Almost every element in your diners’ experience depends on the quality of service — greeting, ordering, serving, paying. With so many great meals ruined by bad service, we should always make good service our top priority. In this article, we’ll discuss the important considerations for good service and the different types of service your establishment can perfect.
Good service is about making diners feel welcome and creating positive, happy interactions between diners and staff. How do we ensure this?
Be polite and attentive when serving. Train your service staff well in this area and your diners will remember the dining experience fondly.
Be timely and precise in meeting the needs of your diners. Ensure your staff are knowledgeable about the menu and serve food in the correct manner.
Know your diners by understanding your target audience and their needs. At the same time, remember the preferences of your regular patrons. Give them more reasons to keep coming back.
Get the right ratio of staff to diners. Nobody likes to be kept waiting. When you have enough staff, every diner will enjoy the attention they deserve. However, too many waiting staff loitering can make guests feel uncomfortable. Find the right balance.
Go the extra mile and deliver the best experience you can provide. Show guests to the washroom or provide recommendations. Personal touches will improve any dining experience.
This is where a waiter sits our guests down while attending to their service needs — from presenting the menu, taking and serving orders to collecting payment. Due to the more personal nature of interaction, it’s important for your guests to feel comfortable and that the service quality is exemplary. A tip, watch out for bad communication with the kitchen, which can lead to mishaps.
Chinese Lauriat Service
Best applied to banquet settings, service staff deliver sharing-sized portions by the course to a round table of 10-12 guests, who then serve themselves. The chef sets each course so the staff can focus on their primary duties. Timing, presentation and attentiveness to clearing are key service elements when serving a Lauriat service. It’s like a military parade, taking too long or serving too fast will ruin the enjoyment of your diners.
At it’s most basic, a simple buffet involve guests obtaining their food from the buffet line while the service person clears up the dirty dishes on diners’ tables.
Station Type Buffets offer different foods grouped by course, cuisine or a theme at individual tables, while a waiter serves the beverages. Keep side stands available for guests to place their used plates. A chef-manned station will add more sizzle to the party.
In a modified deluxe buffet, the tables are set with utensils. Waiters will serve beverages, coffee and dessert while other dishes are placed in the buffet line. Ensure glasses are topped up and plates are cleared quickly.
A step up in the service level is a deluxe buffet. Waiters will serve the appetizer, soup/salad, beverages and dessert. Main courses and sides can be found in the buffet line.
With no worry about plating, you can concentrate on delivering a good experience. Keep an eye on the kitchen as the pressure is on them. Focus on making diners feel welcome as some may feel rushed by the setting.
Self-service is often found in casual restaurant and fast food establishments. Diners will place, pay for and collect their order from a counter. Diners will expect quick service so prepare or pre-prepare your food beforehand. Anticipate the crowd during rush hour — you may require additional hands on deck.
Here, diners order their food at a counter with service staff bringing the food to their table. The counter staff relays the orders to kitchen and collects payment. It’s a smart choice for quick service restaurants that prepare dishes only when ordered. Just like a self-service restaurant, diners will expect quick service so make your food preparation and delivery process as efficient as possible.
By identifying your preferred style of service and ensuring you do it well, you can retain and build your customer base. Take a step back, gauge your service quality and pinpoint how you can improve it. The payoff is potential good word of mouth, especially in this digital era where reviews are easily found online.
If you wish to understand more about your guests and how you can provide the right service for them, read about the Different Types of Diners.