Tips, downloads, updates

Aug. 25, 2017

Guests are in general the sole judges of service quality but what do they really want from service? 

Assurance – Guests want to be able to feel confident about the organizations ability to provide them with quality of service.  The skills, knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence are considered very important.

Empathy – Guests value caring, personalized service that treats them as individuals.

Reliability – Guests consider important the ability to constantly perform the promised service in a dependably and accurate manner.  No one wants to fly on an airline whose pilots are "usually" reliable’ or do business with a company that "usually" delivers the goods on time.

Responsiveness – Guests judge the quality of service they receive by how well organizations staffs are willing to help them in a prompt manner when they require assistance.

Tangibles – In judging quality, Guests consider important the physical appearance of the facilities, furniture, equipment, personnel and communication materials (e.g. menu, brochures, personal grooming etc.)

A consistent level of quality service is provided when all Team Members carry out service related tasks in exactly the same manner, whenever possible. Management needs to state clearly the standards expected to be meet. Ensuring the consistent delivery of products and service to customers as much possible is the main aim of quality-oriented service. 

Aug. 25, 2017

Theater Style: Seats or chairs in rows facing a stage area, head table, or speaker (with no conference table)

  • Used for: This is the most efficient set-up when the attendees will act as an audience. This set-up is not recommended for food events or if note taking is required.
  • Set-up hints: This is a very flexible room set-up. Rows can be circular, semi-circular, straight, or angled toward the focal point. Offset each row so that attendees don’t have to look over the person in front of them (this will increase the space required). If using banquet type chairs, space them 3” to 6” apart as these chairs are normally narrower than most people’s bodies. If you have the space, allow for 24” between rows to allow attendees easy movement in and out of the row.
  • Pros: Good for large groups when reading/writing are not required
  • Cons: Elevation changes needed for large groups. No writing surface. Minimal group interaction

U-Shape Style: A series of conference tables set in the shape of the letter U, with chairs around the outside.

  • Used for: This layout style is often used for Board of Directors meetings, committee meetings, or discussion groups where there is a speaker, audio-visual presentation or other focal point.
  • Set-up hints : A minimum of 2’ of table space is required per attendee. Skirt the inside of the “U” if attendees are being seated only on the outside. Avoid the “U” set-up for groups greater than 25, as the sides of the “U” become too long and may not promote participation from all attendees.
  • Pros: Good work space. Good interaction between participants . Ideal when audio-visual or speakers are involved
  • Cons: Not ideal for larger group

Classroom Style: Rows of conference tables with chairs facing the front of a room (and usually a speaker), providing writing space for each person.

  • Used for: This room set-up is ideal for note taking, meetings requiring multiple handouts or reference materials, or other tools such as laptop computers. This is the most comfortable set-up for long sessions and allows refreshments to be placed within reach of each attendee.
  • Set-up hints: Tables that extend beyond the stage or podium should be angled toward the speaker. Allow for approximately 2’ of space per person at each table. (More space may be required depending on the amount of materials). Minimum space between tables is 3’. Provide 3½’ if space allows, for ease of movement in and out of rows.
  • Pros: Presenter can see all participants.Accommodates large groups in less space
  • Cons: Minimal interaction possible. Participants only see each other’s backs

Boardroom Style: A rectangular or oval table set up with chairs around all sides and ends.

  • Used for: This table layout is often used for Board of Directors meetings, committee meetings, or discussion groups.
  • Set-up hints: Many facilities offer rooms with permanent conference tables in a variety of shapes. If these are not available, standard conference tables can be placed together to form a square, rectangle or hollow square. Remember, the larger the set-up, the harder it is for attendees to see others at the end opposite them.
  • Pros: Good work space. Good working atmosphere. Good interaction between participants
  • Cons: Not ideal for audio-visual presentations . Not ideal for speakers. Not ideal for larger groups
Jul. 19, 2017

Suggestive Selling in Restaurants

Suggestive Selling basic steps:

