5 Contest Ideas to Run With Restaurant or Retail Staff

Jul 31, 2012 1:19:30 PM / by Matt Thompson

Employee happy because of contest ideas

Whether you're a part of a restaurant or retail store, your staff is the face of your business. Staff that is happy, knowledgeable about your products, and eager to please the customers, will ultimately result in increased sales and customer satisfaction. A great way to get your staff engaged and excited about a shift, is to make a game out of it. Put together a simple contest and present it at the beginning of a shift, and reward the winner(s) at the end of the shift with a prize, such as a gift certificate or free meal. Running a competition during a shift is not only a great way to increase sales and get your employees to work hard, but it's also builds teamwork. Here are 5 contest  ideas  to run with your staff during a restaurant or retail shift.

Highest Check Average or Sales

Reward the staff member that achieves the highest check average per guest or table during a shift, or the employee with the highest total sales for the shift. This will challenge workers to stay knowledgeable about your products in order to sell more.

Promote a Particular Item

Take a specific item, such as the night's special, a new wine, retail items that you have too many of and want to sell, and see which employee can sell the most of that item within a shift. This is a great way to get the word out about something new in your product line-up.

Running Side Work

Assign employees a station or area to keep clean and stocked during a shift. Whoever keeps the area the cleanest throughout the shift wins. This will keep your business clean and will allow the whole team to work more efficiently.

Loyalty Programs

If your store has a loyalty or frequent buyer program, run a contest to see who can get the most customers to join. It's a fun contest, and an easy way to help grow your customer reach.

Gift Certificates

Run a contest to see which employee can sell the most gift certificates. If you have multiple stores in different locations, you can run the contest between the stores, and reward the store that sells the highest amount with a party. It's a great incentive for your staff and also keeps customers coming back. It's also good to run during the holidays when more gift certificates are usually sold.

A little friendly competition can be a good way to help keep staff excited and interested, and is helpful if sales are slumping or you're having a hard time moving a certain product. Make sure of course that no one is overselling or being too aggressive, coach your staff to read the customer.

These are just a few ideas of contests to run with your restaurant or retail staff. Have an idea for a contest or want to share an incentive idea that worked well for your business? Please leave a comment below!

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Tags: contest ideas, happy employees, increase sales, making work fun, Tips & Ideas

Matt Thompson

Written by Matt Thompson

Matt has let his lifelong passion of food and people lead him to 15 amazing years as a restaurant manager and another 9 years working as a Director with a major food service distributor. He has channeled this passion to help create and run ShiftNote. When he's not dominating the food service industry, he's spending time with his 4 children and cheering on the Tigers as a Mizzou Alumni.

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