Eleven Wait Staff Tips for Providing a Better Eating Out Experience

Wait staff with less than acceptable service are serving up one of the worst experiences a guest can have when eating out.  No one shows up to have a meal at a restaurant expecting to have to deal with the rudeness of the staff or to get the minimal service.  A guest having to go to the kitchen to get service is a huge no-no for any restaurant.

It’s also not a great way for wait staff to earn a living since they do rely on tips to make up their paychecks.  The better the service, the better most people will tip (yes, it’s rude for guests not to tip when they got good service especially since it’s the lively hood of the person helping you).

Some restaurants offer training on how they expect their staff to act and behave, while others expect staff to learn the ins and outs of waiting on their own.  For either way, here are a few tips and reminders for the wait staff on what to do and what not to do while helping diners.

Eating Out Experience

1. Always be kind, polite and respectful

Sometimes these things can be hard, especially when the customer is treating you with an attitude, but don’t lose your cool.  Just remember they will be leaving at some point, so smile and don’t let them get to you.  Even if they are being rude, they are still the people handing out the tips.

2. Speaking of tips

Don’t ever ask if the guest needs change (it’s rude to ask for a tip).  Always bring the change back to the table and leave.  It’s up to the guest to tell you otherwise.

3. Guests with reservations

If a guest has been waiting more than 15 minutes after their reservation time, it’s polite to offer them a free drink or appetizer while they wait.  Apologize; after all, they did take the time to make the reservation and to show up on time.

4.  Guests don’t serve themselves

Wine and water glasses should not be let go empty to the point the guest must refill himself or herself.  Be there just in time to do it for them.

5. Be available but not intrusive

Don’t be butting into the conversation or interrupting to much but at the same time, don’t make the geust have to look for you, ask another waiter, toss up their arms or come looking or help.

6. Never bring the check until asked for

It makes the guest feel rushed, as if they need to leave soon and who knows they may be considering an extra drink or dessert.

7. Don’t clear the plates until the entire table is done (unless asked to).  Once again might make one guest feel rushed to finish.

8. Don’t ask about dessert until the entire table is finished with their plates.  It’s rude to hand out the dessert menu until everyone is finishing eating their main meal.

9. The guest has the right of way

When moving around the restaurant, it’s polite to allow the guest through before you.

10. Leave the bad attitude in your locker or at home

Whatever you’re upset about, is not your guest’s problem.  They are there to have a good time, relaxing in a great atmosphere, don’t let your personal issues affect them.  Once again, it could affect the size of your tip if you bring the guest down.

11. Wait until the guest leaves to pick up the signed check or your tip. 

It can create an awkward situation as you say goodbye.  Just wait until he or she leaves.

Try to give your guests the best experience possible.  It looks good on you when they come back.  Quite often guests will mention the quality of your service to the restaurant manager and tell their friends to ask for you, so make a great impression.  Eating out is a time where the guest is looking for a little pampering and it’s up to you to provide the quality of service that not only makes him or her happy enough to leave a substantial tip as a reward for the quality service they received from you.

Kelly Watson is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including Las Vegas restaurants. She writes for Restaurants.com, a leading source of restaurant coupons for fine dining establishments.

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