How to use QR Codes for restaurant marketing and management – dozens of easy examples

Everyone understands QR codes, now that they’re compulsory for COVID check-ins. Point your smartphone camera at a QR code, and a website or app will pop up.

In fact QR codes have been around for many years, and widely used in Asian countries – now that they’re understood here, you can start to leverage them for restaurant & cafe marketing, recruitment and daily operations. How many of these ideas can you use?

It’s easy to create your own QR codes – for a web page, WiFi access, a feedback form or to check off a worklist. Use a web service like Scanova.io or BeaconStac or QRcode-monkey.com, or a QR generator phone app. The Chrome web browser now automatically generates a QR Code for every web page you visit – click on the right side of the URL address bar. Download the square code you create and add it to signs or stickers – easy.

📸 .. Check dozens of ways that QR codes are being used on this special Instagram Account – new examples added all the time.

Put your Front Window to Work: a couple of QR codes can lead to a welcome video from the owners, a downloadable copy of the menu, TripAdvisor reviews or more information about opening hours and bookings. Now you have a 24/7 billboard – place the codes on a poster or on a digital slide.

Boost your recruitment with a link to your main recruitment page, and liven this up with some one-minute video testimonials from staff, or an overview of daily work routines. From this page, people can click and fill out a job application form ready for you to respond.

Include a code in printed marketing material: flyers, postcards and posters can all have a QR code added for contact details, Facebook and Instagram accounts or special Coupons.

Take-Away Menus: print a QR Code on table tents, front door posters or where you’ll catch a customer’s eye. Scanning the code directs them to a digital version of your menu on the web, or as a PDF. Take it one step further and integrate this with an ordering app, so they can browse, click, choose and pay.

Share Recipes and Food Stories: put a small QR Code on your menu next to key dishes. Smartphone users can then scan the code and be taken to a recipe, or even a video of it being made. Too many codes could look unsightly, so have one that leads to a page where more links can be clicked.

Information about Wine and Cocktails: distributors and wineries often have detailed information on their websites – the QR code could lead straight to this, or to pages you’ve set up (so you don’t have to show the supplier’s pricing).

Feedback Surveys: place a QR Code on the receipt, and ask for instant feedback. This works even better when staff remind customers that it’s just 3 questions – put them on a Google Form or with a free app like Wufoo. Take it one step further and give the option to join your email list to receive promotions. Surprisingly, with compulsory check-ins now a part of every visit, most venues are not turning customer sign-ups into newsletter subscribers. Even a ‘thanks for visiting’ email can make a difference!

Nutritional Information: there’s a wide range of information available online – now you can link directly to it for the people who are interested. This avoids your menu becoming like Wikepedia – the facts are there just for those who want them.

Download a phone app: if you have your own app, or want people to use one for ordering, a QR code can be set up to go to the Apple or Android app store, according to the phone being used.

Ordering lists, instruction sheets, operating systems and food safety routines can all be accessed online with a QR code – generate it for the web page or relevant documents. Dymo Printers or A4 label sheets can be set up to print the labels with a description underneath, so there’s no confusion.

Opening and closing routines, COVID and food-safety checklists can be set up in Google Forms or specialist apps like iAuditor – a QR sticker on the wall will trigger them for each location or time of day. Even those hourly checklists behind the bathroom door can be a thing of the past!

Need equipment repairs? Have a QR code for repair information and manuals, all on one laminated sheet on the kitchen wall or in a folder.

When you need to generate bulk quantities of QR Codes on labels or as images, there are services to do that eg QR Batch, or it could be part of the software you are using eg Shopify.

QR code examples

10 Ways to Reduce Noise in your Cafe or Restaurant – and Bring Customers Back!

Why don’t people come back, after they enjoyed your food and the service? It could be the noise – too loud to talk with friends and feel relaxed.

Here’s a bunch of ideas for noise reduction, if you have to do it after your venue opens. The fact is, most architects and designers give little thought to effective noise reduction, creating hard-surface boxes with all 6 sides reflective so the noise bounces like bullets to kill our enjoyment.

