Having your staff commit to individual sales goals every shift is a great way to ensure that expectations aren’t too high for those less capable. When applied to a contest format, the Do-It-Yourself approach helps keep interest high and everyone in the running for the prize.

What You’ll Need

  • Lottery tickets or some other small prizes.
  • A grand prize.
  • A fish bowl or similar container.

Getting Started

1. Review your records to determine which product areas are weak in sales. While you’re at it, find out the sales strengths and weaknesses of each employee. Some might be good at selling appetizers, for instance, but not so good at selling desserts.

2. At a pre-shift team meeting, challenge your employees to set their own sales goal for the shift. Steer them toward the product area they need the most work in.

3. Follow up during the shift, encouraging your salespeople and applauding their progress toward reaching their sales goals. (“Great job, Luisa! Only one more bottle of wine and you make your goal!”)

4. At shift’s end, award those who met their sales goals with a small prize, and enter their name in a drawing for the grand prize at the end of the week. Every item sold above the minimum nets another drawing entry.

Will an Incentives Program Help You Reach Your Sales Goals?

With incentives, as with medicine, prescription before diagnosis is malpractice. Don’t put the incentive “cart” before the training “horse.” Make certain that the behavior pattern you’re trying to change in your employees can be resolved with an incentive program or contest. Ask yourself: Is my performance (or lack of performance) challenge actually a training problem? If so, proper training and effective skills practicing must precede the incentive or contest. No train? No gain!

Need More Incentive Ideas?

Excerpted from  Playing Games at Work: 52 Best Incentives, Contests and Rewards for the Hospitality Industry. This restaurant management book is perfect for restaurant owners, operators, and managers who want to:

  • Increase profits with effective sales contests.
  • Improve customer service and guest loyalty through effective rewards programs.
  • Save money by cutting costs and reducing accidents in their restaurants.
  • Enhance restaurant staff’s product knowledge to help sales and service efforts.
  • Boost staff morale which will lead to happier employees, easier shifts, and less turnover.