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Question and Answer Advice, Tips, and Insights From Folks Who Have Been There Before...

Question: Pre-Shift Meetings
I have been tasked to conduct pre-shift meetings in the restaurant where I work. I would like to have (as much as possible) some ideas about the points that can be discussed with the staff in these briefings. Plus, I would like to have some ideas about the way to keep the staff active in these sessions. I would be grateful for any help.

Thank you,
Charbel C.

Read the Reader Feedback Answers:

Q: Dealing With Side Work: Does anyone have any good ideas for dealing with waiters/waitresses on side work issues?

Q: Half-eaten Entrees: A customer orders something and it is properly prepared and served. After a little while, the customer figures they could get a little freebie and complains that they didn't like it. What would you do?

Q: Lying About Reservations: Inevitably we get a customer who arrives at the restaurant at the busiest time and insists that they called ahead and made a reservation. How do we best deal with customers lying about reservations?

Q: Food Costs: My executive chef and I have been having lots of problems with foods costs in our restaurant. What else can we try?

Q: Charities: How do I best deal with the myriad of local charities constantly asking my restaurant for contributions and donations?

Q: Location: Do you know where I can find valuable information regarding the keys to a successful location in the restaurant industry?

Q: Sales Ideas: We're looking to try new incentives for waitstaff and kitchen employees to increase our sales. Do you know of any great ideas?

Q: Grand Opening: What are some interesting ways of doing a grand opening or opening night?

Q: Advertising: How can we compete on a low advertising budget?

Q: Any ideas on beating the road construction (in front of our restaurant) nightmare?

Q: How can we combat the ongoing problem of no-shows?

Q: Any tips for lowering staff turnover?

Q: What is a good way of motivating kitchen staff and improving morale in a high volume kitchen?

Q: Does anyone know of a "Service Quiz" that I could give to my staff?

Q: How should we react to guests who come in at the last minute?

Q: How do you help keep a restaurant from getting boring?

Q: Which culinary school is good for my son?

Q: Does anyone have experience changing to a tip sharing environment?

Q: Could anyone suggest a good POS systems to use in a restaurant?

Q: Does anyone have ideas on how to take our website to the next level?

Q: Is anyone successfully using an online or CD-ROM-based training course for restaurant employees?

Q: We are anxious to make our Gift Certificate sales and tracking process more efficient. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Q: My customers have been complaining that our parking lot is too small -- Any thoughts or answers?

Q: Does anyone have any feedback on doing "Wine Sampling in Restaurants"?

Q: What does 86'd mean?

Q: What is good menu software?

Q: Any restaurant accounting book recommendations?

Q: Where can I get useful information about alcohol and intoxication?

Q: How would you describe the American Culinary Culture?

Q: I own a restaurant. How valuable would it be for me to collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of my customers?

Q: How can I motivate my servers to help improve business?

Q: Any suggestions on how to price subcontracting services for professional wait staff/bartenders?

Q: Have you seen any articles on the use of portable bars in hotels, restaurants and catering facilities?

Q: Can anyone offer guidance on a sample seating plan/layout?

Q: Any strategies/tips for managing costs in my operation?

Q: How do you handle a tough boss and a new ordering system?

Q: What are some strategies for coping with large Friday night crowds in a small restaurant?

Q: How do Restaurant Consultants work?

Q: Our kitchen and dining rooms are immaculate, but how can we keep the employee break room clean?

Q: Can you help me with a bookkeeping and accounting concern?

Q: What is a good brand/model of pepper grinder?

Q: Has anyone had experience with offering retail gift items at their restaurant?

Q: What can we expect to get from a "Spotter" (secret shopper) service?

Q: What do we have to do to bottle our salad dressing in order to be able to sell it to customers?

Q: Does anyone have some advice on knife sharpening?

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