It’s good to understand some of the technicalities of noise and how it’s created and reduced – the excellent Acoustical Surfaces blog is full of great articles such as Soundproofing vs Sound Absorbing – What’s the Difference? and Noisy restaurant solutions- when peace and quiet are not on the menu. Noise is measured in decibels, and the different levels are listed below. Measure it with a noise meter app from the iOS or Google App store – they’re good enough to show you the level of pain, which can quickly move into the danger level (above 80 dB) in a noisy venue.

Here are some easy ways to reduce noise in restaurants and cafes…

  • Acoustic panels – attached to walls or ceiling. These can be the expensive sound baffles like they use in a recording studio (they absorb sound) or simpler ones from a hardware like Bunnings. Even egg crates can be combined in an interesting way if your look is ‘cheap and cheerful’.
  • DIY acoustic panels – foam stuck onto plywood cut to size, covered with interesting fabric. In Australia, Clark Rubber has foams of all thicknesses and grades that they will cut to size.
  • Hang attractive floor rugs from the walls. There are many varieties at markets that could double as interesting art, and IKEA has a wide range at low cost
  • Hessian coffee sacks, filled with padding and hung as interesting wall features – another idea for a casual environment.
  • Padded panels between tables, to create more intimate spaces and reduce sound. Better in a more formal space with a large area.
  • Cushions and padding on chairs and benches – it all helps.
  • Tablecloths! Out of fashion in many places, but they do the job very well. Avoid padding under tables – it makes a slight improvement but feels a bit creepy when if you reach underneath.
  • Carpet! In my Cafe Troppo days, we had commercial carpet tiles in a charcoal grey and sound was never an issue. Steam cleaned once a month and very few spills to worry about – people don’t notice what’s on the floor. Artificial grass is also an option, and could be used in strips or as a feature – it’s done effectively by the Cafe 63 group in Queensland.
  • Turn down the music – it’s often up loud because of all the other noise, and people can hardly hear it anyway! You don’t need stereo in a large space, but you do need quality sound. Small speakers spaced around will be sufficient rather than a couple of big stereo speakers. If good music is a special feature at your place, it’s important that people can hear and enjoy it.
  • Reduce noise from the bar – blenders and appliances can be intrusive, best to have them with shields and covers.

Understanding noise levels…
Loud noise causes damage in two ways: the actual volume, and the length of time exposed to it. A noisy venue could result in occupational health and safety issues – attention clubs and entertainers!

Here’s a detailed chart of noise levels, and a quick summary of decibel levels:

140 – Jet engine at 30 m
130 – Rivet hammer (pain can be felt at this threshold)
120 – Rock drill – level at which PAIN BEGINS
110 – Chainsaw
100 – Sheet metal workshop
90 – Lawn mower
80 – Kerbside heavy traffic – level at which sustained exposure may cause HEARING LOSS
70 – Loud conversation
60 – Normal conversation

Seen behind the bar in a Las Vegas nighclub…

How the H-Word Boosts Restaurant Sales and Cuts Costs

People expect a lot from us – fast, friendly, good value, available, and more. That’s why the H-Word can add power to your reputation, and even bring down costs with suppliers. Not magic, but it works – you do it, now all the staff need to get with the same program…hands180

The H-Word stands for Helpful, and it may sound a bit low-key. Like ‘nice’ and ‘tasty’ – not much power in it.

But think about when customers describe staff as UnHelpful – they won’t be flexible with a reservation, assist with a diet request, help with the needs of a child, or they make you sit in the uncomfortable corner… hmmm, let me dive onto Facebook and tell 150 of my best friends… 😮

Maybe we need to think about how we can be more helpful and take a close look at what this means to your staff. They sometimes find it easier to be unhelpful – just follow the rules and don’t make it inconvenient for me. It’s often about little things.

Helpful with Diets – it’s the price of being in business these days, gluten-free, vegetarian, low-sodium and so it goes on. Smile and work out ways to make this a drama-free part of the menu.