  • Read the guests – Anticipate guests needs by observing and listening, asking questions when in doubt
  • Make recommendations – Service staffs being experts in the menu, suggestions and recommendations help make service more personalized and establish a sense of trust and rapport with guests.
  • Guide the guests with information – We can only use what we see, hear and know to guide them.  Guide the guest in their orders by making suitable suggestions from what you have heard, seen or know.
  • Offer options – By offering options, we give our guests choices and most of them appreciate the right to make a decision and thus it is providing them with better service.  Offering options may help highlight an item that the guest had previously not noticed that may suit the guests taste.
  • Use appetizing descriptions – Use appropriate descriptions that may enhance the guests ‘mental picture’. E.g. (tender & juicy meat, piping hot soups, refreshing ice lemon tea)
  • Encourage the guests – Reinforce a guests choice by using certain words or phrases when taking orders or when asking for the sale.  E.g. (its our chefs specialty, its very delicious).  However avoid exaggerated comments like it’s the best in the world, I guarantee you will like it.
  • Thank the guests – Often service staffs forget to thank guests for giving them the order. It’s only polite to thank

Eight Suggestive Selling Techniques:

  • When a guest sitting alone orders a glass of wine even before opening the menu and choosing the first course, always be fast in serving it.  Not only can this increase wine sales, it also may mean that you have to visit the table less often.
  • Find the dominant personality at the table; perhaps it’s the host or a regular who has brought friends.  By finding that person you can control the selling dialogue for the entire table.  When that person is ready for another beer or glass of wine, he or she may wish to order for the whole table.  This person may also be the most likely to order appetizers or dessert.
  • “Would you like to try our special cold cuts selection tonight before your main?” If we suggest every time guests order a pasta dish as main we will make an extra sale and guest will have something to complimentary the pasta dish.
  • Can I bring you another another round?” You can suggest this if guests finish their drinks before meal is on the table.
  • When the daily specials are presented at the shift meeting, take a minute to talk about what wine would go well with the special.
  • Try to pick items that contrast one another.  You’re more likely to hit on something that interests the guest. (Would you like to try our seafood platter or a beef tenderloin?)
  • “Are you familiar with our extensive wine list?” This question can help to determine what a guest would prefer and which suggestions to offer.  Asking questions allows you to be in control of the table.
  • “Our seafood platter looks great today, with very fresh seafood!!!

Using descriptive adjectives gives guests a mental picture and makes the item seem more appealing.  Never put a sale above the guests' needs.  Just as important as knowing when to sell is knowing when to stop selling.Servers should never appear pushy and more interested in getting a sale than in meeting customers' needs.

Why Guests Buy

In order to effectively satisfy your guests and maximise sales, it is important to understand why guests buy.

  • Guests buy emotionally and justify with logic.
  • Guests do not buy what they need, they buy what they want.
  • Guests buy because it makes them feel good.
  • Guests are buying the expectation of feeling good and happy.
  • Guests love to buy but hate to be sold.

How to sell

  • Sell emotions and feelings.  Use phrases that are emotional.  Say things like, “You’ll love it!”
  • Always look at sales as an added benefit to the guest.  What items would you sell to your family and friends?  If you apply those same feelings to the guest, it will increase your sales dramatically.
  • Set the stage before selling.  Remember guests buy when they feel good and happy.
  • Remember that your knowledge with regard to food and beverage is considerably greater than most of the guests you will serve.  Sharing your knowledge with the guest not only makes their experience more enjoyable but it also leads to increased sales.
  • Consistency is extremely important.  The employees who give each guest the opportunity to buy always sell the most.  Never assume the guest has finished eating or drinking, but at the same time do not oversell.
  • Providing excellent service and having a good memory are the best ways to increase sales.  The ability to go back to a table and ask a guest if they are ready for another drink, while calling the drink by name, instead of having to ask what the guest is drinking, is not only most impressive, but it also increases sales. 
  • Once you have sold a guest a new product, always check back to see if they are happy with the item.
  • Do your best to make the guest feel good about what they have bought.
  • Be prepared to serve and up sell juice, soft drinks, and bottled water to those guests who either do not want to have an alcoholic beverage or those who have just had too much to drink. 



