Employee Contests

Hello everyone I am working on a story for the October issue of PMQ focusing on how employee contests can increase revenue and employee morale at the same time. If anyone out there has some successful examples I’d be very interested to hear.

I can remember back many years while working at Mothers Pizza we had a contest to see who could sell the most key lime pies every day for a month…Pretty much every night I worked I won the nightly prize and at the end of the month I won the grand prize of a bike…It was very simple…I just told my guests there was a contest and they could help me win by buying key lime pie instead of other deserts…Not every one took me up on the offer but it swayed enough to give me a big edge…

We do this quite often. They are nightly contests and usually focus on one item - a beer we are trying to promote or a new appetizer. It is very effective to dangle a $15 or $20 carrot in front of our servers. We have a particular beer flight. Prior to the shift, I talked to the servers about selling it until I was blue in the face. We sold zero on Friday night. Saturday, I offered a bounty for the server with the highest sales of that flight. We sold 10 of them. People are motivated by rewards.

During peak seasons we run a contest for the highest ticket average and then focusing training on add-on sales and upselling to our menu combos.

We do not run the contest by the night bacause the random nature of who answers the phone when the big order comes in tends to nullify the results. When we do it by the week, we only count employees that have taken at least 50 orders during that time period and we remove orders over $150 and orders under $10 from the average. This eliminates the orders that managers tend to handle and the walkins for slices that would otherwise lower the averages.

First prize is $50. Second prize is $30. Third prize is $20. Running this contest tends to raise the ticket average by a couple of dollars for the period. During a period when we are taking perhaps 800 to 1000 orders, picking up a couple of dollars per order easily justifies the $100 expense and the habit of add-on sales and upselling tends to last a while.

For awhile, I ran a delivery driver contest based on speed (with a very clear emphasis on safety) and paid the winning driver $50 each month. It was fun for awhile because we developed a pretty wicked level of competition. I would get texts from drivers all the time taunting me about their 4 or 7 minute deliveries. Average delivery time is now about 2 minutes less than before.

We’re in the downtown area and it was funny to see a guy jogging down the street to the gas station a couple blocks away because they figured out it was quicker than loading up the car and driving around the block. Eventually it turned into myself and one other driver who would always win it and the rivalries fell off. I think I’ll have some new blood in here in the next few weeks and may start it again.

Thanks for responding all of those anecdotes sound very interesting. For everyone that responded can you check your private mail, please.

We do a variety of contests based on promoting a single item (ie wings) Whoever sells the most in a specific time period-a month or so will receive a prize. Usually we trade off to a local coffee shop for gift certificates, or get game tickets from a distributor, we have even had prizes for Marine World.

Another contest we have is an incentive contest that pays cash. For every desert pizza slod you make $1.00, however you must sell at least 10 a month before you can qualify.

We have used a “Bingo” card in the past with success. The servers would “X” off a given square when they sold the item listed, be it entree, dessert or starters. Each “Bingo” would pay something small, but interesting like $5.00 or a small gift card. We don’t use it often so it keeps the game fresh, but it’s been highly successful and the servers really do get in to the “competition”.