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The ten commandments of service

Wouldn't a list of the service staff's most important duties and responsibilities be helpful?  These ten rules will improve service and help increase guest visit frequency.

A friend of ours mixes metaphors. You know, things like "don't cry over a dead horse" or "it's half of one, six dozen of the other." Our all-time favorite expression came after a particularly busy shift she worked at the restaurant. "I was running around like a chicken with my legs cut off!"

Sound familiar? It usually occurs when your service staff isn't crystal clear on what their priorities are during a shift. When do they greet their guests? Which selling scripts should they use? How and who should handle complaints?

Formalizing the answers to these questions will help your servers to feel more confident of their job, and take much of the guesswork out of customer service. Develop your own 10 Commandments of Service. It's a list of the service staff's most important duties and responsibilities.

Print your 10 Commandments on small cards with your restaurant's logo and have them laminated. At a pre-shift briefing ask the servers to carry them in their folios. Over the next few days, go over each of the Commandments. Make sure that they are clearly understood, and role-play where appropriate. Encourage servers to review the cards regularly.

You'll notice that your customers are happier because they're receiving better service, your servers are happier because they're earning higher tips, and you're happier because your restaurant is running smoother.

The 10 Commandments of Service

  1. Sincerely greet guests within 2 minutes of seating
  2. Determine if the guest is visiting for the first time
  3. Deliver good food...fast...and right
  4. Follow the "Today I'm featuring" table sales method
  5. Always suggest a beverage complement
  6. Hot food hot, and cold food cold
  7. Check back within 2 bites, 2 sips, or 2 minutes
  8. If you receive a complaint, you own it
  9. Personally hand write a "Thank you" on the guest check
  10. Always invite guests to return

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