prominent online comment cards. This will give your complaining customers a place to vent on web platforms that you control and can moderate rather than them posting damaging reviews and off color remarks all over the web. If they leave their suggestions and concerns on your website or blog at least you will know about their complaints immediately and thus; you can follow up with them, apologize and do your best to repair the relationship with that customer. You may even choose to comment back online so other customers can see you take complaints very seriously and have addressed the problem immediately upon being notified so it does not happen again. This shows your sincerity and commitment to running the finest food and beverage establishment possible

* The hospitality industry winners have always been the establishments who have been known as being hip, current and cutting edge. Whether it is fair or not does not matter, the fact is the public now considers restaurants, bars, clubs as well as all other hospitality businesses that have a decent size web presence to be more modern and sophisticated than the sticklers who are still holding out, living in the past and not yet participating online. A bar, restaurant, entertainment venue or nightclub has got to play along with a cultural trend as vast and popular as the internet phenomenon and especially social media or risk being labeled out of touch with the times which is the kiss of death in the hospitality industry.

You are expected to have a website, blog and Facebook presence minimum and some people simply do not trust establishments that do not. It is no longer acceptable to wait for your customers to walk through the front door to begin communicating with them. Customers want to see your menu, see photos of your dining room, view videos of your staff preparing their meals and understand what you and your establishment stands for before they commit to come try your place out.

For a free consultation on restaurant, bar or club internet marketing strategies that will blow your competition away and fill every seat and bar stool night after night, contact:

P.S. – You and your customers will be thrilled and surprised once we show you how much fun internet promotion can be!

Philadelphia Hospitality Industry Marketing Advice

26 Sep


Promotional Marketing Master Pieces Are No Accident

By Stu Leventhal

Restaurant Promotion, advertising and marketing ideas are a dime a dozen. New methods and strategies of the best food and beverage marketers are hardly a secret for long since they require publicity to work. Once a new technique of promoting a hospitality venture is put into use everyone in the hospitality marketing and ad industries know about it fast. Copying a marketing genius’s promotional tactic would seem quite easy yet cloned marketing campaigns never seem to reach their peaks like the original ideas. This is because a lot more goes into the planning of a promotional master piece than is apparent. After all, the final goal is to make the piece appear as smooth, unforced and unpretentious as possible and this takes tact.

We are all familiar with those exciting times when funny, controversial or suspenseful and dramatic postings online get delightfully and un-expectantly embraced by the public then virally shared at hyper speed through all the social media platforms and thus catapulted into instant stardom and the promotional hall of fame. Duplicating those phenomena, leveraging the advertisement value of that mass promotional mania and creating word of mouth frenzy is what marketers have been attempting to do for thousands of years.

Great promotional campaigns are tailored to leverage to the max everything already going good concerning a company’s situation while negating everything that is negatively damaging the company rep in their perceived public’s eye. Thus what appears at first glance to be simply a cute and clever idea dreamed up by a marketer with a keen imagination is really a thoroughly researched and decisively planned campaign that has been carefully crafted then tested and honed then tested and reworked again and again.

Promotional master pieces are custom designed per project to touch the emotions of a specific audience and achieve a particular intended response. Attempts to clone promotional ideas are short cuts that result in the marketing strategy losing its spunky edge. Unique marketing tactics are created with accomplishing the exact specific goals of one company in mind. Powerfully performing campaigns are thoroughly prepared so they instantly grasp the attention of their targets. Promotional master pieces cannot hope to command their audience’s attention for long by rehashing old, over played, boring, borrowed and cloned marketing ideas of past campaigns no matter how successful they were since innovativeness and suave is a prime ingredient of the successful marketing piece recipe.

Today’s public does not have the time or patience to pay attention long to anything that does not have real value you can sink your teeth into. Things have to be truly cutting edge and pure quality if you expect people to go out of their way to talk them up to friends, family and coworkers. Anything less gets left in the dust.

The lack of predictability of promotional methods has miffed hospitality marketing professionals and the hospitality industry’s business experts for centuries, giving advertising and promotion as a whole a stigma of unreliability as well as a mystique to its successful Masters.

This phenomenal, overwhelming, negative and skeptical impression towards marketing, advertising and promotions has been attributed in part to the many complications of human nature itself. Meaning, since humans are for the most part very unpredictable and their motives are often difficult to understand then selling and pitching to people will always be just as unpredictable and unreliable. This myth that successful marketing is just a crap shoot, mostly luck and never ever a guarantee is reinforced by the Psychiatric fields who perpetuate the mysteries of understanding the complex human mind and predicting peoples’ behavior as being quite more complex than it needs to be! Even powerful governments plead ignorance of being able to decipher to a T what the people want!

