This week we’re bringing you five common serving mistakes and how to fix them. Make sure your team isn’t making these errors!

1) Greeting incorrectly

This is the first impression your guest is getting of your restaurant, and often one of the most common service mistakes. Greeting incorrectly can have a negative impact not only on the customer experience but also the restaurant’s revenue.

Ensure your guests are being greeted within 1 minute of seating and offered still or sparkling water. Almost more importantly, ensure servers are giving guests are warm and genuine greeting. Not a rushed and stressed out “Hi, welcome to X restaurant.” Guests are paying a pretty penny for this experience, and a warm heartfelt greeting costs nothing.

2. Not having menu knowledge

When guests are looking for a food or beverage recommendation, if the server doesn’t have knowledge or confidence in their recommendation this can damage the guest experience, and sales. Having strong knowledge of the menu helps make sure your guests feel taken care of, and not to mention helps increase sales! A well versed server should be able to recommend a wine in line with the budget and taste of the guest, and would pair nicely with their food.

3. Making modifications difficult

Guests should be able to make modifications to their meal without too much difficulty. Yes, there are some modifications which could compromise the dish (in which case the server should make alternate recommendations) but guests should be able to make a modification request and there be no difficulty with it. Because at the end of the day, the guest is always right.

4. Dirty tables and empty glasses!

Yes, it’s obvious. But it’s still a very common mistake! Water glasses should never be empty, and dirty plates should never be left on the table more than a minute. Also, guests should be asked within the last couple sips of their drink if they’d like another. This means they will drink their drink faster, and increase sales.

5. Taking to long to close the bill

Of course, you don’t want to rush your guests, but you also don’t want them waiting too long and having to flag the server down just to pay! This makes your guests frustrated, not to mention slows down turnover time on the tables. The waiter or waitress should close out the bill within 5–10 minutes of it being presented.

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Lucy Cullen


Restaurant, revenue, serving mistakes,