A manager explains details about menu items and seating with a server during training

Server Training: Money in Their Pockets ... and Yours

Ignite the on-premise comeback by making guests feel comfortable.

Getting customers to walk through the restaurant door has always been about making them feel comfortable. Server training teaches confidence, consistency and a commitment to safety, turning guests into your best advocates.

There are six basics to great service: 

  1. Greet—Make a good first impression
  2. Order—Have menu knowledge and write down orders for accuracy
  3. Deliver—Make sure everything is right when it comes to the table
  4. Maintenance—Do a “2 bites, 2 minutes” quality check
  5. Check presentation—Be accurate and efficient
  6. Thank you—Make a final (and lasting) impression

A stronger focus on training will get customers talking about your welcoming atmosphere, safe environment and delicious menu choices. As a result, your servers make money and your business thrives. Success starts with these seven areas:

Understanding server importance

  • They are the first (and last) impression guests have
  • They keep the entire house running smoothly
  • They make the restaurant money

Recognizing what training accomplishes

  • They earn more through table turns and tips
  • They save time, energy and frustration
  • They help their shift run smoothly

Knowing what guests expect

  • Look at them and show attentiveness and engagement
  • Smile at them to display a positive attitude
  • Listen to them so they know you care
  • Talk to them and share your menu knowledge
  • Thank them so they know you appreciate their visit

Showing safety matters

  • Sanitize tables, chairs, door handles after each use
  • Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer 
  • Practice social distancing with guests and co-workers

Learning the menu

  • Know the core menu, LTOs, drinks, desserts, kids’ options, etc.
  • Describe dishes using ingredient names, cooking methods
  • Tell your own dining experiences to create excitement

Calming upset customers with the BLAST method

  • Believe—Trust what the customer says happened
  • Listen—Hear what the customer says, don’t just respond
  • Apologize—Be sincere, regardless of who is wrong
  • Satisfy—Offer to make the situation right
  • Thank—Tell customers you appreciate feedback

Encouraging Add-Ons

  • Have the host mention a drink during seating
  • Be reasonable—appetizers, extra toppings, dessert and beverages add up
  • Offer a takeout dessert

Building up your team

  • Respect each others’ differences
  • Explain that it’s OK to ask for help and jump in to help
  • Give thank-yous