Helpful with Kids – oh yes, it sometimes feel parents check-out when they visit and let the little monsters run free. But your help, flexibility and understanding will keep happy families coming back for YEARS – now we’re talking real ‘long term value of a customer’. Some of your staff aren’t so good with kids, and some are wonderful – choose carefully.

Helpful with Parties – we know the right menus to fit your budget, and how to organise the timing so drinks won’t run out. We can supply a sound system, a photographer, a room for the bride and an excellent DJ. We’ve done this a hundred times before – making parties run smoothly is our second nature!

Helpful with Business Customers – quiet corner for a sales meeting, no problem. Free WiFi, for sure. Snappy service for a quick lunch – easy. Friendly but not familiar.

Helpful with First Dates – you’ve got the all-important ‘distraction factor’ available, with plenty of people watching and conversation starters. It’s not every place that has this – your staff usually know who rely on it 😉

Helpful with Gift Ideas – Gift Vouchers ready for ‘friends who have everything’, and surprise parties a specialty. Gift wrapping or shipping for the t-shirts and preserves – not a problem. And when it’s Christmas shopping season, take the initiative and solve gift-giving problems – the magic question after you’ve made the first sale is ‘who else is on your list?’. Kaching!!

Helpful with the Neighbourhood – offer the function room for the community meeting on park development, free coffee included. Help out with the school fundraiser, and work experience for culinary students. It doesn’t take long for helpful places to become ‘owned’ by their neighbours.

Helpful to Suppliers – paying bills on time, ordering according to the agreement system, flexible if there’s an unavoidable change to a product. They can be helpful too, with an urgent delivery or super deal on end-of-line products. So keep cranky-chef in his box – a friendly relationship with suppliers can pay big dividends.

Thanks to marketer Tim Reid for inspiration for this post…

Love Problems at Work: Is Your Restaurant at Risk?

Many people found a partner where they worked, and we need more happy relationships in this industry, not less!

But in the steamy, late-night world of hospitality, love and lust often flourish and they can cause problems. Legally, it could be regarded as discriminatory to say ‘no relationships between staff’, but clear rules need to be in place to avoid disruption.

Harassment and discrimination. Your duty of care for staff means you should make sure both parties in a workplace relationship have chosen it freely and willingly. Interview them separately to check. But blanket rules banning relationships could fall foul of local anti-discrimination laws – check with your legal advisers.

Conflict of interest. Relationships between senior staff and those who work for them could easily result in a conflict of interest. Anything involving salary reviews, promotion or work allocation may need someone else involved. The onus is on the senior person to show that they are not favouring one party over another. Transfer to another department will simplify matters, but that may not be possible.

Discussion of Sexual Health and Pregnancy. Casual sex can lead to unwanted results. It’s more openly discussed now, and becomes prime-time news if things go wrong. What information is appropriate to display in your staff area? To have no mention of this at all seems short-sighted.

Online Dating and Website Access. This should be covered in your general policy on computer access: keeping up to date on who’s available and other ‘hot’ issues should be done at home, not work. How will you monitor and enforce this? You need Guidelines for Staff on the Use of Social Media – a tough one to keep on top of.

Decreased Performance. When relationships break up, the drama can be very disruptive… for the business. One cafe owner mentioned how she lost two good staff, both of whom were great performers before they formed a relationship, but their work deteriorated badly after they split. Her rule now is ‘No fishing from the company wharf’!

A decline in performance could lead to warnings and even termination – let’s hope that doesn’t happen but if you mention this possibility in your interview with the new lovers, you help to protect yourself from allegations of harshness.

Public Behaviour. The public don’t want to see staff making out together, and maybe neither do their colleagues. They also don’t want to hear the steamy details of a young punk or princess’s love life. Cover this in your general rules about staff modesty and acceptable behaviour. Your policy might start with something like:

‘All staff have the right to a happy, loving and supportive relationships. However, if you form a relationship with a person working here, there are several issues you need to be aware of etc… (then repeat relevant issues from the above).’

