Improving Server Performance

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated and a restaurant's sales force is their service staff. While diners often show appreciation with their wallets, they also increasingly show dissatisfaction in the form of negative service reviews, making server performance a core component of any restaurant’s success.
Moving Beyond Manual Processes 
For Boka Restaurant Group, providing an outstanding experience to their diners is imperative and they believe the foundation of that experience is server performance. When Venga began working with Boka Group, we met with Operations Manager, Larry Flam who asked for our help in creating an effective and scalable system to manage server accountability.

We started by trying to understand the process Larry went through to review server performance across Boka and it sounded like #manuallabor. You know the intel is important when an Operations Manager like Larry is willing to take the time to perform that kind of tedious process... 
By automatically connecting Boka’s POS system with OpenTable guest profiles and all online reviews, Venga’s Server Scorecard analyzes server performance on both macro and micro levels. Now with actionable data in hand, Larry and the Boka Team are putting it to use: “all the information you need to resolve an issue or acknowledge good behavior is right there for you- all of the guest information and all of the information about the dining experience is tied directly to the server’s name and their location.”  
In addition to the robust intel aggregation providing Boka with new insights, Venga’s Server Scorecard empowered Larry to operate efficiently: “Last year I let you know that I was doing this whole process manually. And then you went and put this feature in the dashboard and you changed my life in a really positive way!” 
Maximizing the Server Scorecard 
Armed with data-backed insights, Boka Group changed the culture surrounding their server training to focus on key guest feedback. Larry pointed out “we are not just training servers to get to that score of 5 - which is our goal anyway - now we can utilize the data to learn, in more detail, what it is that guests are really commenting on.”

Once subjective performance reviews are now conducted with individual, objective, data-driven analyses. As Larry explains, “Before, I would say ‘you don’t really have as good a presence at the table as you need to.’ But now, I can show them- ‘When you look at your Venga scores, your food knowledge is good because the score is relative to what the guests think about the food and your score is above average. But when we get to your service score, we are seeing an area you can improve’”.

This shift in approach has proven extremely effective for the Boka team, giving way to server accountability and the prioritization of internal reinvestment. With the ability to drill down into the root causes of server success (or lack thereof), moral has never been higher and servers are much more receptive to feedback.
Achieving Performance Success
One of Venga’s core values is “Run Towards Criticism” and that value is clearly shared by the Boka Group. Not content with status quo operations, the Boka team is always looking for innovative ways to improve themselves and increase their service scores.

“After this process of staff review,” Larry said, “ we have seen an improvement in every single restaurant. And not only in the overall Venga scores for each restaurant, but we’ve also been able to increase check averages and tip percentages. Venga’s abilities have a huge relationship to that success”