What you need to know:
- If you are working in front of house, there are some simple requirements. For example no jewelry (largely because cheap jewelry could contaminate food). If you are serving a client hot food, then you should use a hot plate. Again simple physics to avoid heat loss. Cold plates for cold plates.
There’s no need to gamble when it comes to most things in life. People before us have codified certain ways, call them best practices to doing most things. I am now signed to the movement that believes there is always a professional way of doing something.
My little sister works in the hospitality industry, I have always been that annoying brother. The one that always tasks her to tell me something I don’t know in life.
If you are working in front of house, there are some simple requirements. For example no jewelry (largely because cheap jewelry could contaminate food). If you are serving a client hot food, then you should use a hot plate. Again simple physics to avoid heat loss. Cold plates for cold plates.
Generally, a waiter should also have a pen, notebook, lighter, corkscrew and service cloth.
“You must always repeat people’s orders to them,” she emphasized. Again why? To be clear there is no mix-up and that you’re all on the same page.
So what if a guest comes in when you are busy serving another person? “In that case, you smile. You acknowledge the guest. Smile with your eyes. Basically you are telling them, I have seen you and I will be with you.”
She even told me that there is a sequence of service. It starts off with acknowledging the guest. You then welcome the guest and greet them. You ask if they have already made a reservation. You ask; “How many are you?” and based on the response, you recommend a place with the best seating.
My sister says as rule of thumb, you must always sit guests in less than 5 minutes. Cafe Javas does this generally well. If possible, once you have sat the guests, you provide them complimentary water and turn their water goblets.
You bring the menus, give them sometime and return to ask if they are ready to order. She generally advises to take drinks orders after everyone has ordered for the food. There’s basically rules to every little detail. The swiss who developed these standards generally believe that once one adheres to them, you can be guaranteed of excellent service every time.
To the normal person, service looks an easy thing. Everyone thinks they can gamble about it. But there’s a professional way of doing it. And if you do such things right, then you don’t have to spend a lot of time marketing a bad product or place. The service itself will do the marketing. But how many restaurants invest in the upskilling of their staff?