A great dining experience starts and ends with the server. When one is dining out they rarely see the chef, the owner, or even a manager. The server is the public representative. A server must be knowledgable in regards to the menu, restaurant history, and world wide events. A great server will anticipate the needs of a guest and act accordingly.
I always find the person that comes to the table and says “I’m Mayble, and I’ll be your server tonight.” to be phoney. They are clearly acting out a part they aren’t fit to play. Don’t introduce yourself until you have established some other sort of rapport with the guest. Example: “Good evening gentlemen, what’s the flavor tonight?”. ( referring to what they will have to drink). After the order is taken i like to introduce myself. Your name will be remembered (and used) after the stress of the drink order is gone. I usually say, ” I’m Sarah. If you have any questions, you know who to ask.” Rarely have i had anyone forget me.
DON’T BE FAKE. People will sense it. If you sound like you are reading from a manuscript you will not be taken seriously. Remember: this may not be YOUR profession, but it is one, so act accordingly. Treat every guest how they want to be treated. This advice brings up a whole new set of rules. These may be the most important, so pay attention.
From the begginning, a good server is analyzing. Analyzing what? Analyzing everything. Don’t stereotype or judge…just figure it out! What does your guest want? Does your guest need to feel like V.I.P.? Does your guest want to go unnoticed? This can be mastered within the first moments of talking with them, or it may take the whole meal. The key is to treat each individual as just that: an individual with different needs and expectations. If they need a friend, be that. If they need an anonymous supplier of information and great food…be that!
Don’t ever let someone ask for something. If the beverage is half full, bring another.Within two bites of the entree, ask how the meal is. Sell something! Know the menu and what compliments it. If the check is high, your tip will most likely be high as well.
Mult-task. If table 1 wants a water and table 4 needs extra sauce, bring them at the same time. Not only do you save yourself a few steps, but the guests will see that you have more to tend to than themselves, but have no problem doing it, When something is requested of you, do not make it seem like you’re going out of your way to get it. It should be your pleasure!
Learn the names of regular customers. Get to know them. Give people a reason to come back. Remember what they like to order, and remind them that you know. Everyone likes recognition. Remember the jingle for the sitcom ‘Cheers’?. ……”where everybody knows your name……”.
Make people feel as special as they truly are, and you will be treated likewise. Serving can be an entertaining, exciting, and fruitful career. You’re in control of your own income…step it up!!!!!