Boys & Girls, Girls & Girls, Boys & Boys – gay, bi and lesbian relationships are now openly accepted by most staff and customers, but there may be pushback from some people on religious grounds. You’ll need to make sure local Anti-Discrimination Laws are understood and followed.

Check Your Legal Right to Direct Staff Behaviour. As you can see from the above, it’s a complex issue with personal, management and legal implications around areas of privacy, discrimination and moral judgements. Make sure you discuss your plans and policies with your legal advisor. Industry associations usually have excellent experience in this area.

There’s no escaping this – it’s called human nature! Take a stand, be fair, and make sure all your policies are in writing.

How to Share (and Receive) More Love in your Cafe or Restaurant

Customers want fresh, not stale; inspiration, not gloom.. One way to do this is to think about all the things that we love, our staff love and our customers love! We all need to find more ways to keep a smile on our faces and share our love of food, customers and business success.

It’s easy to share stories, photos and events – post them on Facebook, on a corner of the menu or add to your newsletter – they create great word-of-mouth and conversation starters. Suddenly there’s a personal connection between staff, managers and customers. Here’s a whole bunch of themes to get you into the groove for sharing some love!

The locals love to be acknowledged. Has a neighbourhood community or business completed a mammoth project, or students achieved excellent results? Offer a special treat for winners of the school sports carnival, debating competition or best achievers in exam results. Ask local bosses to nominate a winning worker for special commendation.

Staff love to be acknowledged. How do you recognise this? At Silver Chef we have our 10 minute ‘daily huddle’ and at the end, there’s an opportunity to acknowledge the work of others – how they’ve helped you or the business. Setting up systems for this will make it much more likely to happen, and leaders should model the process.

People love to be inspired. Share the story of one of your workers who’s overcome the odds to hold a job or achieve something special – customers give extra points to you for supporting them. Or how you support a local non-profit. Put a photo and a brief story on the noticeboard, and get staff to wear name tags so connections can be made. If there’s a local organisation you support that’s done something special, ask them to share a story.

People love the business owners. If you’re an independent or family-run business, when’s the last time you shared a photo of your family, or one of you (without grey hair) when you opened all those years ago? Pictures make stories easy to share, with milestones, awards and staff events. Add a news diary (blog) to your website and keep adding more. People love to hear ‘how we made it stories’ – they won’t make the TV news, but you do make thousands of people happy each year. Share your pride.

Many people love their town or local area. Regular support for sporting teams, the school and charity groups keeps customers loyal and connected. Get behind local causes like parking issues, over-development and conservation – now you’re one of us.

People love photos. Snap, snap, snap with your mobile phone or a camera kept at the shop to record food, parties, special customers and behind-the-scene activity. But don’t post them up without checking and editing – easy to do with on your phone or an app like Snapseed. Take several shots of each scene and choose the best, then brighten it and crop out the garbage bin on the side. Post them to your Facebook page – this will drive constant visitor traffic.

People love to laugh. Add a weekly quote about food on the noticeboard – like the one from baseball player Yogi Berra “You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat eight” or “There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap”. Google for restaurant or cafe quotes and jokes – there’s no shortage!

Many people love animals. No, don’t bring them into the shop, but whether customers are a ‘cat’ person or a ‘dog’ person, people love hearing about them, seeing them and even getting life lessons from them. Could Henry the dog be the one that offers a Tip of the Week on your noticeboard? Could the best pet photo earn a prize in a random competition for one month?

People love events. Beyond the usual ones on Valentine’s Day and Mothers Day, every month has possibilities. Here are a few ideas for October, so you can be prepared:

Oktoberfest – think German flavours and great beer.
World Teachers Day – every year on October 5. Make friends with your local schoolies.
Halloween is on 31st October – find new ways to be creative with pumpkin!

Staff fall in love with each other – it happens! Some businesses have strict ‘no fraternisation’ policies, which will always be hard to police. Better to recognise that a lot of great relationships have started through working together – just make sure your staff manual covers issues about conflict of interest and the different power that supervisors may have over others.

