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Forget Scripts! Why Letting Your Servers be Themselves Means a Boom for Your Restaurant

At certain points in your guest’s restaurant experience, you expect your servers to say certain things (a script): to up-sell, cross-sell, and get the bill as high as it can go. Scripts are for plays - like, MacBeth in 7th grade. You had to follow a script and say your lines when it was your turn. (My moustache fell off in MacBeth. I’ve been terrified of the stage ever since). The challenge with scripts is they restrict your staff. You have to say that. You have to say this. Oh, and do it at this time. It’s certainly not empowering your staff to get their tables to order the Epic Brownie Bomb for dessert. So, how do you get more up-sells?

Letting servers say what they want.

That sounds crazy! It may sound crazy, but here’s why:

1. It’s more of a human experience

Your server is there to make money, yes, but to make a connection with guests is even more powerful. Let them tell stories about their life, their family because it makes them human. Connecting with a server or a bartender makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

2. It keeps your staff motivated

Your staff is no longer nervous about saying the right things at the right time. Of course, they’re going to ask if their tables would like dessert, but let them ask it in their own way.

3. It’s proven!

Zappos, the largest online shoe retailer, lets their service reps say whatever they want on the phone to make the customer happy. While your restaurant is not a call center, the “say what you want” concept has been proven across multiple industries. So, what’ll be for dessert?