Your goal as a restaurant manager is to create an atmosphere where guests want to come back. You can accomplish this through your restaurant team training program and your everyday interactions with your staff.

Ever wonder if your staff’s in-fighting, disorganization, communication breakdowns and low morale are affecting your customers? Stop wondering and accept it: You can’t hide that negativity from the people who visit your operation. In fact, your guests probably notice those problems more than you do. A lack of teamwork means slower service, more mistakes, rude staff and negative dining experiences.

Watch Your Word of Mouth

Still, many operations ignore their internal problems while throwing money at marketing schemes to get more customers through the front door: television advertising, expensive promotions, big banners outside. Some advice: Don’t waste another dime on advertising until you can improve the competence of your restaurant’s staff through restaurant training. Sure, your external marketing efforts build new traffic, but once customers experience that bad service in person, they’ll never return. If bad service drives them away, no amount of advertising will motivate them to come back. And they’ll tell their friends about their experience in your restaurant and their friends won’t visit your restaurant either.

One Unhappy Guest Costs You $17,520 Per Year

That one step forward has brought you three steps back. What does that mean to your bottom line? Say your average guest check is $12 and you lose four customers per day through poor service caused by poor teamwork and sub-par restaurant training. That’s an annual loss of $17,520. Ouch! And that doesn’t even include the number of people who won’t visit your place because of negative word-of-mouth advertising.

Train Before You Advertise

Here’s a tip: Take your advertising budget and invest it in improving your restaurant’s staff. By fostering a team-oriented environment and training staffers to be team players, you’ll see improved communication, better quality products, higher morale – and most important, the kind of customer service that will turn a first-time guest into a regular. We’re talking about internal marketing. It’s the quality of service that makes people glad they came to a restaurant, makes them want to linger a little over an after-dinner drink or dessert they may not have originally planned on, and makes them want to return often — with their friends. One step forward — a little time and training — brings you three steps further by encouraging increased sales and repeat customers, which are the best kind you could want.

Restaurant Training Book SpecialExcerpted from All For One: 52 Ways to Build a Winning Team. Click here for a special book offer — get a book for free when you invest in the 52 Ways series!