The success of every restaurant lies in the manner in which it takes care of it's customers. Well trained staff will always deliver high quality service, hence improving customer experience and increasing revenue. Here are the 10 steps of service every waiter must know:
Greet the guests
Offer a beverage
Serve beverages and offer an appetizer
Take food order
Two-five minute check back
Clear plates and glassware
Suggest desserts and after dinner drinks
Present the bill
Collect payment and thank the guests
Guests should be greeting immediately. They must be acknowledged within 30 seconds of arriving. Greet your guests with a genuine smile and a, "Welcome to ABC Restaurant". This is the time to also check the number of pax (covers) as well as whether they made a reservation or not. Follow your restaurant's procedure for guests with/ without reservations.
As soon as your guests are seated, introduce yourself and offer them something to drink. In some restaurants, you may be required to pour water for your guests. "My name is... and I'll be your waitron today. May I offer your something to drink? A beer, cocktail, etc". Don't waste time and wait for guests to call you back to order drinks!
This is the time to also present the menus. Mention specials and out-of-stock items.
Serve the beverages without delay. Drinks shoould be delievered within 5 minutes of being ordered. Offer to pour drinkns for your guests. This is also the time to offer an appetizer. Drinks should always be served on the clean tray.
Take food order, starting with the ladies. You should have intimate knowledge of your menu and be able to guide your guests. You should also be able to answer any questions pertaining to the meals. Remember to repeate the order.
Bring food immediately when it is ready. Serve ladies first. If the table has kids, offer to bring the kids' meals ealier. The same goes with older guests. Warn your guests if the plates are hot. After you fininsh serving, check if everybody has the corect item.
Serve from the left/ right in accordance to your restaurant policy. The general rule is if you are serving from the left, use your left hand and if you are serving from the right, use your right hand. Also make sure that the table has the correct condiments for the dishes served. Be availabe in case the customer may need a condiment that you did not bring. For example, some customers may ask for mayonnaise with their french fries instead of tomato sauce.
This is also the time when you can also offer beverage refills. Feel free to recommend a even a drink they were not having. A good waitron is a good sales person. Most restaurants conduct waiter training to help you perfom effectively and efficiently in your job.
Within two-five minutes, come back to the tabe and check if everything is good. Clear unnecessary plates and glassware. This is important so that you can verify the quality if the food. Sometimes when customers start eatling, they may need some condiments. If there are any problems or complaints, they can be resolved immediately. If the guest complains about the meal, apologize, take it away and fix it immediately.
When guests are finished, clear plates from the table with minimum disturbance. Do not start clearing when some guests are still eating. This may be seen as rude. Clear according to your restaurant's standards and policy.
You may need to crumb the table down. This is the opportunity for your to suggest desserts. Here are examples:
When your guests are done, check if they would like anything else. Do no ask if you can bring the bill; they may feel like you arew chasing them away. Present the bill as per your company procedure and confirm method of payment.
Take payment as per your restaurant procedure and thank the guests. If the service was great, you may receive a good TIP.
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Are you running a restaurant and looking to better the service or are you working in a restaurant as a waitron? Where are you based? Is it a standalone restaurant or is it in a hotel, resort or lodge? Talk to us if you need fine dining waiter training at your establishment. We offer on-site training countrywide.
Yours in Hospitality,
Hospitality Expert, Coach, Speaker and Consultant