Thus, many restaurants, bars and hospitality entertainment organizations conclude their marketing strategies and promotional department’s to be a smaller less significant factor of their business’s success or failure than their other departments such as production, product development and even human resources. These companies go on to delegate and commit less of a budget to their promotional futures and neglect their marketing efforts and divisions. This is the biggest mistake in business management today! Spending your efforts, time and money on cutting costs, coming up with innovative ideas, hiring or firing key employees, making changes to products and services or making any other major business decision without considering all the marketing implications will most likely result in counter productivity, loss of revenues and most importantly misused, valuable and irreplaceable time.

Marketing when done properly is the premier force of any hospitality business’s growth and development, expansion or change. No other department has anywhere near the influence on a business’s future than a properly run marketing department. Businesses, especially hospitality businesses, fail miserable when they do not consult their marketers before they make vital decisions. New products and services should never be considered without a proper market analysis. The new product division does not bring new ideas to the marketing department! The marketing department informs the new product division what they should be developing and working on based on their in-depth understanding of what the customers are looking for and where the potential opportunities exist for more sales.

Through marketing analysis one concludes what tweaks to make to their current products to make them more competitive, which products should be considered for replacement and which products should be prioritized for extra advertising and promotion. Pricing should always be done through the marketing department! Marketing tells you which of your other departments are producing to their potential and what departments are under producing. Through your marketing efforts and analysis you realize what direction the company needs to move in and where your priorities should be placed. Everything business wise has to be coordinated around your marketing campaigns to get maximum sales and revenue results.

Most of the cleverest promotion schemes work rarely on their own accord but that does not mean they are not good tactics. The real secret for business sales building success is in understanding and accepting that effective marketing rarely happens in a vacuum, meaning a single campaign like a radio ad is never responsible entirely for its own successes. Real profit producing mechanisms have to be coordinated to work with every aspect of a business to be successful. A company’s standing in the market place has to be considered as well as its customers’ perceptions of its products and services. What the company’s competitors are up to needs to be factored in. Technological advancements must be leveraged. A company’s past history good or bad must be incorporated into the scheme of things as marketing efforts attempt to move the company forward. The company’s perceived personality, outside factors like the current economic or political situation and a whole slew of other factors must all be taken into account.

The truth is every restaurant, bar, club or entertainment business is unique, their neighborhoods are unique, their clientele are unique, their staff is unique, their challenges and situations are unique and thus their marketing plan should be custom tailored to meet their specific special needs.

If you are confused about marketing and its role in guiding all your major business decisions or if you need some help setting up or managing your Philadelphia area hospitality company’s promotional strategy so it is coordinated to work with all your other business efforts and conforms to what is happening in your market place plus takes advantage of your Philly neighborhoods trends, contact Philadelphia Restaurant Consultant:

*We will be happy to help you set up a clear, concise, fruitful and achievable company vision plan.

We can manage your roll out, implement your crew training and be there for you every step of the way!


29 Aug

Hi restaurant managers and owners,
It is your friendly Philadelphia Restaurant Consultant here again with another $ MONEY saving marketing tip. It is great when you can take advantage of someone else’s large marketing budget and hitch a ride to promote your own organization and your own agenda using their wallet. What am I talking about? Check out the new Philadelphia media sensation just launched today!


Philadelphia Pennsylvania 8/29/2013 Just Released! is Live!
Philly Fun Dot Net is officially launched and bringing Philadelphians all the entertainment news and information on fun places to visit in the City of Brotherly Love and the surrounding area. Restaurant picks on fine dining, bar and nightlife information. Where to go, what not to miss, it is all here! The premier new website has an upbeat look, lots of video and photo images, cool writers and an inviting sharing attitude that makes the city of Philadelphia such a treat to come to see.
The Philly Historic District is laid out and open for visitors. Top places to go for a relaxing cocktail are suggested for every quadrant of the great city. Places of interest; museums, libraries, parks are listed. And of course all the main tourist attractions are covered. You will even find a cool calendar of upcoming city and surrounding burb events. When you are wondering where to go, where to take some out-of-towners to impress them, this is the site with the quick index.
*So, restaurant managers, bar managers, Philadelphia entertainment promoters and owners of fun establishments, how can you take advantage of Philly Fun Dot Net and their coming marketing efforts?  

