There are unpleasant moments in the service of a restaurant or cafe, which you can feel only on the other side of the bar or at the table – as a guest. Many restaurateurs are so immersed in work and analysis that they forget about the simplest and most obvious things, which still continue to irritate the guests of the establishment. This time we will tell about the most common mistakes in the service and call the main irritants of the guests of the restaurant. And this is not just the problem of the waiter, barman or administrator. First of all, the owner himself should remember about them and try to exclude in any cases new and even old employees.
Imagine yourself in the place of your client. You came to the institution, you brought an order, and you started your dinner with pleasure. Sooner or later there comes a time when you need a napkin. You take one of them, wipe the corner of your mouth and put it under the plate. Familiar? Every second visitor does something similar. You do not throw away a napkin and do not want to be taken away this second. But at this moment the waiter runs up to you and almost by force takes a napkin from under your plate. Of course, the table should be clean and you can take another napkin, but it’s very annoying people. And worse, when the situation repeats.
Remember, your waiters should clean only crumpled napkins or napkins in an empty container from the table. Do not pull them out of your hands!
Everyone knows the situation when the waiter stands a meter away from you, even seems to be looking toward your table, but does not notice what you are showing him. It’s been 10 minutes since you finished the last dish, folded the dishes, deliberately closed or turned the menu, pushing it to the edge of the table, and even with a hand, beckoning it, and you seem to be not seen.
It’s good, when the manager or the administrator will finally notice the unhappy guest and will react to his requests. Worse, if no one in the team does not notice this and guests have to sit in awful waiting. Be sure to teach employees to see the requests and signs of guests to avoid such situations.
Do not you want…?
To you something to prompt?
It is difficult to come up with two more annoying and repellent guests. These phrases have such stable negative associations that at best the guest simply runs away or waves away from the waiter, at worst – leaves the institution and is unlikely to return to you again.
Forget these questions once and for all. There are many more pleasant and convenient ways to help a guest with a choice. Teach your team not to be interested, but to offer, and sometimes advise in person. They should be able to talk about dishes. And when visitors are already interested in themselves, they will ask «to prompt».
«Ignorance of the stop-list»
Imagine a situation: a guest for 10 minutes carefully studied the menu and finally decided on the choice. The waiter accepted the order, comes to the guest in a few minutes, apologizes and says that this dish, unfortunately, is not. Excellent, the guest from this did not become any easier. Reasonable question: why not just say so?
It would seem that the fault lies entirely with the waiter, but this is not entirely true. Yes, the guest sees in front of him only a waiter who looks away and tries to smooth the situation. There is no one else to blame. But this is a clear problem of the institution: maybe there was not a “five-minute” to discuss what is now in the stop list, and then it’s the administrator’s fault. Or, perhaps, the cooks were not informed in time about this dish in the stop-list. In this case, it is necessary to understand whether they check their blanks at the beginning of the shift. Or the fault, really, only the waiter who simply does not remember the list of the stop list.
If such a situation does happen, you do not need to stand and wait for actions from the guest, and it is worth recommending something similar to taste or from the same category, so that the client is satisfied.
The next situation: the guest waits for his order for a long time, calls the waiter and asks: «When will they bring food?». The waiter mechanically replies: “In a minute!”. Well, of course, if he comes from the kitchen and knows for sure that the order will be ready in a minute. But most often this answer is issued on the machine, and in a minute, two, three and even five guests will still wait.
This happens, we can say, unconsciously. The waiter does not want to indicate a long waiting time, if the guest has already spent so much time. He says what the visitor wants to hear. And in the end, not justifying expectations, he spoils the impression even more.
Perhaps the best thing to do in this case is to go to the kitchen, find out the real waiting time and honestly call it a guest.
The guest came to your place hungry, quickly made an order and started the countdown. Hooray! The waiter puts a plate and says: “Just a moment, I’ll bring the instruments.” All, this is a failure.
