6 Restaurant Service Pet Peeves
I visit restaurants across the USA and around the globe, 9 times out of 10, the servers I get are making serious mistakes...mistakes that cost restaurants money and customers!
These are some of my biggest pet peeves...
Mistake #1: Not Acknowledging New Tables Immediately
Busy or not, a server's office is their table section. When your restaurant is full, servers need to acknowledge, appreciate, serve & sell. It begins by making eye contact, greeting the table, introducing themselves by name and telling the customer they'll be right back to take care of them. This buys the server time, puts the customer at ease and establishes a relationship with the table.
Mistake #2: Not Asking the Customer if they are First Time Visitors
New customers walk in your door everyday for a variety of reasons. These customers know nothing about what makes your restaurant special or what they'll enjoy. Its up to your staff to deliver an extraordinary experience to your first timers and your regulars. It begins by asking questions and making friends with the customer.
Mistake #3: Not Knowing the Products or the Restaurant
You can't sell if you don't know and an "I don't know" answer is a negative impression, so training and testing your staff on product and restaurant knowledge is JOB #1!
Mistake #4: Not having a Game Plan
Your tables are valuable real estate and your servers are either maximizing your sales opportunities or NOT! Far too many servers are "Order Takers" only providing ordinary guest experiences. This leaves lots of money on the table and a customer who will go elsewhere next time. That's why every server should have their strategy down for every shift - What bottle of wine will I recommend, which add-ons or up-sells will my guests enjoy? It's up to your staff to educate, inform & entertain making suggestions your customers will enjoy and appreciate.
Mistake #5 Not Asking for Help
Every member of your service staff including your managers are a Team and no one is too important to jump in to assist. Train your team to communicate, back each other up and ask for help to ensure every guest experience is consistent and memorable.
Mistake #6 Not Inviting the Customer to Return
It's far more powerful and less expensive to market to your existing customers than to try to find new ones, so it makes sense to make friends and build "Affinity" with each and every customer. Remember, treat every guest as your Most Important Guest, then smile and invite them back again and again.
Seriously a properly trained server has the power to double or triple your profits while at the same time totally wowing your customers. This doesn't just happen with time and experience, it happens with proper sales training.
It's easier than ever for you to streamline this powerful process in your restaurant. Check out my Sales Stars Server Training Program. Your staff can complete the program from anywhere...it's 100% online, 100% guaranteed and 100% of your staff should complete it sooner rather than later.
You will use this program over and over again day after day, month after month and year after year with both your new hires and your seasoned staff.
Roger Beaudoin is the owner of Restaurant Rockstars, which specializes in profit maximizing systems for restaurants. His flagship product SALES STARS is an online server training program proven to increase sales and elevate guest service. To learn more about the sales & training techniques Roger used to ring over a $1 million in just 4 months at his seasonal restaurant visit the site.
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