Jul. 16, 2017






Upon entering

Being asked “any reservations?” even before being greeted

Not being acknowledged with eye contact, a smile and a hello immediately upon entering the restaurant

Not opening on time or closing earlier then posted operational hours

Grossly inaccurate estimates of waiting time or lost reservations

Debris, bits of paper & food on the floor not immediately picked-up


Background music that is too loud and intrudes on conversation

Restrooms that are not spotless, clean-smelling and well-stocked

Dirty or disorderly kitchens that the guests can see

At the table

Sitting at the table for more than 1 minute without being acknowledged

Chairs that are dirty, stained or have crumbs

Service not provided to guests in the order of their arrival or seating

Staffs who can’t answer basic questions about the menu items

About the table

Salt & pepper shakers that are greasy to the touch or half empty

Glassware or crockery that is chipped, streaked, stained or dirty

Cutlery with stains, spots or that is tarnished

Tablecloth or napkins with stains, hole, rips or burn marks

Shaky or wobbly tables and chairs

Wet, greasy, stained or dirty tables or countertops

When placing an order

Service staff with an “ I’m doing you a favour” attitude

Having to wait for more than 3 minutes without a drink order taken

Not being offered assistance with the menu in terms of suggestions

Being told a menu item is not available after you ask for the item

Not enough menus or menus that are torn, stained, oily to the touch

Service staff who talk to their order pads

Managers and staff who make you repeat orders because they aren’t listening attentively

When being served food and beverage

Service so impersonal or rushed that they feel that they are being “processed” rather than being served

Not getting value for food, beverage and service

Orders that arrive incomplete

Service staff asking, “who gets what?”

Ordering a dish and getting something that matches its menu description

Getting something that looks stale, dried-out or bruised when its supposed to be fresh

Hot food and drinks not served not and vice versa

Water glasses not being automatically refilled

Having to wait for a piece of chinaware, silverware because you run out of it

Food sitting visibly in the pickup counter without being picked up

Condiment bottles that are coated at the neck

When paying up

Food checks and bill holders that are sloppy, wet, stained or calculated wrongly

Having to wait for more than 3 minutes for a bill to be prepared

Having to wait for more than 5 minutes for change to be returne

About you

Service staff who avoid eye-contact and a smile

Not being sincerely thanked before leaving the restaurant

Being made to feel wrong, stupid or clumsy

Failure to promptly resolve a complaint (in favor of the guests)

Soiled or ill-fitting uniforms

Staff eating at side-stations or drinking in view of guests

Lack of personal hygiene and sanitation practices in view of guests 

Jun. 20, 2017

Side work duties can differ by the type restaurant your operate. Here’s a systematic way to identify your side work duties so you can develop your own customized checklists:

  1. Identify Opening Side Work Duties. Make a list of all the tasks and functions that must be completed in the front of the house before the restaurant opens. This would include all those activities and work that need to be done in the dining room, beverage stations, server stations and other service areas. Also include functions servers may help the kitchen with including filling salad dressing containers and plating salads and desserts.
  2. Assign Tasks to Server Stations. Dole out these tasks to each station for the first shift of the day. The tasks should be assigned to stations in a way that allows for efficient completion of the tasks and in a way that evenly divides the work amount all stations as much as possible. In many restaurants the time needed to complete opening server side work is about 30 minutes.
  3. Identify “Running Side work” Duties. Next determine what side work functions need to be completed during the meal periods. Running side work, as it’s usually referred to, involves keeping server work areas adequately stocked and minor cleaning functions. This work can be divided up among the servers and bussers.
  4. End of Shift Functions. Create a detailed list of all the tasks servers should complete before the end of the day-part shift. Assign these tasks to servers based on the in which servers are scheduled to leave. You don’t want to assign a server, who leaves early, those tasks that will have to be repeated again before the end of the shift.

    The goal should be to have as little side work as possible left for servers on the PM shift. Ideally, you want PM servers to begin their shifts with a check to see their tables are in order and the service areas are adequately stocked. This also, creates time and less distractions for pre-shift meetings.
  5. Closing Duties. Make a list of all the side work that should be completed at the end of the PM shift. This normally includes storing and refrigerating food products, cleaning server areas, beverage dispensers and dining room areas and refilling table condiments.