Here is the new approach to training servers.
The author operated table service restaurants as pancake houses, coffee shops, family theme, steak houses, International gourmet, Polynesian, Tex-Mex, Delicatessen, Seafood and others too numerous to designate. What they all had in common was that they had waitresses or waiters, now referred to as servers. These servers were expected to perform the duties of handling guests, gathering orders, communicating these orders to the kitchen, assembling the orders for delivery to the tables, delivering these orders, correcting snafus, handling complaints, collecting the payment of the checks and all of the other activities associated with making a restaurant visit a pleasant experience.
To the uninitiated this seems to be an insurmountable task requiring a wide range of food handling talents, a good psyche, a calm inner strength and a genuine liking of people. Where do you find such a talented person and how can he or she be turned loose in your specialized dining room, entrusted with the life blood of your business – your customer? Yes, it is possible to recruit, train, motivate and supervise such fine people to respond adequately to the needs of your food establishment. The newest approach is to train servers from the view point of a trainer taking on a new server recruit on a one- on- one trip to a successful conclusion, ie; making great money for the server and the establishment!
Here is solid advice for every food server everywhere… Deliver the orders as soon as possible. Check the quality of the foods carefully before serving them. Never serve any food you believe to be spoiled, soured, or tainted, that you think might be dangerous to the customer’s health. When you discover spoiled, sour, or tainted food, don’t throw it away – call the manager and have him double check you. If he agrees with your detection, he will agree to the disposal of the questionable food items. Always serve the correct portion. Observe to learn the portions for each item listed on the menu portions sheet posted in the service area. You can’t keep customers happy and your restaurant functioning properly if foods are over or under- portioned. Management, in setting a price for a food item, takes into account that a certain weight or size of that item will be served for the price to be charged. Exceeding that portion short changes the business and makes it difficult to make the cash return to pay wages and stay profitable. On the other hand, if a guest sees a smaller than usual portion they will resent it and may not return again.
Understand your employees that you are training.
How can you inspire people to work harder and produce more? After years of research, Success Motivation Institute found that these seven basic actions are still among the strongest motivators. There is nothing here that you don’t already know. But in your daily work, how many of these actions do you forget to practice?
1. Flatter your people with your personal interest: There is nothing wrong with flattery when it is sincere. Genuine flattery, as opposed to mere “buttering up,” will give your people a lift, and will give you a boost in their eyes. Cash in on your personal interest dividends today. Learn the first names of the husbands and wives of your people. Find out about their children, their family problems, outside interests. Get to know them as human beings, not just workers.
2. Be consistent in your treatment of your people: This may sound easy, but it’s not. It takes practice and constant self-examination to remain impartial.
3. Build up the confidence and pride of your people by consulting with them regularly: Seek out the ideas and advice of your people. Show your respect for their opinions and judgment. Show that they can learn from you but that you also want to learn from them. Make your people feel they are participating, not just taking orders.
4. Be generous with credit: When one of your people performs well, don’t keep it a secret. Let others know about it.
5. Treat ideas with interest, consideration, and respect: When one of your people comes up with a suggestion-even a poor one-make him/her feel glad he brought it to you.
6. Own up to your errors honestly: Don’t strut around like a superior being. If you make a mistake, admit it and take full blame. If one of your people is right and you are wrong, tell him so. And let others involved know that the mistake was yours, not his. Show the people who work for you that you are just as human as they are.
7. Make facts flow freely: Knowhow is a man’s link to opportunity and advancement. Sharing your facts, your knowledge, and your experience will convince your people that you are on their side. And it’s only human to reciprocate.
In short, to double the output of your people, treat each individual as a person first and as an employee second. The greatest need of the food service industry today is teamwork by agreement. Our industry is a vast complex of many different businesses and widely varied views. Yet our differences fade into insignificance when we consider our many over-all mutual interests.