Never underestimate the importance of your waitstaff. Good food may be a dining room essential, but without servers, it would never leave the kitchen. That’s why so much of Ctuit’s RADAR software is concerned with service metrics. Few things will sink your restaurant’s reputation faster than bad service.
Getting quality waitstaff starts with the hiring process, and it continues through ongoing training and regular feedback from management. However, even experienced, well-trained servers can develop a satisfaction-stealing problem: tunnel vision.
Tunnel vision is bound to happen, especially on busy shifts. Servers get occupied with taking table A’s order, bringing table B’s appetizer, and fetching table C’s check. In the rush, it’s all too easy to overlook the guest at table D who is frantically waving for a replacement fork. The situation frustrates customers and exhausts servers, who have to make multiple trips to and from tables.
The solution is simple. Remember two phrases, and you can train your employees offer more efficient service and be more connected with guests.
ABC: Always Be Carrying
It’s a simple technique that can cut trips in half: always be carrying something. Never be empty-handed. Staff can even maximize their energy spent. For example, the harried server in the above example could pick up table A’s order and table D’s dirty fork, deposit them in the appropriate receptacles, pick up table B’s appetizer and table D’s new fork, and deliver them. This reduces the number of trips by half with almost no effort.
Keep Eyes Open and Heads Up!
Often, guests rely on catching a server’s eye to communicate a need. If staff are looking at the floor or taking a wide-angle-lens approach to the dining room, your guests are likely feeling exasperated and ignored. So encourage waitstaff to keep their heads up and their eyes open. There’s nothing wrong with a quick glance and a smile as you pass one of your tables. Remember: it’s not the tables that order – it’s the people sitting at them. So make eye contact, and be alert.
With these two simple strategies, your team will be more efficient in their use of time and more engaged with the customers. And that is good service.