How to Have More Life When You Own a 7 Day Business

Have a life and a business. It works fine if you have a Monday to Friday cafe in a business area. But if you’re part of the raging weekend cafe market, Saturday and Sunday are top earners – they can’t be neglected. Maybe you can’t have office hours like your corporate friends, but there’s a lot you can do to have more time away from business and still have control.

Build your Remote Control Systems: modern POS systems are designed to share information in the cloud, which gives you access from your phone or iPad, or PC. They can also be set up with email or SMS alerts to zap you with the final sales or variations that indicate problems (like a refrigeration motor that’s failed). Surveillance cameras are inexpensive and can give a view of anywhere in the business – the till, the spirit shelves, the front door and the storeroom. There’s a whole industry grown up around remote control monitoring – it’s available for your business and your home.

Good Systems Help Staff To Do a Great Job. Amazing people are hard to find, and they usually have a job already! Once you systemise your business with easy-to-follow Start-up Lists, Ordering Sheets, Cleaning Rosters, Recipe Cards and Manager Checklists, it’s much easier for everyday employees to perform well. Get these forms onto an iPad or PC, so you watch the input from somewhere else – on the beach and still in control.

Delegate Counting and Reporting Tasks. Now that online bookkeeping, rostering, reporting and communication are so well established, you can have a skilled helper doing the bookwork, checking invoices and making phone calls from anywhere. It might be a relative or a Virtual Assistant – working from their home office. Google ‘virtual office assistant in Australia’ and see the choices – an admin assistant without the need to provide a desk. Tedious office jobs are often the ones that suck up your recreation time.

Simplify, Simplify. Sometimes it needs an outsider to cast a calm, critical eye over the crazy, complex menu you’ve created, or the eccentric set up of your counter. The flavour, the smiles and consistency are what matters – most menus could be cut by 20%, and no-one would notice. Plus fewer chances of staff getting it wrong, and you getting upset.

Cut the Days or Hours That You’re Open. Sound radical? Even scaling back from a 4pm to 3pm close for a weekday cafe could give you massively more time with family. Or closing on Monday or Sunday instead of opening 7 days per week. It depends on your area or style, and sales figures will guide you. Many places have been operating the same hours for years, while competition increases and customer demand changes.

Build Profits So You Can Afford Better Staff. I recently spent a week in a tourist town south of Sydney, and it was depressing how 90% of the cafes were selling the same-old food with the same sloppy service and mediocre coffee. And the business owners were running the show! Two places were doing a great job and no visible sign of an owner in attendance. Good staff need to be paid more, and if you’ve cut profits to the bone, you probably can’t afford them.

Employ Staff Who Want to Work on Weekends. There are plenty of people wanting part-time work, and they’re increasingly aware they should be paid more on Saturday and Sunday. Once you have the good systems and monitoring in place, the weekend team can be as strong as when you’re around. Watch the numbers and give regular feedback. Remember the saying: ‘When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the improvement accelerates’. The weekend team needs their own care and attention – they can do a great job even if you’re not in the building.

Which of these 7 areas is your weakest, and demanding most of your time or giving the least return? That’s the one to work on first…

Real not Fake: How to Build a Positive Reputation for Yourself and your Restaurant

Customer BS radar is on high alert – they’re swamped with hype, and can learn a lot about your business before they even visit. Have you googled your name and business lately?

Make those buzz-words ‘transparency’ and ‘integrity’ your marketing advantage – share real, honest information about the management team, staff and daily activities. Consumers find ‘behind the scenes’ of hospitality endlessly fascinating, so give them facts to feast on.

Keep the Menu Honest: is ‘home made’ really made in someone’s home? How fresh is ‘fresh’ and can we trust the terms ‘organic’, ‘local’ and ‘made daily’? There are plenty of ways to write an enticing menu without overloading the adjectives. And reassure people that allergy-friendly items are the real deal.

