It’s about passion. What are your front of house team knowledgable about, and what have they passion for? We had a similar scenario a while back in our Roasters and restaurant, where any time a customer asked about coffee, the member of staff would grab one person and get them to talk with the customer. I dread to think what the customer was told when that member of staff wasn’t there!
To combat this, we did a number of things.
First, we made learning about coffee fun. We set a date in the diary for a coffee/barista competition. This would include everything from beans to brewing methods, latte art to speed of production. It got our staff engaged and excited about learning their trade, with a little healthy competition!
Second, we let them try the coffee. A scheme that was recently introduced is that members of staff may take home one bag of coffee a week. It costs us relatively nothing, but allows us to demonstrate to our staff the depths of variety through our single origin beans, not just the quick caramel latte they have before a shift.
Third, we organised coffee tasting sessions, roasting demonstrations, cupping, barista standards training, opportunities to practice up selling in amongst all the things we already had in place to get our staff knowledgable and passionate about the business.
Fourth, magazine subscriptions, books, video tutorials.
These reasonably easy changes meant that our staff went from seeing their waiting and barista jobs as just a means to an end (payday), they became interested in it, passionate about the processes and techniques. It is in this environment that you are nurturing salespeople, not uninterested pairs of hands.
If the product is genuinely good, and your staff love it, they’ll sell it! You’ll get nowhere trying to get staff to sell something they care nothing about.
Hope that helps.