publication date: Sep 30, 2016
author/source: Jeff Hookham
What do I expect? Let's say I walked into your restaurant tomorrow, what would I expect from your staff:
Top 12 Expectations
- Friendly staff, well groomed and armed with a good attitude.
- Seated at a CLEAN table.
- A timely greeting to take my drink order.
- The server to be knowledge about the menu in case I have questions.
- Updates on my food order if it's taking longer then 15 minutes.
- THIS IS A BIG ONE FOR ME - If the refills are free, I expect my drink to never sit empty.
- The server to check in a couple of times during my meal.
- The table to be cleared when our meal is completed, offering to box up anything I didn't eat.
- NOT to be presented with the check until I've been offered a dessert and an after-diner drink.
- The check to be processed quickly.
- The server not to disappear after the check is processed. I may not be in a hurry and want another refill while I talk.
- A "thank you" for my business and someone asking me to come again.
There it is, my minimum expectations for good service. The check amount won't be maximized but I would consider the server to be an above average order-taker by meeting these 12 expectations which would warrant a 15% tip.
Now getting a 20% tip will be more of a challenge. The server will have to surprise me with "Remarkable Service" for that kind of reward. Here are some of the things I would be looking for:
- Greet me by name. Talk about brownie points!!!!
- Get my drink to me before I've been sitting a total of 1 minute. Understand timing for all of the service cycles.
- Offer me choices for appetizers instead of just asking if I want any appetizers.
- Offer a couple of house specials and create an image of those specials for me.
- Guide me when I am not sure what to order.
- Bring me a new glass for my refill before the old one is empty, without me asking or noticing. Anticipate my needs and provide Invisible Service.
- Use more imagination then "Did you save any room for dessert" when offering dessert.
- Tell me to "ask for you" the next time I come in.
- Assist me when I'm leaving and again say goodbye and thanks for coming.
Remarkable Service takes a structured training program and plenty of practice but this is what I expect from a great server-seller that wants to make a 20% tip on a maximized ticket. Provide "Remarkable Service" and I will keep coming back!
Jeff Hookham is the CEO of 4 Remarkable Service. Visit http://www.4remarkable.com for additional articles and resources on wait staff training.