When a server approaches my table with an armful of meals, and asks "Who has the t-bone?" I cringe. This is what I call Meal Auctioning. Making your guests claim their meal is a practice that demonstrates a lack of attention and a lack of professionalism.When a server or runner approaches my table with an armful of meals, and asks "Who has the t-bone?" I cringe. This is what I call Meal Auctioning. Making your guests claim their meal is a practice that demonstrates a lack of attention and a lack of professionalism. If you're ready to raise the bar on the level of service you provide, and truly WOW your guests, train your staff to use the Pivot Point System.
The Pivot Point System simply assigns a number to each seat at the tables in your dining room. The key is to select a focus point in the restaurant or the room that everyone will use. You might use the front door or a fireplace as your focus point. At each table, the seat closest to the focus point is Seat #1. From there, move clockwise around the table to assign the other seat numbers.
When the orders are taken, the order of the person in Seat #1 goes on Line #1 on the guest check. Seat #2 goes in Line #2, and so on. It is not necessary to take the orders in this sequence, however. Imagine you have a table seating a man and a woman, and the man is positioned nearest the focus point. He is in Seat #1, but you should offer to take the lady's order first. Her order should be written on Line #2 of the guest check.
When orders are delivered to the table, anyone can read the guest check at the line and know immediately which order goes to each guest. This will help to eliminate confusion at the line, and will facilitate a smooth delivery of the orders. And your guests will appreciate not being interrupted to stake claim to their steak.
We've developed a simple training exercise to help put an end to meal auctioning. Check it out!