March 16, 2023

Sales Contests for Your Frontline Restaurant Workforce: How to Add a Healthy Change of Pace

How does your amazing front-of-house restaurant staff stay motivated throughout their shift to bring the most value back to your restaurant?

The answer is simple: sales contests. 

Every time a customer orders something specific from the menu, they earn points towards the contest. At the end of their shift, the employee with the most points wins. Sales contests can be designed to keep your staff motivated and on their toes throughout the day. They bring a healthy dose of competition into the workplace, which can help boost morale and productivity. Plus, they provide an incentive for employees to push themselves to exceed customer expectations and make sure everyone is getting their money’s worth.

Key Benefits of Incentivizing Sales Contests

Team motivation and productivity

There’s a reason why servers and bartenders enter a customer-facing role. Yes, they might be charismatic, but they are certainly motivated by sales.  With an incentives-driven sales contest, your staff will be more motivated to deliver their best performance.

Increased customer satisfaction

When employees have something to strive for and tangible rewards to collect, they are much more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to providing service. Customers respond positively to great service (even if they didn’t enjoy their order), so incentive-based sales contests on the quality of service is a great way to drive up customer satisfaction.

Improved morale and loyalty

No matter the industry, employees are more likely to stay in their positions when they’re having fun and have something to look forward to. By incentivizing sales contests, you can encourage your staff to stay with your company longer, which means lower turnover and higher morale. Plus, this kind of system encourages teamwork rather than competition between employees, which can improve loyalty within the team as well.

Increased sales

One of the most obvious (and important) benefits of running a sales contest is increased sales. This means you protect yourself from the negative impact of low traffic by encouraging customers to buy more from you, getting a boost in revenue for your business. In order to maximize the success of this strategy, make sure to track performance and ensure that rewards are attractive enough to motivate your team.

A new competitive spirit among employees

Something as simple as a directed sales contest to see who can sell the most glasses of the new wine can accomplish both driving employee knowledge and pushing some new or aged product (whichever the occasion calls for). The timing has to be right, just as with most things in the restaurant world. For example the dinner rush might not be the best time for the staff to learn and retain something new about a product. Service comes first, of course. Then when there is room, a continued promotion of healthy competition and pursuing the depth of employee education.

It is important to note that while incentives are important, they need to be healthy and reasonable for all involved. A sales contest is a fantastic way in which to incentivize and reward your restaurant staff while also pushing some product and positively reinforcing employee product knowledge. If you’re unsure of how to measure success outside of sales, just ask your workforce for feedback!

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