3 Dumb Things Your Servers Are Saying & Why It’s Hurting Your Restaurant

This is a tip from Restaurant

  1. It starts with “Hi, my name is Jordan and I’ll be your server tonight.”
  2. When a customer asks, “What’s good here?”, the server replies, “Everything.”
  3. Then after the food arrives, the server or even a manager stops by and asks “How’s everything?”

All of these are boring, predictable, overused clichés that customers hear over and over again. The problem is that these expressions reduce the chances that any meaningful, relationship-building conversation will take place between your servers and their guests. And that’s bad for YOUR restaurant.

When servers initiate personalized, intelligent conversation many powerful things start to happen. People think, meaningful dialog starts to happen, your guests connect with their servers, they have a better time and feel more appreciated and cared for. And what do guests usually do when they have a good time and feel appreciated? They usually tip better AND they’re more inclined to come back to your restaurant more often. Use your pre-shift meetings to discuss ways your servers can improve their interactions with your guests.

“Hi, my name is . . .” Truth is after guests are seated they don’t care what the servers name is. They just want to get a quick sense they’ll be taken care of. Why not a greeting like “Hi, welcome to Sammy’s, I’m so glad you decided to join us tonight.” This puts the focus where it should be, on the guest rather than on the server. Have your staff practice their table greetings with a bright smile AND direct eye contact and you’ll be miles ahead of most of your competition.

What’s good here? Coach your staff to describe 2 or 3 popular items that you do really well or better yet, have them recommend something that they like. Anything but “everything.”

How’s everything? After the food is served, have your servers practice coming up with specific, intelligent questions that pertain to what your guests have ordered. “Is your tuna cooked the way you like it?”, “Does anyone need more barbecue sauce?”, “Have you tasted the lobster bisque yet?” Again, anything but “How’s everything?”

When there’s a meaningful conversation, human connections take place and relationships are made so guests feel valued and appreciated. (THEN they’ll want to know their server’s name so they can ask for them on their next visit.)

Want to stake out a competitive advantage in your market? Start by creating the most welcoming, friendly and conversational service staff around.

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