Tips on Serving

• Making the Guest Happy

When a server is serving tables, there are a few things that are essential to keeping the customer happy. No matter how you’re feeling, the guest is always your main priority when serving tables. When first greeting your table, you must say something along the lines of “Good afternoon, folks Maui restaurants. My name is Bill, and I’m going to be your server tonight.” Making eye contact and having a smile is a priority in the first interaction between you and the guest. This greeting will establish a great relationship with the guests so that if they need anything during their time at the restaurant, they can address you by your name, which sounds a lot better than “Hey, waiter or sir.” The greeting period is also a good time to get your guests’ drink orders. Upon returning to the table, ask if they’re ready to order or if they still need a few minutes to look over the menu. While this conversation is taking place, it’s also recommended to give some suggestions about popular dishes and to try to upsell the guests with an appetizer. After you have put the guests’ order in, it is vital to never let any guests’ drinks become empty. Keep in mind that you should try to make friendly small talk with your guests in between tasks for an improved guest-to-server relationship.

• Staying Positive

One of my go-to techniques while serving is to always demonstrate an outgoing and friendly demeanor. I’ve noticed throughout the years that showcasing that you have a positive attitude will relax the guest, which will result in a better overall experience for the both of you. Now, from time to time you will run into the guest that wants nothing to do with conversing-they’re strictly business. When encountering this type of guest, the number one goal is to get his or her order in, keeping an eye on the quest while limiting your verbal communication. These types of guests usually communicate with their eyes, which is fine. One of the worst things you can do when dealing with this type of guest is to try to converse. They want nothing to do with you; they’re strictly at your restaurant to eat, and they just want you to do your job.

• Tipping Is Not an Exact Science

Over the years, I have realized that getting good tips is a matter of luck that depends on which guests get seated in your section. You can give the best service to someone, but if they’re not a good tipper or if they don’t know the rules of tipping it doesn’t matter. You’re not going to get a good tip. Now, this brings up the question of what is considered a good tip. To me, a good tip is 20% or better. Every guest I serve gets the same level of service, whether it is my first table of the shift or my last. I decided a long time ago when I first started serving that I would make it a point to give every guest the best possible service I can give. In return, I expect a 20% tip. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, but I know that when a table gets seated, I have no idea how they’re going to tip, so I take the same approach I always do. I make sure the guests’ experience is better than what they were expecting.

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