Zagat Survey Results Offer Insight into Dining-Out Habits and Trends

Restaurateurs sometimes wish they had a window into the minds of their patrons. What do customers really want? How can we best serve our 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 2012 Restaurant Survey Results after polling 156,000 diners across the country on everything from their favorite restaurants, to the frequency of how often they eat out. What better way to get a look at just what potential customers are buzzing about!

This year’s survey results revealed several interesting points including:

  • 81% of surveyors nationwide are in favor of restaurants being required to post their health department letter grades.
  • 91% of those surveyed in Las Vegas report that letter grades influence their dining decisions and most will eat only at restaurants that earn a B or better.
  • The U.S. tipping average is 19.2%. That number has continued to rise over the past ten years.
  • A repeat from last year, the most expensive dining in the nation is in Las Vegas, with an average meal cost of $47.53.
  • When dining at a restaurant that does not take reservations, 67% of those nationwide would be willing to wait no more than 30 minutes for a table.

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. You can buy your own copy of Zagat’s 2012 guide here. What did you find most interesting the survey results? What dining trends have you noticed recently in Las Vegas?


© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada



Increase Your Earnings with Suggestive Selling and Upselling

Many individuals in the hospitality industry depend on their tip money for the majority of their income. There are several ways to net bigger tips, increase customer satisfaction and impress your manager by netting bigger sales. It’s not rocket science, a higher tab very often equates to a higher tip, and what service professional doesn’t want to increase bar sales, and in turn, their own tips? Providing excellent customer service in addition to responsible beverage service is one of the most important duties of a bartender or server. In addition, try these tips to raise the bar even higher and increase your earnings:

  1. Upselling is one of the most popular and effective ways to increase your earnings potential, as long as it is done the right way. One example is if your patron orders a drink that can be made more than one way. If a mixed drink comes in a standard size or large size, it would be acceptable to ask if they’d like to order the larger size. Similarly, you can 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, “Would you like your Cosmopolitan made with Grey Goose?” is an easy way to upsell your offerings without being pushy.
  2. Suggesting premium beverages or signature drinks over well drinks is another easy way to increase sales. A patron can get a well drink anywhere in town, suggesting one of your establishment’s signature cocktails or a drink that is very popular with other patrons can instantly boost the bar tab, and your customer gets to try something new and exciting.
  3. If patrons ask for beverage suggestions, provide information on what you like, ask them about their drink preferences and make suggestions based on their individual tastes, and also be knowledgeable about wine selections and pairings. A service professional can help make a guest’s night-out extra special with some extra attention and a few simple suggestions. For more information on food and wine pairings, check out our blog post, “Bon Appetit! Food and Wine Pairings 101.”
  4. Drink sales aren’t the only item to focus on; menu upselling is also a great way to increase your sales. 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.

TAM® of Nevada loves to hear suggestions from students and other industry professionals. What suggestions would you give servers on ways to net bigger tips?

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada


Are You New to Nevada? You Must Complete Nevada-Specific Alcohol Awareness Training

TAM CardAlcohol education cards from out-of-state won’t transfer in Nevada. Industry professionals should complete alcohol awareness training with TAM® of Nevada to meet local requirements.

Are you a new resident in Las Vegas? Welcome to Nevada! Workers are drawn to this great state for its booming entertainment and nightlife industry, and all of the hospitality jobs that come along with the action.

Have you already received job-related alcohol training in another state? We often receive inquiries from out-of-state students asking if their alcohol education cards and education are valid in Nevada. Unfortunately, liquor laws are specific to the states, counties and municipalities, so no, alcohol licenses are not transferable. All individuals hoping to work in the beverage sales and service industry in Nevada must complete an alcohol training program that has been approved by the Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education. TAM® of Nevada is an approved provider, and the only official provider of TAM® Cards in the state of Nevada.

Individuals that need to obtain their TAM® Card can complete their training online or in a traditional classroom environment with our certified instructors. Additionally, we now offer open lab time on Tuesdays for students who would like to complete their alcohol awareness training online, but do not have access to a computer. Students are welcome to visit our training center and use our computer lab to complete their training on Tuesdays between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Likewise, classroom-based training is available at several convenient times throughout the week, including Spanish classes on Tuesday evenings. Check out our alcohol awareness class schedule to find a class that is convenient for you!

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Are You Ready to Take an Alcohol Awareness Exam?

StockSnap_BBX50H7QEZRead on for tips on how you can prepare for your final exam.

The State of Nevada’s Commission on Postsecondary Education requires that students pass a supervised exam with a 75% or better before being issued an Alcohol Education Card. What does that mean for you? If you complete your TAM® training online you must physically go to the provider’s approved school location to take a proctored exam after finishing the online training. If you opted to complete the course in a classroom setting you will take a test immediately following the training session.

Are you nervous about taking and passing a test? Fear not! TAM® of Nevada has been helping students prepare for their exams for over 25 years. Before you come in to our official training to obtain your TAM Card, read on for more tips on making sure you’re prepared to pass with flying colors. Rest assured the training you’ve completed with TAM® will leave you prepared to ace your exam, and excel at practicing safe beverage service techniques on the job.

How long is the exam? The exam is 25 questions. It takes approximately 15 minutes for you to take your exam and have your picture taken for your TAM Card. Most students find the test to be a breeze after participating in TAM training; all questions are a review of the material you covered during the course.

Is there a Practice Test? You bet! Students who elect to complete TAM® Card online training will take a practice test at the end of their online training. This is one of the best ways to prepare for your proctored exam; you’ll get an idea of the types of questions that will appear on your final exam and have the chance to complete a final review before taking the real thing. If you’re planning to wait a few days to take your proctored exam, you can refresh your memory on the material covered by going through the TAM Student Manual before leaving for our office.

What if I take a classroom course? Traditional classroom training will leave you equally prepared for your test as the online option. Feel free to take notes and ask questions during the class. Our instructors are there to help and make sure you’re comfortable with all of the material. They love being able to answer questions and discuss the particulars of safe beverage service with students!

Relax! Take a deep breath and focus on the questions. You’ll do great!

What other ways do you like to prepare before taking an exam?


Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada