How to serve restaurant customers well? What mistakes should waiters avoid?
The rules of cultural acceptance of the order and savoir vivre of the waiter
Smooth operation a priority
How to serve restaurant customers well?
How to politely enforce the payment of the bill from the restaurant customer?
If we run our own restaurant and we care about the best possible reputation, it is worth following the tips we will provide in this article. How to serve restaurant customers well? What aspects of waiter service should we pay attention to and what mistakes should we avoid? First of all, let’s remember that a waiter is a person who should be distinguished by a specific psychological profile. First of all, it should be a person with an impeccable appearance and widely developed competences of the so-called soft. Ease of establishing relationships with the restaurant’s customers, intuition, patience and a nice manner are the key to making customers want to visit our restaurant again. It’s good when our wait staff knows some foreign languages and is usually a person with a positive attitude towards people. Verbal competence and a smile can work wonders even with other shortcomings of the pub.
If we work in a restaurant as a waiter, it is good to know the dishes (taste and composition) that our chef serves. An undecided customer will certainly ask what we would order in his place. Yet another type of restaurant guest will ask in detail about the composition of a given dish. Undoubtedly, ignorance of the menu shows a lack of professionalism and makes us question the quality of the menu. If the waiters did not want to try the dishes they serve on a daily basis, what guarantee is there that the food in the pub we visited is tasty? From the customer’s perspective, it’s nice to listen to a smiling waiter or waitress who passionately talks about the products of the restaurant where he works. In addition, if the waiter is warm and friendly, it is a sign that the working atmosphere in the restaurant is comfortable. After all, the working atmosphere translates into the quality of the product.
Well-developed soft skills in a restaurant employee – including verbal ones – can make the customer place an order for a large amount. He might even leave a tip. If we are waiters, let’s not forget about welcoming guests, smiling and talking freely. Let’s indicate places where customers can leave outer clothing and free places at the table. From the beginning of the guest’s visit, let’s give the impression that we take care of the client from A to Z. Let’s shorten the distance, ask about expectations and let ourselves be remembered as polite. The waiter should step in front of the customers while guiding them to the table, while the male waiter’s job is to move the chair to the female. A woman waiter should in this case only indicate a free seat to a woman.
When the customers are seated, the waiter should hand them the menu card, which he opens earlier on the first page. As a waiter, remember to give guests enough time to decide on their own what to order. Intuitively, we should know when to take action and make some suggestions. Always respond warmly to guest questions and give specific advice. Let’s conduct the interview so that the guests place the entire order. This will improve their service and allow you to plan work in the kitchen on dishes. When asking for an order, always stand on the left side of the guest and remember about the attitude expressing both respect for the customer and self-confidence. Being a waiter, let’s be equipped with a blank on which we will write down the order. Portable terminals are practiced in outdoor restaurants. We can save orders on them. We will avoid mistakes when we ask guests about the order and we will resolve and clarify any understatements.
The main stage of serving guests in a restaurant is serving prepared dishes and drinks by the waiter. As a waiter, we must check the compliance of the dishes with the order and assess whether the temperature of the dishes is appropriate. It is also good to note who ordered a given dish (if there are more guests at one table) to be able to serve dishes to the right people with class. Within a few minutes after placing the order, cool drinks should appear on the table – if they were ordered. The children should receive them first, then the ladies, and finally the men. Sauces, side dishes and appetizers should be served just before serving the main meals. If we are waiters, ask our guests about the quality of the dishes, and even encourage them to try other dishes.
Let’s also make sure that dirty dishes are removed from the tables on an ongoing basis and – in the event of smoking visitors – replace overflowing ashtrays. It is worth knowing that in the restaurants of multi-star hotels it is customary to replace the ashtrays after each cigarette! Importantly, the waiter should spend as much time as possible around the guests assigned to him and ask questions, suggest dessert or hot drinks after the main course. In addition, his task is to replenish drinks on an ongoing basis and clean dirty dishes from the table and make sure that it is neat.
After the feast, customers of the restaurant are obliged to pay for the food, drinks and service. Being a waiter, we approach the table after the previous customer request for the bill and put it on the right side of the customer in an aesthetic case. He then leaves the customers, giving them time to discuss the bill, if any. Guests leave the amount due in a case, which is then taken by the waiter. He also brings the rest in a pouch. Of course, the situation is a bit simplified when customers pay with a payment card, but we must remember that cash payments are still often practiced.
When customers pay by card, the waiter should check the legibility of the card signature, accept it and enter the appropriate amount. The printout from the terminal should be given to guests so that they can check the compliance of the price with the order. Satisfied guests can (and do not have to!) also leave a cash tip, which is usually an expression of exceptional satisfaction with the restaurant’s food and service. Waiters should not rush customers to leave and keep their style, smile and nice impression to the end. Thanks to this, there is a chance that guests will return to the pub and recommend this place to their friends.