Every restaurant is different, but there are a few training tips for servers that are universal. Here are the top four things every server needs to consider.
Make the customer feel special
Greet the guests promptly. Some restaurants even establish a time limit, usually fewer than 2 minutes, by which a patron must be acknowledged. This is the first impression guests get of your restaurant, and at this point they are very much free to walk down the street to the next place if it seems like you can't be bothered to notice them. Be warm and friendly, but discreet. It's your job to provide excellent service, not be their new friend.
Know the menu
You should know every part of the menu inside and out, no exceptions. When you are knowledgeable about the product you set the customer at ease— this is your time to shine as a server. Not only is it part of great service, but allergens are no joke— if a customer tells you they're allergic, you'd better know the ingredients of everything that will touch their plate, and what dishes are likely to be prepared alongside theirs.
Anticipate, anticipate, anticipate
The hallmark of truly excellent service is taking care of needs without the guest having to ask. Note this is very different from hovering. Drink refills, child seats, knowing where each dish is going before it gets to the table. If one order is holding up the rest significantly, address it – Different establishments will have different policies
Anywhere you are moving and whatever your task, always be thinking "What else could I be doing?" From clearing plates, going around the floor with water refills, or helping another server carry their order out, there should rarely be any reason for you to be empty-handed. There is never downtime in a restaurant.
For more information on how Waitrainer can help your staff get the best training, click here.