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Idea Fair

Server Olympics

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

The Server Olympics was created by our Food and Beverage Management team in an effort to enhance our training in pre-shift line ups while providing a fun and engaging element to increase team morale. We came up with a variety of events that include all front of house team members from every dining outlet allowing them to build rapport with those they may not often work closely with. The games not only give the team a chance to practice everyday skills they use in the dining room, but they also help them grow as a team while having fun. Each time we play a game it brings a high energy level to the following shift, and our staff enjoys getting to use their different strengths to contribute to their team’s success. The following list describes some of the events we rotate through.


  • Service/Runner Relay Race: This game is a combination of all the tasks that go on throughout a shift. We split the staff into groups and they assign one task to each individual on their team. Once tasks are assigned the relay begins. We set up an obstacle course throughout the dining room and they do a loop through it with their task on their tray. Once they get back to their team, they complete their task and tag the next person in. Tasks include making roll ups, setting the tables, entering an order, packaging to go food, wine service, water glasses, and more.
  • Basketball: For this event we set up a mini basketball hoop and have markers on the floor with different point values. The staff is split into groups and asked questions. If they answer correctly, they can shoot a basket to get their team additional points. These questions include menu/beverage knowledge, member recognition and specific preferences, and general club knowledge.
  • Beverage Service Games: We have a few levels to these events. One is that the staff lists all the spirits and wine that we offer and whoever lists the most wins. Another aspect of this game is to practice perfect wine pours, with the person pouring the closest to 6 ounces being the winner.
  • “Can You Concoct It?” game. For this game we printed out all the ingredients necessary to build our most popular cocktails. We then spread the ingredients out on a table and the team must build selected cocktails on the “Can You Concoct It?” board. The individual who can build the cocktails the most accurately and fastest wins.
  • MPCC Musical Chairs: For this game we based it off traditional musical chairs; however, we have everyone carry a beverage tray filled with empty plastic champagne flutes. The glasses must remain standing when they find a seat. Every round we remove a chair until there is a winner.
  • Club Trivia: The staff is split up into two groups and one person from each team is asked a trivia question. The first one to know the answer smacks the pool noodle that a manager is holding. The questions range from general club knowledge and history and menu/beverage information to fun facts.
  • MPCC Heads Up: This is very similar to the cell phone app “Heads Up”. The team is split into groups and one person holds up a piece of paper above their head that has a phrase or item listed on it. Their team must then describe the item on the paper without using the word listed while the person holding the paper tries to guess what is being described. Each correct answer gives their team a point. Words/phases include club events, rooms within the clubhouse, menu items, steps of service, etc.
  • “In the Weeds”: This game is all about memorization. We have the managers spread out in the team’s “section” and everyone communicates a different request that the server will need to go accomplish. They are not allowed to write anything down so the key to success for this game is the ability to accurately keep track of small details.
  • Golf: For this game we set up a golf obstacle course throughout our dining rooms. It starts by the team teeing off, once the ball stops, the next player will answer a question or perform a task. Once they complete their set task, they pass it to the next person. If you answer a question wrong, you lose a stoke. The team repeats tasks until it is at the “green” and the final player completes the putt. The team with the fewest strokes wins.

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

We have been holding the Server Olympic Events for a couple months and have had a great reaction from our team! They look forward to seeing what event we will be having that week and are always asking what management is going to come up with next. We also introduced the Server Olympics to our F&B Board Committee Members and a video will be included in the March MPCC Clubber Newsletter that is sent out to our membership. The membership has seen great improvement in our level of service as we continue to focus on different areas of training through these events. As much as the staff has enjoyed playing the games, the management team has also enjoyed finding new and creative ideas for the staff.

About the author

Haley Bartschke

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