Upgrade the About Us page: with real names of owners and managers, plus information about how the business has developed – timelines can be interesting. So many of these pages are full of fluff, and when no names are mentioned, we wonder if the place is run by robots!

Show Real Faces on the Website: we all relate to ‘people like me’, not glamour models or people with perfect CV’s. Take care if you’re promoting a celebrity chef – other staff are also doing great work. And be careful with stock photos – the photo libraries are handy (we use them too), but the images are everywhere. Taking decent digital photos is now a basic restaurant skill, like typing and Google searches – a project for one of your team, if you’re too busy.

Share Videos of Daily Life: not big-budget productions, but a quick look at daily activities eg meet the new staff, watch us make pasta, the barista at work, installing the pizza oven. Share them on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. A local media student can make these look sharp in no time.

Be Authentic on Social Media: an interesting Facebook Page is essential, and it needs to be updated at least daily with content that is informative, inspirational and sometimes entertaining. Include plenty of people shots, behind the scenes and produce stories – always of interest. Twitter is popular with chefs and restaurateurs, and Snapchat should also be on your list.

Share a few Mistakes: we all make them – the wine you chose that no-one would buy, a recent kitchen drama, the new stove that wouldn’t fit through the door. Now we can relate to you! Facebook, Twitter or a Blog can be a great way to share the daily bustle of hospitality life.

Actively Encourage Feedback: whether it’s on Facebook, feedback cards or a special website page, most comments are positive and you’ll be glad the negatives come directly to you. Most businesses make giving feedback too much of an effort – how is it at your place?

Respond to all Online Feedback: if it was good ‘thanks for the very nice comments…’. If it’s critical, it still needs a response – ‘thanks for letting us know – please call or email so we can follow up’. Unanswered online criticism looks bad, and makes it appear that you do not care.

Talk with Pride about your Area: places to visit, a popular park, places for children to play, recent events – share them on a web page with a map, and make sure staff know where customers can find an ATM, transport and parking. This can also be the basis for a good local-knowledge training quiz for staff – they all need to get 100%!

Understanding and Using ‘Influence Patterns’ with Restaurant & Cafe Customers

Ever fallen into the trap of doing things you didn’t want to do? You may have given money to someone hustling in the street; signed up for products you had absolutely no need for or let a person cut ahead of you in a line for no justifiable reason.

In most instances you responded more or less automatically. They ‘influenced’ you in a way that caused you to act differently to what you thought was ‘rational’.

In most instances, the reason what you did was because you weren’t thinking clearly. You responded in a more or less automatic fashion.

As a business person, your ability to influence the actions and beliefs of others is of crucial importance. Each situation, though it may share many common features with others, is unique, with its own distinctive qualities. These qualities must be discovered through a thoughtful approach if you are to gain the maximum from each situation. Therefore, if you find yourself responding to similar circumstances in similar ways and in an unthinking, habitual manner, it may be time to reconsider your approach.

It is impossible not to influence others. So when we discuss the issue of influence, we need not ask the question. “Do we, in the course of our interactions, influence one another?’. A more appropriate question would be, “How, when, where, and why do we influence others?”. These 6 Influence Patterns come from the famous book Influence by Robert Cialdini. Let’s see how they apply with service in a cafe or restaurant…

Reciprocity – a favour for a favour
Do you have friends who always ask you to dinner, and you feel you ‘owe them’ a return favour? When we give something, whether it is information, food, money or whatever, the other party feels compelled to give back equitably what you have given in order to cancel out the obligation. Be the first to give service, information and concessions and your customers will repay in kind. Examples:

  • A small taste of tonight’s special arrives on the table as the menus are delivered – enough to whet the appetite and show the generosity of the waiter. You are more likely to ‘order up’ from the menu.
  • A waiter offers you a great window seat/nice compliment/free extra serve, knowing that this is likely to be repaid with a good tip.
  • You ask the party organiser from a local business to have dinner with your compliments, as you know she’s planning this year’s Christmas event.

