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Things Restaurant Staffers C Should Never Do

ever assume people want their white wine in an ice bucket. Inquire.

For red wine, ask if the guests want to pour their own or prefer the wait-person to pour. Do not put your hands all over the spout of a wine bottle while removing the cork. Do not pop a champagne cork. Remove it quietly, gracefully. The less noise the better. Never let the wine bottle touch the glass into which you are pouring. No one wants to drink the dust or dirt from the bottle. Never remove a plate-full of food without asking what went wrong. Obviously, something went wrong. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them or dust them. Do not bang into chairs or tables when passing by. Do not have a personal conversation with another server within earshot of customers.

Do not call a guy “dude,” or a woman “lady.”

Never say “good choice,” implying that other choices are bad. Saying, “no problem” is a problem. It has a tone of insincerity or sarcasm. “My pleasure” or “you’re welcome” will do. Do not compliment a guest’s attire or hairdo or makeup. You are insulting someone else. Never acknowledge any one guest over and above any other. All guests are equal. Never mention your favorite dessert. It’s irrelevant. Do not discuss your own eating habits, be you vegan or lactose intolerant or diabetic. Do not curse, no matter how young or hip the guests. Do not gossip about co-workers or guests within earshot of guests. Do not ask what someone is eating or drinking when they ask for more...either remember or consult the order. Never mention the tip, unless asked.

Do not eat or drink in plain view of guests.

Do not turn on the charm when it’s tip time. Be consistent throughout.

Never reek from perfume or cigarettes. People want to smell the food and beverage.

If there is a service charge, alert your guests when you present the bill. It’s not a secret or a trick.

Do not drink alcohol on the job, even if invited by the guests. “Not when I’m on duty” will suffice.




How Bad Is Bad?

ritics of government spending are voicing alarm about the growing national debt. In January, the U.S. public debt was $7.5 trillion—about 53% of the country’s total economic output, also known as gross domestic product (GDP). By comparison, Japan’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 192% and Saudi Arabia’s was 20%, according to the latest figures available. The bottom line is that the U.S. debt is nowhere near the dangerous level. For other country’s debt comparision see the graph below.

France 80% of GDP Canada 72% U.K. 69% India 60% China 18% Source: CIA World Fact Book; figures based on 2009 estimates.


You Decide!! Q: Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? A: Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing, five are left. Execution is always more difficult than it seems, and far too many decisions remain pious intentions. CE


Mixing Business Trips With Pleasure May Provide


Tax-Deductible Travel

you’re planning a summer vacation there are ways you may be able to use the tax code to help subsidize that summer trip to some popular tourist haven. Here are some possibilities: ✔ Mixing vacation with business. One ticket to tax-deductible travel is to tack some vacation onto a business trip you’re scheduled to take this summer. If the primary purpose of your trip is business, you can deduct the cost of getting to and from your destination. For example, say you have a five-day professional-association convention in Honolulu and you plan to stay an extra few days to lie on the beach and sample the puu puus. You could deduct 100% of your round-trip airfare to Hawaii. There is no need to prorate the costs based on the proportion of time you spent vacationing. In contrast, food and lodging costs usually must be prorated—only those attributable to your five-day business convention would be deductible. There are, however, a couple of situations where you can deduct living expenses for your vacation days. In you have business to conduct on a Friday and Monday, you can deduct food and lodging for the Saturday and Sunday in between, even if you spend the entire weekend sightseeing. ✔ Family travel. Taking your family on a deductible trip won’t diminish your write-offs. The IRS allows you to deduct whatever it would have cost you to travel alone. So when figuring your deduction for lodging, you can deduct the singleoccupancy rate for your room, which will usually be just slightly less than the double-occupancy rate you actually pay for you and your family.


If you drive to your destination, you can deduct the full cost of your round-trip transportation because you would incur the same cost traveling alone in the car. Of course, if you’re traveling by plane or train, only your fare is deductible. ✔ Schooling. Professional seminars offer another chance for deductible travel. Continuing-education courses and seminars for professionals are often held in popular tourist areas.

