8 mistakes in client service that affect restaurant’s reputation
The waiters are the face of the place. They communicate with customers who pay not only for delicious food and drinks, but also for quality service. Waiters must be courteous, hospitable, friendly and, in addition, must maintain the image of the restaurant at the highest level. We’ll list some of the most common mistakes in serving guests that harm the business as a whole.
1. A cold greeting
Restaurant employees who meet guests should not stop at the questions “How many are you?” And “Did you book a table?”. According to research, about 40% of the first impression of a meeting with a stranger is formed from the tone with which the greeting or the first phrase is said. Ideally, the restaurant should have a special person who will welcome visitors, creating a favorable impression of the restaurant even before the guests sit at the table. This person should act as if every customer is a long-awaited guest, and be attentive and open. If the place doesn’t have a separate staff unit for this, then all the waiters should have the skills of greeting. Bored or busy employees make the incoming visitor uncomfortable. On the other hand, attention to new guests, a smile and a personal greeting will create a pleasant impression and a desire to visit the restaurant again.
2. Less attention to single guests
If a person decided to visit a restaurant and eat alone, they deserve the same attentive attitude as a group of friends sitting at the next table. It’s wrong to offer a single guest a place at the bar or a smaller table if there are other free places in the restaurant. Such behavior of waiters may affect the future choice of the client, and it’s not going to be in favor of this place.
3. Lack of eye-to-eye contact
Some waiters avoid looking into the eyes of their customers. Moving quickly along the well-known trajectory of the hall, they try not to pay attention to those who sit at the tables. That’s a mistake. The first exchange of views should take place at the meeting, when guests enter the restaurant. A friendly look and a smile encourage guests to smile back and tune in to a good mood. A good waiter, while serving the table, should not ignore the views of customers aimed at them. If the person sitting in the company looks at the waiter, it almost always means that the look will be followed by an appeal. Sometimes the inattentive look of the waiter can cause discontent in the client who will look for a more friendly place next time.
4. No recommendations in the choice of dishes
A waiter who can’t recommend a popular or seasonal dish is bad at their job. The unobtrusive sales technique should be in the toolbox of any waiter in a restaurant. 70% of people entering the institution have no idea what they will order and are open to the recommendations of a professional. It’s clear that all employees of the restaurant must have an idea not only about the composition of the dishes of the menu, but also about their taste. It is unacceptable to answer, "Take any, everything is delicious here" to a visitor's question about what to choose. And even if the waiter does not have their own preferences, they need to help the guest make a choice by recommending a more popular dish.
Waiters who whisper or speak out loud with each other about strangers and even about business matters can ruin the place’s atmosphere. Guests don’t just pay for food, but also for the mood in which this food is served. Waiters are hired to serve guests and represent the restaurants, not to talk with colleagues. If the conversations of the staff prevent the guests at the table from hearing each other, this fact will affect the reputation of the restaurant more than it will cause dissatisfaction with individual employees.
6. "Abandoned guests"
If the waiter doesn’t return to the table a minute after having served the ordered dishes, guests may feel “abandoned”. In most situations, they find out that they forgot to ask for a sauce for french fries, extra napkins, or another drink. And if the waiter did not return to check whether everyone is satisfied at the table, the restaurant risks getting guests upset that they had to wait a long time for the waiter and get the sauce to a cold dish. In a good institution, the duties of the waiter include not only serving meals, but also the subsequent timely verification of the need for additional orders and other requests from customers.
7. Empty glasses
If the waiter was too lazy to come up and offer another drink to the guest with an empty glass, this may affect the income of the place. Drinks, especially alcoholic beverages, make up a significant portion of the bill, and customers who ordered them are more likely to drink two or three servings if the waiter prompts them to do it in time. “In time” is when the customer’s glass is one third full. The offer will not only save the guest from having to wave their hands to order the next drink, but also show the attentive attitude of the staff.
8. A cold goodbye
Allowing a guest to leave without sufficient gratitude from restaurant staff is a big mistake. To thank the guests and say goodbye to them isn’t an exclusive responsibility of the waiter who got tipped. Successful restaurants offer not only delicious food, but also a special level of hospitality. Customers are likely to return to the restaurant where they were well received and served. The farewell ceremony is also very important. Obviously, the waiter gratefully accepts the tip. However, it won’t hurt if the staff member says goodbye and thanks for the visit, and their smile and warm words should not depend on the amount of money left above the bill.
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