The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Restaurant Servers

Everyone knows what it’s like to go into a restaurant and have a bad experience. You have to wait 20 minutes before placing your drink order. You have to ask twice for a glass of water and on top of it all you were treated rudely. But aside from these obvious mistakes and oversights, what can a successful server do to rise above mediocrity and provide a great restaurant experience for the guests?

Restaurant ServerHere are seven tips on how to be an excellent server:

  1. Know the menu. When a customer asks you a question, they want a concise and instantaneous answer. To do this, you need to do your homework. Taste all of the dishes and beverages on the menu and if allergy or other dietary restrictions prevent you from doing this, ask a coworker for information and take notes. Always be able to provide menu information when it is requested. Customers expect you to know more about the menu than they do, and appreciate a bit of guiding to make the choice for their preferences.
  2. Know how to pace a meal. You can’t control every aspect of a meal’s pace, after all if the kitchen hasn’t finished making it you can’t deliver it. However, you can ensure that guests get their drinks in a timely manner and that they don’t receive their entrée right on top of their appetizers. Resist clearing plates before everyone has finished, many patrons feel rushed when this happens. The customer should not be aware of how you set the pace, and if done properly they will leave feeling contented and relaxed by the end of the meal.
  3. Be attentive, but not intrusive. A server must know how to strike the right balance when attending to a table’s needs. Customers feel uncomfortable when they have to chase a server down for any reason, and they feel equally awkward when lingering servers hover around tables with water pitchers. Use your eyes and ears to notice when a customer needs something, but otherwise let your customers have their space.
  4. Be perceptive. If you’re going to be a good server, you must have a knack for reading people. Some groups will appreciate a few jokes and a little chit-chat; others will want you to make yourself as invisible as possible. Some will want everything to move quickly; others would prefer not to feel rushed. Look for body language and listen for verbal cues and cater to each customer’s preferred dining style.
  5. Be adaptable. In addition to being able to adapt to the different personalities of your guests, you will need to adapt to situations as they arise. Although a server cannot control everything that happens in the restaurant, a smart server knows that quick thinking makes up for most unforeseen problems. Did the kitchen forget to leave out the onions from a guest’s salad? Offer a free drink or appetizer while they wait for the replacement to arrive. This will ensure the guest is still happy when it comes time to pay the bill.
  6. Keep your cool. Sometimes the kitchen makes mistakes. When this happens, a successful server should be able to keep a calm and collected demeanor throughout the ordeal. The key is to not allow the issue to affect the service of an entire section. You can’t win them all, but when things go wrong it is essential to not let them grow worse.
  7. Be courteous. Seems obvious, right? But what about if a customer is already upset when you approach the table for the first time? The quickest and truest remedy to this is using a few friendly words. For example, on an extremely busy night customers are likely to arrive at their table overly hungry, out of patience and looking for fast gratification. Approach the table with a smile and acknowledge their disparagement with a simple  “I’m sorry about the wait” and move on to collecting drink and appetizer orders.

Above all, customers want to feel that you actually care about their dining experience. Keep hospitality in the forefront of your actions and aim to create an exceptional experience for each and every guest.

Immersion Blender Use in All Types of Restaurants

Robot Coupe MP 800 Turbo Immersion Blender

Still wondering how versatile an Immersion Blender is? You can make use of this product in just about any type of restaurant or food establishment.

  • Concession Stand- Mix chili for Chili and Hot Dogs
  • Bakery- Blend vanilla cupcake frosting with a strawberry compote.
  • Bar- Daiquiris and Margaritas…. need we say more!
  • Mexican Restaurant- Easily puree refried beans for a delicious Bean Dip or to serve alongside burritos.
  • Asian Restaurant- Create Hot and Sour Thai Soup without making a mess.
  • American Restaurant- Create a unique Cream of Broccoli soup for cold days and Gazpacho for the hot summer weather!
  • Bagel Shop- Blend together cream cheese and herbs to take your Bagels and Cream Cheese to the next level.
  • Ice Cream Shop- Blend up  classic favorites like Milkshakes and Smoothies.
  • Italian Restaurant- Perfect for mixing and chopping tomatoes for Spaghetti Marinara of course.
  • Pizzeria- Make sure your herbs and pizza sauce are thoroughly blended with an Immersion Blender.
  • Middle Eastern Restaurant- You can make hummus and baba ghanouj in a flash with an Immersion Blender.
Don’t forget to leave a review on Immersion Blenders by April 30! You’ll receive 200 Burkett Bucks good on any future purchase at Burkett’s as well as be placed in a drawing to win a FREE Waring WSB33 Immersion Blender! When leaving a review on ANY Immersion Blender make sure to sign in and leave your email so that we can contact you!