*Over the next few weeks and months this new website will be promoting themselves all over the web and off the web too! Believe me when I advise you it is in your best interest as the head of your restaurant, bar or entertainment venue to make sure your Philly area company or business gets listed in their top ten lists concerning all your niches of business. Remember if your business is not listed then your competitors will be! This could mean tons of free advertising for you. But you have to tell this website about your type of restaurant bar or entertainment you provide and don’t forget to leave contact information.

Tell the world about the special food you serve. Let them know you cater. Send them photos they can use, videos if you have them! Get listed in as many lists as possible! What is your bar area like. Do you have live entertainment? Theme nights? What sets you apart from the rest? If you run a club that has live events; DJs, performances send your summer months calendar! They’ll publish it for you! This is how to get great exposure for free for months. Make sure you join their opt/in mail list so can keep you informed on any events they sponsor, parties they throw or promotional moves they make. There are bound to be lots of happenings you can hook your wagon to.
I implore you to leverage the fact that these guys are hungry to write about good Philly restaurant, bar, night life as well as day life things to do. Send your restaurant industry insider, human interest stories!

Now is the time to create that news worthy, news release you have been putting off creating. If you need help on writing a good press release check out the tutorials here: you will find tips on topics and advice on how to format the release so it gets noticed. If you are feeling time challenged, they also list services for getting news releases written for you as well as all your other web related writing.
Free publicity opportunities like these happen very rarely. Make sure your company is positioned to take full advantage of the hype! For your convenience you can correspond with simply by replying to this email and we will forward it to them just put PhillyFun in the subject or hit them up directly:  
Stay tuned to for all your Philly restaurant management and marketing news and advice! Need help managing your restaurant or with marketing campaigns online or off, hit us up via any of the comments sections on our blog, we will post your answer if we feel our members will benefit from hearing the same knowledge or we will reply to you directly if that is more appropriate. If you wish a private restaurant management consultation or a price quote on anything concerning web promotions or restaurant marketing, management or consulting, simply reply to this email with details on how we can help you or contact us: We love helping Philadelphia restaurants thrive! And we are quite affordable! What are you waiting for? Our results pay for themselves and much, much more!

TODAYS WEBSITE PROMO: 200 likes, 20 blog comments and 200 tweets $45!

Good Old Fashioned Restaurant Management

14 Aug


Common Sense Restaurant Management

By Stu Leventhal

Restaurants have been around for thousands of years. Undoubtedly there has always been good ones and bad ones. With all the modern conveniences the basics of how a customer judges, rates and recommends his favorite food or watering hole has not changed at all.

Good restaurant management is about creating an oasis for you customers so they can escape from their problems and worries, stop and rest along their journeys and be pampered! It has little to do with providing a square meal for a square price. If you are not focused on creating a constant and reliable ambiance that your customers can rely upon through thick and thin then you are in the wrong business.


Your customers, especially regulars become your extended family. And, family members can be a pain in the butt. There will be times when you have no patience to listen to another sad story but hey remember there’s probably another deli across town that can make a Corned Beef Rueben just as good as your sandwich maker.

If you wish to build a strong restaurant business, think about the hit TV show Cheers. The characters came to the bar to Socialize not to get drunk. The shows revolved around them all sharing pieces of their hectic and often unusual happenings in their lives away from the bar with all their friends at the bar. The banter between the employees and the guests was informal to say the least. Yet, it seemed like every corner bar in every neighborhood across America. Do you encourage your servers to engage their customers like Sam, Carla and Woody do? And how about yourself? Do you converse like Coach, Rebecca and Diane did? Or, are your customers scared to call you over to discuss a problem with their meals?

Of course the food has to be top notch! But that’s a gimme! Everyone should expect; quality food, made from the best ingredients, under sanitary and food safe conditions, served up timely with a smile! There is a lot of competition out there. If your goal is to build repeat business, you have to do more than what’s average.

There are plenty of places selling good burgers yet everyone knows which burger joint is considered the best in town. Most of the time it is the place that is the most fun to dine at too!

Of course you know that there is a common belief that if one sends back their plate because their meal wasn’t prepared to their liking, the people in the kitchen will spit in their food or do something even worse. For that reason, many diners will suffer through an unsatisfying meal rather than complain. This is why it is absolutely required for the manager to be visible on the dining floor 90% of the time the restaurant is open for business.

