Is your reputation declining?

Quality + Service = Reputation: Reputation = Revenues: Revenues + Systems = Profit.

With this in mind, restaurant service coaching is vitally important in taking your restaurant to the next level. Not only do the staff need to bring the correct food to the table promptly, but they need to represent your brand in doing this. They are your ambassadors, and this should not be taken lightly.

Creating a culture of service is a very difficult thing to get started, but once it gets established, it is much easier to keep it rolling. How do we do this, you may ask?

As a restaurant service coach, I see that many restaurants do not have a real culture established. The first step is to decide what your service style should be and how you want it to be carried out.  This should be done by the team, perhaps in a team meeting, led by the Owner/Manager and coach, if possible. Once formulated, a serious in-depth training session needs to be scheduled.

In the first session, we define the culture: What is hospitality? Why do we do what we do? What does it mean to us?  On the second day, we tackle service skills: the steps involved and product knowledge with hands-on practice sessions.  We will fine-tune their knowledge of service, food, beverage, talking points, key brand words, and points of difference. This allows the team to actually try it out, get comfortable, and realize that it is not so hard. On the last day, celebrate the completion and set a date in the next day or two to begin putting skills into practice. Have each of your team get certified. Give out some awards, have a glass of bubbly, get excited, and celebrate. After all, this is all about future revenue growth, increased profit, and the general success of the restaurant that we are talking about.

The final and key piece is the follow-up. Now that you have invested a decent amount of money and time in this new culture that will set you apart from the rest, you must ensure it will be sustained. The only way for this to change from a simple training session to a coaching and culture “creation”, is through the leadership team on the floor upholding the standards and living them daily. This should be a separate coaching session with management and supervisors where we run through all the tools needed to make this happen. Over a period of months, this new service culture will become a way of life, if you make it so. It will not happen just because you did training; it will happen if you are passionate and, as a leadership team, you really get after it!

Choose a restaurant coach that can commit to the long-term results and be vested in your success. Monthly, or regular, follow-up visits from your coach can also be a big help. This allows for regular re-checks, training of new staff, redirection, and giving feedback to the leadership team.

Author, Russ Blakeborough, is the Owner of Focus F&B.  He is a seasoned restaurant consultant and service coach. More information at