On all of these business pleasure trips, you’ll want to explore the travel and entertainment services available through your local trade exchange. Most exchanges have developed relationships with their peers around the country, and often can provide you with some exciting options at your destination. Travel costs are deductible if the education is needed to maintain or upgrade skills in your job, and education is the main purpose of your trip. ✔ Charitable trips. Volunteer charity work can also lead to deductible travel opportunities. Travel to an out-oftown convention of a charitable or religious organization can be deductible—but only if you’re an official delegate to the convention.


If you’re performing charitable work away from home, you may be able to deduct the travel costs. For example, scoutmasters who take Boy Scout troops on summer camping trips can deduct travel expenses as a charitable contribution. ✔ Investment trips. If you own an out-of-town rental property, you can deduct trips to look after your investment. But be prepared to prove that the primary purpose of your trip was to manage or work on the property—not to vacation there. CE

Purpose of This Newsletter Th e pu rpo se of Th e Co mp eti tiv e Edge is to share with you information and news that reflects the importance (and reasons) for using the ser a commercial trade exchan vices of ge. Barter is a proven busine ss tool – one your company can successfully use in its ma rke tin g, pu rch asi ng an d financing efforts. Every month we will bring you articles and ideas tha t show you how, through your tra de exchange membership, you can gain that all important competitive edge in your marketplace.


Energy Department Barters For Oil Reserves

Who’s Really Looking Out For Your of Energy is Best Interests? ThebuyingU.S.upDepartment to $1 billion of oil for ust 15% of owners whose annual their Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But


business revenues are under $500,000 have been contacted by their banker, according to a survey by market researcher PSI Global. So, if you own a small business don’t expect to hear from your banker. Contrast the bankers attitude (and interest in your company’s welfare) with that of your trade exchange. They will contact you via various means several times every month!

they’re doing so in a very creative way— by bartering their royalty payments from offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico to acquire petroleum for the reserve. The trade not only adds to the reserves, but it assists the oil companies as well—they don’t have to write a check for their royalty payments. CE


ç(Continued from page 1.) longer you wait to get the funding you need, the more expensive it becomes—and the more difficult actually to get it. But your analysis of cash flow doesn’t just protect you against disaster—like running out of cash just when you need it most. It also allows you to plan for growth.

The worst time to begin your search for cash is when you need it the most.

In the best of all possible worlds, you would get cash up-front, before you made or shipped your product or performed your service. But in the real world, you pay for your raw materials and supplies before you collect from your customer. It is that time lag that makes understanding your cash flow crucial. The more you shorten the time between outgo and income, the healthier your business. If you don’t know when and how cash moves through your business, you’re flying blind. CE

If your time-lines show you accumulating cash, you can anticipate how to make it productive by putting it to work—buying new equipment or adding people. A lot of companies get into trouble when they try to grow without the cash they need to support it. Sales grow, but they don’t have cash to support the growth.



All-Time Best Sales & Marketing Principles

1) All





superbly honest. They never have to tell

you they’re honest—their buyers just know it. 2) Great salespeople somehow deliver the bad news as palatably as they deliver the good news. 3) Great salespeople are never cute with the truth. 4) The greats move in on bad news and face it head-on ... both with their customers and their company. 5) Great salespeople always have their heads screwed on straight. They’re not pretentious. There’s not a phony bone in their bodies. CE


Barter Can Increase Your Cash Flow

$ Every single trade you make increases cash flow. Write checks against your trade balance, not your cash balance. $ Work with your trade exchange in advance for credit extension, and let the exchange send you new business to pay off that loan. $ The more you trade, the more cash you’ll have—to invest, buy new equipment, and expand the business. $ If your receivables are not coming in, collect an in-kind payment or trade dollars from your slow-pays. $ If you can’t pay your bills talk to your vendors and explain how you can satisfy them with a payment of trade dollars. CE



Competitive Edge | August 2010  

August 2010 edition of the Competitive Edge.

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