3 Steps to Running a Successful Server Competition

Server competitions are a great way to increase sales and staff morale for your restaurant.  According to the article, Encourage Healthy Competition Among Your Servers by Allan Barmak, competitions “foster teamwork among staff and they will end up helping each other to achieve the common goal. This, in return, will result in improved efficiency throughout the restaurant.” However, as a restaurant manager, finding time to implement and track competitions or contests can be tricky. MarketingVitals’s Contests feature has the tools to help you achieve each of Barmak’s steps with ease.


Step 1

According to Barmak, the first step is gathering your restaurant’s metrics. He suggests answering the following questions:

  1. How many tables do you turn over in an hour?
  2. What is your average sale per table?
  3. How long does it take to get food cooked and delivered from the time the server puts the order into the system

Of course restaurant managers can find these metrics but research can be burdensome. With MarketingVitals.com’s Contests feature, the metrics are gathered for you. Just choose–when, which store(s), scope, focus and items to target.

Step 2

The next step is setting goals, based on your metrics, and rewards.  Barkmak suggests, “Set a clear goal with an attractive carrot at the end.” Try to choose incentives that will motivate your staff to achieve realistic goals. Without guidelines or parameters you and your servers may lose focus.

The Contest feature provides:

  • Qualifiers – set the requirements that participants must meet
  • Ranking – choose between Absolute Value, Growth Value, or Growth Percentage
  • Limits – set the maximum number of winners for your store, district, or region

QualifiersRankings, and Limits will keep the competition on the straight and narrow to achieving whatever goal you set.

Rewards can easily be set through Payouts, which can be divided between participants, stores, districts and regions.

Step 3

The last step is guiding or mentoring your staff throughout the competition. Barmak advises, “Each week, track the results and make sure your staff is accountable for those results. Look at the numbers and coach them on how to improve.”

Through Contests, you can check and print: rankings, position movement, and contestant’s performance improvements or declines. Post the reports before shifts or schedule one-on-one meetings to help keep your staff motivated and accountable.


MarketingVitals’s Contests provides the tools to help you achieve a successful, hassle free competition. If you’d like to learn more about this feature please send us an e-mail.

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