Your job is to act like the host who is throwing a big party. You float around making sure everyone is having a good time and the service and food is perfect. You mingle, schmooze and entertain. You act concerned when you detect something is bothering a guest and over joyed to see them even when you are run down and feel a cold coming on. Behind the scenes you manage food costs, waste and spoilage, place orders, take inventory and forever push you’re your staff for more productivity. Are you overwhelmed yet just reading about all your responsibilities? Cause there are more…

Keeping peace among the ranks is a full time job in itself. Interviewing, hiring, training disciplining, coaching and encouraging all fall on your shoulders. And, you are also responsible for budgeting marketing funds, building sales, showing a profit and keeping accurate records of every aspect of the business so you can report to higher ups, owners and stock holders. Yes, it can be a bit of a juggling act but the one area that can never be sacrificed or put second is your dining room presence! You must be aware of what is going on with your customers!

A good manager knows when he’s been in the back office too long, on the phone too long, in a meeting too long, checking in the truck order at the loading dock too long! The business of good restaurant management is being hands on, out on the floor, directing and helping to enhance your crew’s efforts to please the guests. As long as guests are having a good time they will forgive anything. No matter what goes wrong, if they are having fun they will shout your praise and tell all their friends for years to come about your extra efforts and the great time they had!

Good word of mouth is still the best advertising! We are living in the age of the super, digital, virtual, highway and a bad or good tweet or text is only a click away with a cell phone.

Need some Philadelphia tailored restaurant consulting? Email us at our expert Philadelphia restaurant consultants will be happy to assist you!



Restaurant Wisdom for Managers and Owners

12 Aug

So Philadelphia restaurant managers and owners; how are your restaurant managerial skills?  Does there seem to be a gap like the Grand Canyon between you and your employees? Let’s see how we can change that.


If you gathered 100 experienced managers together and asked for their advice, it would probably sound like the roar of Niagara Falls until you got them talking in an orderly way.   But there’s one thing for sure… They wouldn’t be saying much about “temporal rhythms,” or “competing values models.”  Instead, this is probably what you’d hear.


“Don’t be afraid of the phrase, ‘I don’t know’.”  If you don’t know the answer to an employee or board member’s question, don’t try to bluff your way through.  If you’re at fault, take the blame.  If you’re wrong, apologize.  If you don’t have the answer at your fingertips then, promise to get back to the person with the answer within a specific timeframe.


“Never gossip.” If someone wants to gossip with you, politely say you’re not interested.  The corporate adage, when someone gossips two careers are hurt – the person talked about, and the person talking.


“No task is beneath you.”  Don’t think that as a manager you’re above anything.  Be the good example and pitch in, especially if the job is one that nobody wants to do.


“Share the credit whenever possible.”  A manager who spreads credit around looks much stronger than those who take all the credit themselves.


“Ask for help.”  If you think you’re in over your head – then you are!  Ask for some help and you’ll find most people enjoy giving a hand.  Besides saving yourself from embarrassment, you’ll make a friend and an ally.


“Keep your financial remuneration from the business to yourself.”  Discussing how much you’re making is a no-win proposition.  Either you’ll be upset because someone is doing better than you, or someone will be upset with you.


“When you don’t like someone, don’t let it show.”  This is especially true if you outrank them.  Never burn bridges or offend others as you move ahead.


“Let it go!” What shouldn’t happen often does.  You weren’t given the project you wanted, you were passed over for the promotion you deserved.  Be gracious and diplomatic…and move on.  Harboring a grudge won’t advance your career.


“When you’re right, don’t gloat.”  The only time you should ever use the phrase, “I told you so” is if someone says to you: “You were right. I really could succeed at that project.”


Another aid to increase your art of restaurant management savvy involves asking questions.  If you really want to learn what the scuttle-butt within the troops is, ask questions as you travel throughout your organization.


Here are 10 questions that should get you all you want to know:


  • What made you mad today?
  • What took too long?
  • What caused complaints today?
  • What was misunderstood today?
  • What cost us too much money?
  • What was wasted?
  • What was too complicated?
  • What was just plain silly?
  • What job involved too many people?
  • What job involved too many actions?


Prepared with the above list as you travel through the crew ranks, you should get a pretty accurate reading of your restaurant business or organization.  It will also get you the feedback from the customers that complained to your employees.  What better way to know how your business is functioning, and where it needs tweaking?


Got some ideas you’d like to add? We’d be happy to hear them!


