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If I was a server…

1. I would start the service experience by introducing myself to the customer in a special way. Here are a couple of examples:

· “Good evening, my name is Bill and it’s my job to make sure you have an extraordinary experience this evening!”

· “Good evening, my name is Bill and it’s my goal to exceed your expectations this evening!”

· “Good evening, my name is Bill and it’s my goal to provide you with an experience that is so great, you will go home and tell your friends about it!”

2. I would always work hard to impress my customers with my knowledge of the menu. Beyond that I would practice describing the menu items that are both an excellent value to the customer and a nice profit-maker for the restaurant. I would practice (in front of the mirror or with a co-worker) to help me suggestively sell in a conversational way.

3. I would always respond when the customer says thank you by saying, “It’s my pleasure”. I would never say, “It’s no problem”.

4. I would constantly reassure the customer by saying things like, “I will put your drink order in right away and I will be back out in a couple of minutes with some warm bread and butter!”

5. I would always ask this open ended question – “Do you have any questions about the menu?”

6. I would always introduce myself at least twice to the customer because I know when I introduce myself initially they are too busy sizing me up to pay attention to my name. Before I depart from the table after my introductory visit I would say, “Once again, my name is Bill and if you need anything at all please don’t hesitate to let me know!”

7. I would never ask, “How’s everything?” when checking back after delivering the food. I would always ask specific questions – “Is the steak cooked the way you like it?” “Are the French fries hot and crispy?” “Do you have enough sour cream?”

8. I would understand that 90% of communication is non-verbal and I would be meticulous about my uniform standards. I would have a smile on my face, my tone of voice would be upbeat and positive and I'd make sure my body language communicates a sense of confidence and compassion.

9. I would know the mechanics of my job so well that all the tasks necessary for great service became second nature. I would concentrate on making a meaningful connection with each and every customer regardless of the time constraints.

10. I would realize my success is directly proportional to the success of the team. While my customers would be my first priority, helping the team and my fellow servers would be a close second.

11. I would always address the customer by name when they paid with a credit card. Even if I couldn’t pronounce the customer’s name I would ask them how to pronounce it then use it. I would know that even if I botch their name, they appreciate the effort.

12. I would always make sure my customers knew I appreciated their business. I'd let them know how much I enjoyed the experience of serving them and I would invite them back. I would, with my manager’s permission, have business cards printed and I’d be sure my customers had my business card prior to leaving the restaurant.

13. I would not obsess about making money. I would know that as long as I focus on doing the right things (see numbers 1 through 11) the money will come.

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Comments

  • Excellent! I will be posting this tonight and reviewing it in shift meetings for years to come. Thank you!
  • Wow!
    I think you may have missed "your calling"
    The patrons of your restaurant would be ecstatic with this kind of care and attention.
    Any aspiring server would benefit by reading and applying these eleven points.

    I always enjoy the wisdom you share here on FohBoh,

    Bill
  • Bill. Where were you back in my days as a GM for the restaurants I served my time in? Actually I had a few terrific people that I served with over quite a few years. I always said in my hiring practices that I needed to hire myself. In other words, I was one of the best waiters I knew. I'm not playing ego stroking games here. I was. So I hired people who reminded me of myself and my expertise.
    It did pay off 98% off the time.
    Bill I'm using some of these points at my next seminar I teach. I'll credit you of course. I will of course pay you handsomely at a rate of $149 a point I make using your words. :-)
    Another great "Billing". I always look forward to your reads brother!
  • Bill, your comments are right on. I have had all these same thoughts floating around in my head, thanks for putting them to paper for me. I will be sure to give you credit when I use them with my staff!
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