So, I’ve been working out a lot lately. I’ve been in a fitness boot camp for the past 12 weeks. One of my goals is to work on the muscles that improve my posture. Apparently, it really hurts to have good posture (sit-ups, crunches and my nemesis – the plank). But, it’s good for your spine and prevents that dreaded shoulder bump later in life. I was pumping some iron yesterday and was reminded of a tradeshow sales training workshop I attended a couple of years ago. It all focused on making yourself approachable to a prospective client.
Good posture and positive body language are also good for your restaurant staff as they seek sales to increase ticket averages and tips. Here are four ways you can use posture and positive body language in your store tonight to make your staff more approachable.
- Host Stand – If your host or hostess is slumping over the stand, he or she may appear lazy to waiting customers. Who wants to approach a host who looks like they don’t care if you get seated? One thing to do is to remove the host stand altogether. If that’s not possible, remind your staff that they’re the first impression your customers get. They should be standing up straight, smiling, opening the door and offering a welcome to everyone who walks through the door. No crossed arms. No chewing gum. No averting eye contact.
- Wait Staff- Some wait staff have a tendency to walk up to the table with their pen and paper ready to take the order and never make eye contact. Trash this approach. Replace it with a policy that the waiter walks up to the table and introduces him/herself as the person who will be helping the customer enjoy their dining experience tonight. A confident posture – no crossed arms, no hands in the back pockets, a welcoming smile, making eye contact.
- Counter Staff – The counter already serves as a barrier between the staff and customer. Just like the host stand, there should be no leaning. Always make eye contact. Always smiling and looking at the customers. It irks me to the tenth degree when I walk up to a counter for a refill and NO ONE makes eye contact. To that point, someone should always be walking around checking on dine-in customers for refills. Should a customer really have to leave their seat? Anyone taking the phone orders should be smiling and not leaning over the POS system or ticket. It’s possible to stand up straight and take an order.
- Cleanliness & Neatness- Your staff should know customers look at their fingernails, hand washing habits, shirts, pants and hair. Your dress code should be in effect at all times. It’s an expectation of the job that your staff looks presentable. Neat, clean hair. Trimmed fingernails. Clean hands. Clean uniform. These should be a no-brainer.
How do you use positive body language and posture in your business? Share your tips in our Facebook discussion.