27 Jul

Great Service Builds Restaurant Customer Loyalty

by Stu Leventhal

Great customer service can catapult any restaurant onto a 5 star restaurant list. People don’t have to eat out. Even if they want to entertain family or friends, it will save them a lot of money throwing the party at their own residence. Tossing a turkey in the oven, tossing up a salad and cooking a few side dishes and asking one or two of your visitors to bring a dessert is not that hard, really. Just pop a few trays of appetizers in the oven and tune the big screen to the big game and the party is in full swing in no time. Going out is a conscientious choice and in most cases the food quality or drink variety is not the deciding factor nor does price figure into the decision of where people choose to go. Americans spend money to have fun! And when Americans are having fun, money is no object!


We can stay home and watch the newest release on pay per view TV, crack a case of beer, invite a few friends over and boil up a couple of pounds of pasta and be known as fairly decent hosts and hostesses. When we show up at a restaurants place of business, especially a high end establishment, it rarely is because we’re starving or even hungry! Think about what motivates you to want to go to your corner bar again and again. You are feeling a little down and want to lift your spirits up. You want to be around people who are going to cater to your ego. You feel like being pampered, jested with and made to feel special! This is the culture you as a restaurant manager or owner need to foster in your staff. This is the atmospheric goal you must strive to create if you want to have tons and tons of repeat customers.

Certainly, great food, unique dishes and innovative drinks that customers can’t get anywhere else is a plus. Cleanliness, especially clean and well stocked and maintained bathrooms are a must. Fast attentive service is an attraction too. But when it comes right down to it, if we have a choice, we are going where the fun is! And we are bringing plenty of cash to spend! Creating an openly, fun, receptive atmosphere takes real planning and training. Keeping the fun going constantly and consistently, day after day, hour after hour, takes hard dedicated work. If you can get your staff to buy in to the idea that they’re #1 job is to make the guests feel special, it won’t matter if your competition down the street gives out half price coupons or imports a celebrity chef who studied at a fancy culinary school overseas; your customers will not be lured away!

How does a good restaurant manager create a fire under the butts of his team concerning customer service? Let’s first look at how it’s not done! Great customer service is not accomplished by threatening your staff. Or, by posting a ridiculous long list of must follow requirements in the break room, that keeps getting bigger week after week. Those cute posters with famous sayings like this quote by Katherine Barchetti – “Make a customer not a sale!” can only go so far as a reminder as to who is really signing our pay checks, our customers!

First off, all great managers realize their staff takes their cues from their own actions and attitudes. This means, the staff is a reflection of you. As a manager you are always on stage. Your staff is watching you and paying attention to how you act and handle things. You are the Captain of the ship, so you set the tone. If you run your restaurant like a Gestapo agent, your staff will always be on edge. Up tight people can’t project a natural aura of friendliness and good cheer! Now is the time to set not only a good example but set the bar for how you expect everyone to act too!

Great managers walk the walk not just talk the talk. Show your staff how they should treat people, treat your customers and treat each other, by first treating your staff with the respect, courtesy, honesty and always giving them the full attention they deserve! Show your staff that these words are not just lip service. They are the values you live by. The same values you take into consideration with every decision you make. Set your restaurants standards of conduct high, starting with your own standards of conduct and those standards will rub off on your employees. Notice the extra efforts of your staff when they go the extra mile to please a customer and reward them with recognition, a smile, a thank you and with raises, titles and other numerous nonmonetary perks; choice of work schedule, a holiday or weekend off or by letting a high performing servers pick their work station.

Now for this article we are taking for granted that all the basic, common sense, customer service standards are already in place and being encouraged at all levels of your restaurant tiers. To elevate a restaurants service from good to great then to exceptional, there is going to have to be a commitment to putting into place some ongoing training. You may even need to revamp your recruitment criteria and train anyone involved with the hiring process to look for the traits that support your customer service mission first and start valuing those standards the highest among your hiring requirements.

Remember your restaurant is in competition not only with the taste and quality of the food served but most importantly with the atmosphere and pleasure of the dining experience you offer. There will always be restaurants nearby having a sale. The way to counter act that is to focus on always giving your visitors an over the top, exceptional, great dining experience! Learn your customers’ names and use them! When your restaurant or business is busy and a regular walks in take that extra minute and acknowledge them. Don’t chat for fifteen minutes neglecting all your other customers, just say hi, wave and make them feel special.

On that note, I’ll leave you with this famous thought. “Customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless.” – Jeffrey Gitomer