5 Topics a Restaurant Should Never Post About on Facebook

I’m shocked how many times I’ve opened my Facebook Profile to see what’s going on in the world, only to have my mouth hit the floor by a restaurant post! No, I’m not talking about an incredible sale or some wildly interesting fact.  It’s the kind of post that leaves you shaking your head and questioning whether or not you really want to patronize them anymore, regardless of how much you love their food, service, etc….  I’m sure you’ve seen it too and maybe some of you are guilty of it.

Here are 5 taboos when it comes to posting on Facebook! Can you think of anything we’ve missed? Share them below!

Religion….  The rules of proper Facebook postings are similar to the rules of the dinner table. No religion! No politics! Religion is held near and dear to people’s heart and you definitely want to avoid any talk of the divine in order to not alienate customers. This rule applies to positive and negative posts. Just avoid religious comments at all costs.  The chances that all of your customers are of one religion or mindset is slim so be careful here. Oh yea people, this includes jokes (see #3).

Politics… Have you ever heard the phrase “Political Hotbed.” Well this could be a great term to describe the tone on Facebook especially around election time. Everyone has an opinion on who would best lead their city, state and country. With that said, politics has no place on a restaurants Facebook Page. I don’t care how loyal you are to Obama, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, or Mitt Romney. Those are YOUR beliefs, and a restaurant should not get involved in government affairs, unless your the White House Kitchen!

Discriminatory Remarks or “Jokes”…. You might think they’re true or funny. You’re friends might think they’re true or funny. Your customers WILL NOT think they’re true or funny! Whatever you do lay off the “Blond Jokes,” “Yo Momma” or “Three people walked into a bar” jokes because they can and WILL offend someone.

Critics and Mean Customers…. Wow! We’ve heard a lot in the last few months about disgruntled chefs, waitstaff, and even restaurateurs heading to Facebook to bash critics and poor customers. Who can forget Stephanie S.  in Atlanta who was criticized for not leaving a tip at a local restaurant.

The woman, “Stephanie S.” allegedly didn’t leave her waitress a tip on a $40 tab at Boners BBQ. The restaurant Tweeted “NOT WANTED!” with a link to its Facebook page, where they had posted the woman’s photo, along with a warning to other eateries: “If you see this women [sic] in your restaurant tell her to go out side and play hide an go f*** yourself! Yelp that b****.

Andrew Capron, one of the restaurant’s current owners, posted below the photo: “forgot to mention the b***** cleaned her plate … every last drop!” and “Yeah, beauty eh?”

Just yesterday after a no-show at a restaurant in Copenhagen, chef and co-owner René Redzepi posted on Twitter: “And now a message from the Noma staff: to the people of two different no-show tables last night,” he wrote, and sent a picture of staff members showing their middle fingers.

Where do I start on these 2 excerpts! It was wrong in every sense of the word. Guess what? You can’t please everyone. Read the critique and if it has merit perhaps you should use it as a way to improve. If a customer posted a negative comment reach out to them to see how your business can learn from the perceived mistake- because face it – we’ve all made mistakes. Make sure to speak up. Facebook gives businesses a great opportunity to show customers that you’ve made changes that will positively impact their experience.  Whatever you do, don’t ridicule a customer or critic online. Ever. Period.

Personal Issues Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed today? Kids upset you? Spouse irritating you to no end? Well that’s not our problem. Post it on your personal Facebook profile or better yet, tell your shrink. Please don’t tell the world about your personal issues- good or bad. I hate to break it to you, but no one wants to hear it. Sorry.

The last thing I would like to advise is that if your customers are connected to you on your personal Facebook profile then avoid these issues as well. And never forget, even though you can delete an inappropriate comment, once you’ve hit “post” nothing is really gone forever. Overall, Facebook and Social Media are great places for you to engage with customers on an intimate level.  Stick with what you do best: Creating delicious foods and unforgettable experiences for your customers. Focus on this and your Facebook Page will be loved by all!

We’d love to hear your comments on this one! Tell us some of the craziest things you’ve seen posted from a restaurant on Facebook! Just leave your comment below!

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