In writing about wine and spirits, promoting events and consulting for all kinds of businesses – predominantly bars, wine bars and restaurants – we’ve encountered our fair share of knowledge from both employers, employees and clients. Through the years we’ve counseled our clients – based on what we’ve learned about their business practices – what we believe the best course of actions are to “bring customers in and bring customers back.”
However, sometimes our clients continue to partake in some practices that we can’t be associated with. So if you’re a current client know that this article is not about you or your practices. This article is just a check list for you. If you answer yes to any of these items, know that your reputation is tarnished.
Business Killers by Business Owners
Don’t tell people that a past employee stole from you if they didn’t.
Don’t take cash from the register.
Pay your employees their tips in a timely manner. (I’ve been asked more than once to pay my tip in cash if possible. When asked the employees readily offered that their employers don’t always give them their tips.)
If you’ve aligned yourself with a non-profit – pay them. Don’t use the name of a non-profit to sell tickets to your event, and then leave them with nothing.
Don’t make yourself the showpiece of your business, unless, of course, you truly are a known celebrity. Anything other than that is feeding an ego.
Don’t be sarcastic to your guests.
Don’t ignore bad reviews on Yelp or any other social media.
Value your own product. We had one former client say, “its just wine” and we never forgot it.
Ready to change? This is what you can do:
I’ve had employers bad mouth past employees to me, specifically for stealing. And yet these same employees are gainfully employed elsewhere for a longer term. I realize that theft is a real problem, but if you aren’t sure, or are hiding your own misuse of funds, shut up.
If you can’t pay your employees their tips from a charge card, get more cash in your register so you are prepared. Every day. They have rent to pay too.
Non-profits count on you for your promised support. And they know a lot of people; from their board down to their committees and volunteers. Not to mention the specific needs of the people that benefit from non-profit dollars. It will cost you more in the long run to bail on any promised support.
Owners that are snotty, sarcastic or assume celebrity status aren’t valued by anyone. You are kidding yourself if you think they are. All you serve to do is elevate yourself above your staff, and any chance of a loyal paying customer.
On social media complaints only respond with courtesy, not excuses. Yelp reviews included. People vent, and even if they are 100% wrong the reader of these reviews don’t know it. Soon these reviews swell as others jump on the bandwagon. Act fast. If you don’t know how to do this without being defensive or argumentative, select a member of your staff that is always courteous to manage this for you. We’re happy to give you some pointers too.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com