Scarcity – don’t miss out!
Ever bought something (that you didn’t need) at a sale because it was the very last one? Possessing scarce or exclusive items, conveys information about one’s status, intelligence and wealth. As objects of value become less available to people they increase in value. Use the unique information that you possess about a product to harness this rule. Examples:

  • ‘We don’t take bookings, but if you are here at 6pm you can claim the window table…’
  • ‘We only take bookings up to 7pm…’
  • ‘The double chocolate mousse sells out every time we make it – will I keep one for you?
  • ‘No-one has been able to get Crowdy Creek Chardonnay after that great review – the boss must have pulled some strings…’

Authority – 9 our 10 dentists recommend…
Authorities gain their power through conditioning – an experience common to us all. Even as adults, we become respect the opinion of individuals in positions of power. By establishing your business position through professionalism and credentials, you are more in a position to execute influence. Examples:

  • Waiter says: ‘I’ve tried all these red wines and I would recommend this as the best to go with your meal…’
  • ‘The owners only drink Mt Lofty Spring Water, never plain tap water…’
  • ‘The chef recommends fresh beans as the best side vegetable with the fish…’

Consensus – everyone agrees…
When deciding what to do in an unfamiliar situation, it is helpful to look to others in that situation for an answer. You can unleash people power by providing information on trends and similar mass movements of others and by showing evidence of the success of others. Testimonials on how good your product serves as ‘social proof’ of the product’s benefits. Examples:

  • ‘It’s our most popular seafood dish – everyone loves it…’
  • ‘Lots of kids order this pasta – it never comes back!’
  • ‘Peroni is our most popular imported beer…’

Commitment & Consistency – the same as last time…
We tend to like individuals who act consistently because it allows us greater control in a situation. When a person’s behaviour is relatively consistent, we know what to expect from them. By having your customers make a small commitment you are more likely to be able to influence them to add to this commitment. They’re need to stay consistent to their word comes into play here. Examples:

  • ‘Our family always has Mother’s Day Lunch at La Perla – they really know how to look after us’.
  • ‘We will call you in the afternoon to confirm your Saturday night booking – may I have your mobile phone number?’
  • ‘Would you like a bottle of Jason’s Creek Merlot like last time?’
  • ‘They always know exactly how my partner likes his steak done…’

Liking – we prefer to be served by nice people…
We tend to like (and be influenced by) people like ourselves. That is because they reinforce who we are, what we believe in, and what we value. Uncover similarities and opportunities for cooperation with your customers and you will not only achieve your goals, but also those of your customer. Examples:

  • ‘The chef is so helpful – I know she would make a special birthday treat for you…’
  • ‘It’s really nice to see you here again – would you like to sit at the same table? ‘
  • At a minimum, this means all your staff are likable and ‘nice’ – it’s not an old-fashioned word! Say goodbye to people who can’t or won’t smile.
  • Name tags help build familiarity and liking for your staff
    Is this all just manipulation? Cialdini suggests that ‘you can not not influence others’, so why not do it effectively rather than by accident or random. You be the judge…

This video is a good summary of the general principles of Influence

Resources for reflection and action on Black Lives Matter…

We’re all watching what’s happening in the USA, Australia, UK and around the world with Black Lives Matter protests. There’s much to reflect on, and there are many times we see racism within our own hospitality industry. People of colour, immigrants and vulnerable refugees have traditionally done much of our hot, heavy and dirty work, only sometimes rising to take on better-paid jobs as trained chefs and managers.

Here are some links to articles and videos worth viewing or reading – I’ll add more as I find them, and your suggestions are welcome…

How to be a Good Indigenous Ally

10 Documentaries To Watch About Race Instead Of Asking A Person Of Colour To Explain Things For You

A Message from the Restaurant Manifesto About Racism and Restaurants

10 Social Media Accounts to Follow for Self-Education on Australia’s Own Black Lives Matter Movement

Here are the practical ways you can support Aboriginal Lives Matter

5 Lessons Learned About Racism

Here’s a thoughtful post and suggestions by Matteo Giordano of Adelaide restaurant Pane e Latte