Playing Games At Work Will Encourage Teamwork, Productivity, and Morale

Playing Games At Work Will Encourage Teamwork, Productivity, and Morale

Restaurant managers encourage their staff to suggestively sell menu choices that offer high profit margins for their business. These items often include appetizers, desserts, alcoholic beverages, and items that we call "add-on's" such as cheese on potatoes or bacon on salad.

A successful manager knows that the best way to motivate their wait staff is to make the incentive rewarding and fun.


Ten Sales Building Games That Will Encourage Teamwork, Productivity, and Morale

1. Hot Potato. The object of the game is to have something to pass around when a particular item is sold (A cardboard cut out of a potato works best). For example, if you are trying to boost dessert sales, then the manager starts the game with the “potato” until the first sale. From there, every time a server sells a dessert, they will steal the “potato” from the server who had it last. The game continues on until a pre-selected time or until the manager says stop. The one left holding it wins.

2. Raffle, Restaurant Style. Very popular, this method can be and has been used in a variety of ways! Daily, weekly, or monthly, this game is all about repetition. The more you sell of the item(s) required, the more tickets you get, the more chances you have to win.

3. The PERFECT Check. This game is best on heavy volume nights when your strongest servers are on. It takes great skill to obtain the perfect check, and it is entertaining to watch them strive for it. In order to win, a server must present a single guest check (up to four people on the check) that has ALL of the following criteria: Alcoholic Beverage, Appetizer, Add-on, Entrée, Salad, and Dessert.

4. BINGO! On an Excel worksheet, format 5 rows to the height of 60, and 6 columns to a width of 16. Give it a full border to make a grid and Type BINGO across the top row. In each square present a high profit item you'd like to push. Make it as easy or as hard as you want to. The first one to get Bingo wins. A great beginner for newer wait staff to increase sales and practice suggestively selling.

5. Team up the FOH with the BOH for sales goals. Make it pairs or groups over a short or long period of time and as easy to hard as you like. Keep a chart of the progress so everyone feels included and involved. This game particularly encourages teamwork between the different stations which in turn increases communication and encouragement; all the while increasing sales.

6. Spice up the “Guessing Game”. How it works: Take a jar of candy (counted) and a $10 gift card (optional). Every time a server sells your chosen feature item (such as bar drinks or appetizers) they get a chance to guess how many pieces of candy are in the jar. If they sell your chosen “hot item” (such as desserts), they get to guess twice on that sale!

7. Find the Missing Check. On a small poster board write a sample check of items you are trying to push. Here’s an example:

XXXX (Name of owner or Restaurant) is waiting for his check, but we can’t find it!

If it takes all night, we must get it to him!

XXXX says there is a reward for the findings!

He had:

Bud Light


Top Sirloin

Onion Rings

Tossed Salad

Apple Cobbler


Servers are paired up and work together to “build” this check. For example, Sue may have the Wings on Table 10 and Jackie has a Bud Light on Table 5. They have built two items and just need to sell 5 more items collectively.

8. Server Blackjack. Object of the game is to have a hand closest to 21 without busting. Set up a small poster board with a chart that lists values for each selling-point items based on a desk of cards (i.e. Ace = Triple Margarita). Servers must sell items to equal 21 points without going over. The person at the end of each “round” with the best hands wins.

9. Build a Phrase. Build on a popular phrase or focus point. Servers must sell all the items needed to make up the phrase. First one to get it wins. For Example:



Apple Pie


10. Highest Sales. Server with the highest sales at the end of the nights wins.

Making work fun will boost overall staff morale and will showcase great leadership. Playing motivational games with your staff builds confidence, initiative, and creativity. The small expense of rewards will more than pay itself back with the increase sales and profits they will make for you.


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