It seems to be nothing critical. After some 30 seconds, the waiter will bring the appliances, and you can start eating, but for the guest this time will seem like an eternity. Why it was impossible to put the instruments on the table at once?
Remember, the best waiters are the ones that prevent all inconveniences, because they know that even such small errors incredibly irritate the guests. Even if the visitor does not scandal and does not swear – this does not mean that he is completely satisfied. It is very important to train the staff so that they understand and feel such moments. This is the first step to an ideal service.
«Terminal does not work»
Suppose, for some reason, the terminal does not work for you and the guests can not pay the card. If you do not want conflicts, be sure to immediately warn about this problem. It’s okay if your potential guests today are dining in another institution. But they will come with pleasure to you at another time, and will not frantically look for their last cash in their pockets to pay off the bill.
If you made a mistake and the guests were not informed about the non-working terminal, in such cases institutions with good service pay for their mistakes and close the guest’s account as a gift. And institutions with poor service are forced to go to withdraw money at the nearest ATM. Common situation? We hope you understand that the second time this guest will never come to you.
Let this time you lose some of the profit and the check will not be closed, but you will get a loyal guest who will tell his friends this story and create you an incredible advertisement.
Perhaps, with each of us, this happened. How to call the waiter to make an order or find out when they will bring a salad – everyone is busy. And how to bring an account – so in a minute it’s on your desk. After that, the guest feels unwanted, as if they want to get rid of him as quickly as possible. Of course, you need income, which means that the main thing is that the customer should pay. But what about polite service and attentive staff? Without it, your establishment is just a dining room. Best case scenario.
Do not make your guests feel unwanted.
Here you can disagree. And the salad was delayed, and the calculation was not quickly made. And if the guests are in a hurry in addition. And it happens very often. In most cases, guests should count for exactly one minute.
«Ignorance of ingredients»
Suppose your guest wanted a lemonade without sugar. The waiter assures that they will do as the client wants, and then it turns out that there is a ginger in the lemonade, which contains sugar as a preservative. If the waiter is inexperienced or poorly knows the menu, he will promise the guest one, and eventually take out lemonade with sugar, because the bar can not do it in another way.
Here you can advise the manager or administrators to include in the exam waiters questions on the knowledge of recipes and preparations that go to meals and drinks. Also, it will not be superfluous to have an internship in cross-sections, when the waiter is training a day at a bar or in the kitchen. First, it will save you from the eternal confrontation of the kitchen – hall and bar – hall, and secondly, your waiters will learn to better understand how the institution works, find out their product and, accordingly, can better sell. A guest will get a good service.
«Do not warn about the time of cooking»
This is even forgotten by experienced waiters. Imagine this situation. Your regular customer usually orders salads and already knows that they are cooked for 10 minutes. But today he decided to order syrniki, and their cooking time is 20 minutes, because according to their recipe they first need to be fried and then baked. In this there is nothing supernatural: for a dish to be tasty and fresh, it takes 20 minutes, but after all your guest does not know about it. And from the 11th minute he will be nervous and interested in when they will bring his syrniki.
Just one phrase of the waiter after the order – a warning about the time of preparation – can prevent this error. And your guest or order another dish, if he is hungry or in a hurry, or knowing about the waiting time, will calmly do his own business, check the news tape in his smartphone, etc. What annoys the restaurant is not less, so this is our next item – imposing a choice.
The mistake of many inexperienced waiters. Most often they advise and sell those dishes and drinks that they like themselves. But between imposition and recommendation there is a very fine line.
When you offer a guest only one option and say that he took this particular dish, this is an imposition. If you ask what exactly a guest would like, and offer several options, for example a salad with meat or fish, coffee with milk or without, you will learn its preferences. You must give him at least two options for dishes with a description of the taste and the difference in the ingredients. As a rule, further the guest himself understands that he wants more from this. This is a recommendation.
What should I do? Ask clarifying questions, find out what the guest wants, and already at his request offer 2-3 dishes to choose from. Let the favorite dishes of your waiters remain favorite for them. If a guest wants to know their opinion, then it’s another matter.