Always respect your
Whether you’re running a casual café or a fine-dining restaurant, it’s important that servers maintain a certain distance between the customers and themselves. “Two feet is too close,” says Sarmiento. “Touching their table unnecessarily can also put them off.”
Respecting your customers’ space means not touching them without permission as well. While this might seem like common sense, some servers can forget themselves when in the presence of cute toddlers or pets.
The same rule applies even if a member of your staff spills something on them. According to Sarmiento, it’s highly inappropriate to “help” guests by wiping off the water with a napkin. “Touching your guests will make it worse,” she says. “Just get them what they need and offer it to them.”
Respect their opinions
Does your restaurant have a house specialty? While it’s okay to recommend your bestseller to diners, too much upselling can make it seem like you don’t approve of their food choices. Our tip: Train your servers to choose their words carefully. Yes, you want to drive higher sales, but making your guests comfortable is much more important.
Another key aspect of their training is the art of making polite conversation. Some customers enjoy chatting with servers about topics that are beyond what’s on the menu, and while there’s nothing wrong with this, servers should remember to remain neutral, especially on controversial topics like politics. “Even if you know they’re wrong or have the incorrect facts, don’t try to ‘educate’ them.”
Always be kind and courteous
It’s not easy to teach your servers to do away with their prejudices, but good service is all about providing the same level of excellent service regardless of looks and purchasing capacity. Good service also means being kind and courteous no matter how rude your customers are or how long the day has been.
Says Sarmiento, “Whatever your customers may look like and however they may behave, always remember that they have their own story and they went to your place to eat food and expect a certain level of service.”
Get more ideas for your restaurant and brush up on how to improve your service (and make your guests keep coming back!) by browsing through our other service-related articles.