Why splitting VIP sales and fulfilment will make you more money

A common mistake we see in VIP is servers who both sell and fulfil. By splitting these roles and embedding clear comms, venues boost profit & experience.

Why splitting VIP sales and fulfilment will make you more money

Perhaps the single most common mistake we see in VIP operating teams is the expectation of the server (VIP waitress or waiter) to both sell and fulfill.

We hold the strong view that these two activities should not be undertaken by the same person. Here’s why:

There's A Difference Between Sales & Fulfilment.

What does that mean? Let’s clarify.

"Sales" describes the way your VIP staff create relationships with clients that lead to upsell, improved experience or repeat visits.

"Fulfilment" means actually fetching the things your guests need to enjoy themselves. This could be bottles but more often than not, it’s mixers, ice and fresh glasses.

Porque no los dos?

Why not both? In short, fulfilment by a VIP server is inefficient and disproportionally depletes resources that could be focussed on sales activities.

Based on data we've collected:

• An average VIP table will make 16 service requests per night.

• Of those,15 are ice, fresh glasses and mixers.

• On average, it will take a server 4 minutes to fulfil an order.

First up, 15 orders won’t generate revenue directly, but they do stand in the way of consumption. Waiting too long for them slows drinking and increases frustration, reducing the likelihood that a customer will buy again, tonight or ever.

Second, at 4 minutes to leave the table and return with an item, there’s 64 minutes per table fetching items (fulfilling). That is an immense amount of time which could be dedicated to sales & customer relationships.

Third, if the fulfilment were one-way (dispense to table) you would be able to bank almost half of that time in productivity. That means fewer runners for the same service volume without compromising service quality.

Set Clear Expectations.

The first step in solving this problem is setting clear expectations with your team about what is and is not in their role description and how that might make them feel.

It will be an instinct for a VIP Server to want to handle the fulfilment. It puts them in control and makes them feel busy. By removing fulfilment from their job description, they might feel a bit useless and awkward. That’s completely normal. Remind them that this is OK and that they now have time to be anticipating customer needs and developing relationships.

You’ll also be changing the flow of your dispense: instead of the traditional ‘circular’ movement around the venue looking for glasses and refills, your VIP bussers will now attend to specific requests and return to dispense for the next instruction. For example, Cranberry and OJ to table two, Cleanup at 5, return.

Working together, servers act as eyes on the floor, showing bussers where they need to be to ensure that the service flow continues in an uninterrupted manner

Build Sales Acumen.

By reducing process obligations, you have crated space for your sales team to thrive. Now, you can start to train the in the soft skills that help drive customer experiences with that time.

Teach them about the difference between your premium tequilas, when someone might want to upgrade from the Patron Silver to the El Cielo and how to keep on top of service items so that the party never slows down.

Make Rewards Transparent & Simple

The old expression, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” is just as relevant here. Your VIP team now your team has a much more direct connection to sales and customer experience outcomes and they should be sharing in that benefit.

In order to encourage good behaviours, your team need to be clear about what they will earn. This means that your commission structure should be easy enough to apply and calculate expected commissions on the fly. So often, we note that VIP servers are surprised about how they qualified for commission, or confused about why they didn’t.

A confusing structure also adds friction at the back end too as it makes the calculation and administration process more complicated to execute.

Give Them The Right Tools

The benefits described above require effective communication between the tables and dispense. We’re not huge fans of chat platforms like WhatsApp for this (we expand on this here) because things tend to get missed and they are impossible to audit. Radio, too, has its shortcomings – how often to you mishear pineapple as apple juice?

DQ Pro was built to close this gap. The app offers structured communication, seamless ordering and payments, projected commissions and complete traceability.

With DQ, an order takes 11 seconds including the payments. Our venues have orders delivered within 3 minutes on average. This allows VIP Servers to dedicated upwards on an hour per table to selling and lets dispense fulfil requests across the venue efficiently and without compromise.