Q & A – Management Dining Privileges


We are a restaurant group with multiple concepts in the same city. We would like all of our chefs/restaurant managers and GMs to feel welcome to bring their spouse/family members in to dine in their restaurant and in the rest of our restaurants. We feel this is an important benefit, and can also be used as a way to gain honest feedback and constructive criticism. What is fair as far as percentage discount goes? Managers are entitled to a “shift meal” when they are working, but we also want them to experience being a guest. And I would like to offer to each manager and one guest, but how (specifically) should that be outlined? We would also make sure all food is rung in and then brought down to cost.

Great question. We were in the exact same situation and here is how we handled it.

1) Create a google form for anyone who visits any of your concepts to fill out as part of their visit. Like this one: http://bit.ly/qclink – you’ll see that I built this to gather food feedback specifically, but you can see how easy it would be to customize to your needs for total guest experience. This is a requirement of any discounted visit, but can also be handy for ANY secret shopping visit of any kind.

2) Create a simple “discount card” for your managers, staff and GMs to use. These should be different cards, one for each level of discount offered. We recommend 25% off for all staff at any concept, 50% off for floor managers and full 100% for the GM level.

3) Have the employee present this card AT CHECK PRESENTATION. Any time sooner than that and you will not get a fully honest read on the total experience. What I mean is we tried having the staff member call the corresponding GM of the store to make a reservation for themselves, but found that the experience was frequently different for the “pre-arranged” staff visit than the average guest.

4) Simply stated, this benefit is for the employee+1 guest. That’s the best way to ensure compliance. You could build your Google form to ask questions towards the answer of how many guests were dining to assist with this compliance.


The monkey and banana story


That’s just the way it’s always been done.

Here’s a business story that I’ve been re-telling for a few years now.
I couldn’t remember where it came from, but this is a great illustration of the point.

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