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Make your waiters want to sell more!

Restaurants that use employee incentives are generally more successful than those that rely on tips to provide the larger bulk of waiters' and barmen's incomes. This is true, first, because a clearly defined goal, such as a guest tab average or personal sales total, helps generate more money--both for the waiter and the restaurant. Second, a spirit of competition and non-monetary bonuses increase employee loyalty beyond their primary income. A close-knit team with low turnover means more competent employees and more security for the restaurateur.
A transparent motivation programme is an easily comprehensible and objective bonus system. Today, Tillypad helps many restaurants organise competitions and calculate fair bonuses. Working with motivation programmes in Tillypad is very easy; the software contains several built-in reports that allow you to look at each employee’s sales and develop your own employee incentive systems. These systems can vary depending on the restaurant's concept and particular needs.
It is common practice to divide staff motivation programmes into material and non-material. Both types can be easily implemented with Tillypad.
Material incentive programmes: a chance to add value and earn more
Individual bonuses at the end of each shift: a percentage of one’s sales is added to the employee's personal account
In some restaurants, employees are motivated to sell more not only in the hopes of earning more tips, but also because they can receive direct bonuses from their employer.
For example, a percentage of each employee’s sales can be automatically credited to the personal accounts of waiters and barmen. In Tillypad, a personal account is created for each employee participating in the motivation programme—just like for regular customers. At the end of the business day, the accumulated percentage is added to the personal accounts.
The management of the restaurant can customise the programme and disburse the percentage, for example, only once employees have certain goals. They might define a minimum guest tab total, below which the employee serving the guest tab will not receive any additional bonuses. For instance, for every bill over £20, 5% of the bill (i.e. minimum £1) is added to the personal account of the waiter.
Bonuses divided across all the employees in a shift: each person’s reward depends on his/her contribution
Some restaurants include a service charge into the bill and distribute the 'obligatory tips' across the entire shift. Traditionally, the waiter, having worked directly with customers more than anyone else, receives a large percentage; a slightly smaller percentage goes to the barman (in some restaurants also the chef), and even smaller portions are awarded to the administrator and cleaning staff. A special report from Tillypad quickly and precisely distributes these percentages among all the employees of a given shift, taking into consideration their job positions and qualifications.
Consolidated sales report: individual success depends solely on individual efforts
Several widespread, industry-standard incentive solutions exist for sales personnel—for example, bonuses that depend on the achievement of planned goals. If the employee does not meet his/her goals, the bonus is proportionally decreased. If the goals are met, the employee receives a substantial bonus that can surpass his/her fixed salary.
To evaluate an employee’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly performance, simply use the Sales by employee report. Here sales data are grouped by restaurant division (kitchen, bar etc.) and summed for each waiter and barman. Using this report, you can quickly check whether employees have met their goals and identify your sales leaders and those who are falling behind.
Non-material incentive programmes: creative ways to show appreciation for your employees
Not only do sales competitions help restaurants sell certain menu items more quickly, deal with seasonal fluctuations, and increase the average guest tab and revenue; they also improve the team atmosphere and staff opinion of their employer. A restaurateur who thanks and rewards his employees shows that he wants the best staff possible and is interested in more than just the bottom line.
Non-material motivation means giving your employees moments of joy during their sometimes routine workdays. In non-material motivation programmes, bonus options are practically unlimited and can be either free to the restaurant or require a certain budget. Here are some of the most popular non-material incentive options for frontline staff:
- 'best employee' title and badge
- an extra day off
- the option to choose one’s service area at the beginning of the shift
- training (workshops, skill upgrade)
- horizontal and vertical career growth
- trusting the employee with administrative tasks (with Tillypad multiple administrative tasks can easily be carried out by barmen and waiters)
- free lunch or dinner in the restaurant during non-work hours
 - a gift certificate from a partner company
 'Revenue by shift' POS reports
When waiters and barmen engage in friendly sales competition, participants will want to keep track of their progress. To do so, they need to be able to instantly access their personal sales info. This information can help employees adjust their goals and strive to achieve more when the current sales volume is not enough for bonuses.
In Tillypad, each employee can view his/her performance at any time in a special report, which shows his/her number of guest tabs, order totals, sales totals, sales bonuses and bonus percentage by each division or dish type (e.g. kitchen and bar).
Administrators can also keep track of everyone's progress at any stage in the competition. With personal sales information for each waiter and barman, managers can motivate their employees to sell more, outrun their colleagues and break new records.
'Sales by employee' POS report
You can assess the results of the competition (the sale of certain menu items or groups, e.g. seasonal dishes) on the POS terminal before the business day is over in the special ‘Sales by employee’ POS report. With this report, administrators can always evaluate waiters' progress; information about the sale of selected dishes is displayed on the POS terminal and is always up-to-date.
Staff report by division
This report offers a more detailed picture of staff performance. It contains information about revenue divided by payment method (bank cards, cash, reservation deposits etc.), and the last section of the report shows how much money each employee has brought in, as well as the total for each payment method grouped by division.
Another consolidated version of this report is not broken down by division, showing instead general statistics for the restaurant as a whole unit.
Sales report by employee and menu item
If you organise a sales competition for certain menu items or groups (e.g. desserts), identifying the winners with Tillypad takes only a few seconds. You can use a special report to evaluate interim and final competition results. Select a date range to view sales data for the selected dishes by employee, as well as the sales total for all the items within the competition. At the end of the report, the overall total is displayed for each payment method and employee. All the information is grouped by division.
Routinely assess staff performance, organise interesting competitions and reward the best waiters and barmen. Soon you will notice that along with the average guest tab, staff loyalty has also grown. Most employees have no desire to leave a restaurant that not only allows them to earn money, but also provides opportunities to win peer recognition and receive attractive bonuses.