Why Now Is the Time to Address PPA in Your Restaurants

During the empty-dining-room days of the pandemic, many owners of successful multi-unit restaurant companies got in the habit of dealing only with the new things directly in front of them.

Those who fall into that trap now, though, are missing out on the fundamentals that make a restaurant business excel.

I recently pointed out that training falls under that category.

You know what else does? PPA.

The Reason

I remember sitting in a wood-paneled dining room one morning, eating breakfast with four of my clients, and somebody said something about PPA.

One of my clients turned around, pointed at me, and said, “When I hear the three letters P-P-A I always think of you.”  

We had just created well over a million dollars of new revenue at their company (and the ensuing profit and net worth increase) by installing a program where unit-level management teams learned how to control and grow PPA.

Now think about that while you focus on supply chain, labor shortage, and all the other issues of the post-restaurant-crisis portion of the pandemic.

Someone has to pay for all this.

Never forget that the only person who pays for anything in a restaurant remains a guest.

And that in the current climate, all the data shows that guests will spend more.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

You Have to Sell It

I have seen many servers raise eyebrows and grimace when embarking on a PPA campaign because they feel this kind of mercenary exercise makes them feel suspicious – like it’s us versus the guests, “the man” taking it to the little guy.

When we talk about how PPA exposes guests to great menu items they might never have discovered, however, those looks start to soften. 

Many of our guests know what they will order before they even walk through our front doors; others are prone to remain leery of being adventurous.

We know how hard we work on innovative new food they may never eat, and drinks they may never enjoy.

What a waste!

We must help them. By suggesting these items.

Five Characteristics of an Effective PPA Program

  1. Helps people understand why increased PPA boosts guest satisfaction.
  2. Educates about the words to use at the table.
  3. Measures results on a daily, weekly and periodic basis.
  4. Acknowledges successful and talented servers, and offers continued education for those who will master this in the future.  
  5. Senses “how much is too much” to make sure guests are not pushed too hard.  

Raising PPA transforms your business – generating extra gross profit you need to pay for all the new expenses on your P&L.
You are not rich enough to neglect to control PPA in your restaurants.
Over to you. Do you truly have an integrated system to generate your chosen PPA in your restaurants? Or will you start to create one?