Upselling to Increase Profits and Net Better Tips

Upselling_BarWorkers in the hospitality industry often depend on tip money for the majority of their income. Looking for ways to increase your earnings? When coupled with great customer service, a higher tab almost always equates to a higher tip, and what service professional doesn’t want to increase bar sales, and in turn, their own tips? There are several ways to net bigger tips, wow your guests, and impress your manager by netting bigger sales. Nightclub & Bar recently released an article titled, “5 Tips in Training Your Staff to Upsell,” and we here at TAM® of Nevada wholeheartedly agree with their suggestions. You can read the full article here, and check out a few more suggestions for TAM® Card holders that we’d add to the list:

  1. When done correctly, upselling is one of the most effective ways to increase your earnings potential. For example, if a mixed drink comes in a standard size or large size, it would be acceptable to ask your guest if they’d like to order the larger size. Just remember to keep an eye on any patrons so they aren’t over served. A larger drink will contain more alcohol than a standard serving size. Similarly, try and promote your top shelf liquors. If a patron asks for a mixed drink, ask them if they’d like to select the premium option. A simple suggestion such as, “Would you like your drink with Grey Goose?” is an easy way to upsell your offerings without being pushy.
  2. Suggest premium beverages or signature drinks over well drinks to increase sales. A patron can get a well drink anywhere, suggesting one of your establishment’s popular signature cocktails can instantly boost the bar tab, and your customer gets to try something new and exciting.
  3. Drink sales aren’t the only item to focus on; you can also upsell food items on you menu. Try offering your bar patrons an appetizer or entrée to go with their drinks. A simple, “Would you like to try some buffalo wings to go with your beer?” is always a good tactic.

Providing excellent customer service in addition to responsible beverage service is one of the most important duties of a bartender or server. What other tips about suggestive selling and upselling would you add to the list?


© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Qualities of a Top-Notch Service Professional – How to Project A Positive Image and Attitude

As a server or bartender, you’re often the first, and last, staff member a customer encounters. Your interactions will set the tone for the evening so you want to greet your customers warmly, and leave them reflecting on a positive experience once they head for the door. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure it’s a great one. Professionalism and competence are very important, but so is projecting a positive image and attitude. There are a few simple steps you can take to boost your image and set the tone for a positive evening.

  1. Reflect a neat and clean appearance. Your company may have a dress code, or you may be required to wear a uniform, so always follow company procedure. Additionally, a hospitality professional should remember to keep fingernails clean and trimmed if they are handling food and beverages, and keep long hair pulled back or styled. By projecting an air of professionalism, it makes both you, and your company, look great.
  2. Maintain an engaged and positive attitude when waiting on guests. By remaining focused and attentive, your guest will pick up on your can-do attitude. Take it a step further by providing suggestions and answering any questions from the guest. They will appreciate your tips and suggestions on what’s best if they’re deciding between a few options.
  3. Remember to check in on your guests. Dropping off a drink or meal and disappearing only to return once they’ve finished is bad form. Check back to make sure your guests are happy, and when you ask, “How’s everything?” listen to the answer. If something isn’t right, do what you can to fix it. If you notice a guest with a half-full drink, ask if they would like another. Just remember to serve responsibly, never over-serve a guest.
  4. Be mindful of your body language. Service with a smile goes a long way towards putting your guests at ease. For additional easy body language do’s and don’ts for hospitality workers, read our blog post, “Set the Tone and Increase Your Earnings with Positive Body Language.”

Making small changes to your routine to make sure you’re treating each guest like they are appreciated and welcome is the first step toward becoming a first-rate hospitality professional. Additionally, providing stellar customer service is likely to net you greater tips and also impress your manager or supervisor. What other tips would you give someone looking to excel the in hospitality industry?

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Zagat Mixology Survey Reveals Industry Trends and What’s Popular in Cocktail Culture

Bartenders and establishment owners sometimes wish they had a window into the minds of their patrons. What do customers really want? How can we best serve our bar patrons while increasing profits? Well now you may just be able to find the answers.

Zagat, a leading guide for restaurants, service professionals and diners alike, has just released their first Mixology Survey Results after polling 1,000 imbibers about everything from their favorite spirits to pricing, wait times, and consumption habits. What better way to get a look at just what potential customers are buzzing about!

Survey results revealed several interesting points including:

  • 54% of survey respondents indicated that $15 is the most they will pay for a drink. Another 20% listed anything over $20 per cocktail as too expensive.
  • Good news for bartenders, the majority of customers are generous with their tipping habits. The average tip amount on bar tabs works out to be about 18.9%.
  • Regarding favorite spirits, answers are different among men and women. 46% of males said that whiskey is their favorite spirit compared to 22% of females. When it comes to vodka though, 36% of women say that’s their beverage of choice, compared with 17% of males.
  • The battle for the most popular cocktail was neck and neck. The martini and the Manhattan tied for first place with 12% each. In a close third place was the old fashioned, with 11% of the vote, and the gin and tonic and margarita were number four and number five, respectively.

Industry professionals can use the survey results to generate ideas on how cater to their patrons. And remember, responsible beverage service is a necessary component to an excellent dining experience. TAM of Nevada’s knowledgeable instructors can teach your employees how to serve responsibly, and offer real-world insight into providing all-around excellent customer service. To review the full survey results, visit the Zagat blog. What do you think of survey results, do they mirror trends that you see in your own establishment?


Mixology Survey Results Are Live! – Zagat

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Las Vegas Teens Learn About the Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Late last week, local Las Vegas Legacy High School juniors and seniors learned a tough lesson about the dangers of driving while impaired. With the Every Fifteen Minutes program, participants were guided through a unique and powerful 2-day event complete with student and parent involvement, mock obituaries being read about participating students, and even a chance to tour what looked like an active fatal accident scene involving friends and peers.

By giving teens a close-up look at the real and tragic consequences of driving while impaired, there is hope that students will take the lessons to heart and make safe choices for themselves in the future. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has partnered with the Clark County and Las Vegas Fire Departments, University Medical Center, Clark County Coroner’s Office, Mercy Air, Ambulance services, Palm Mortuary and a host of sponsors to create this unique learning experience for Clark County teens.

Teens often have feelings of invincibility about dangerous choices and feel like nothing bad could possibly happen to them. By launching an interactive program to demonstrate the dangers of what could happen to them and other teens like them, it drives the point home. To learn more about the Every Fifteen Minutes program and activities, visit the LVMP website.

The program’s name was derived from the fact that in the early 1990’s, every fifteen minutes, someone in the United States died in an alcohol-related traffic collision. The NHTSA now estimates that the number of fatal alcohol-related collisions is lower. Now, approximately every 51 minutes, someone dies in a drunk-driving related traffic collision. As a TAM® Card holder or hospitality worker, are you doing all you can to help bring the number of drunk-driving related accidents even lower?

Remember to remain vigilant:

  • Display signage in your store or bar announcing that purchasers of alcohol will be carded.
  • Report any suspicious behavior or activity among patrons to your supervisor or manager.
  • Keep up-to-date with your TAM® training.
  • ALWAYS check identification carefully, especially for anyone who appears to be under the age of 30.

What you do think about the Every Fifteen Minutes program? What policies have you instituted at your business to help deter teen drinking?


© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada