Waitstaff Training: SERVE-US not SERVICE


How can you motivate – and empower – your servers to make more tips? Transform their style from “service’ to “serve-us!” Here’s a quick lesson in providing serve-us to pass along to your servers at your next waitstaff training session. First, find out two things about the guests at each table:

  1. Have you been here before? (Or are you regulars?)
  2. Are you in a hurry? (Or do you want a more casually paced meal?)

A guest who has never visited before has different needs than a regular… same with guests in a hurry. Modify suggestions for each group:

When providing serve-us to regular customers, welcome them back with openers like…

  1. “Would you like the usual or our new special… the blackened chicken pasta?”
  2. “Did you know we just added three new items?”

First-time visitors need a different type of serve-us. Reassure their choices and provide menu guidance with dialogue like…

  1. “May I make a few suggestions?”
  2. “You can’t eat here without ordering our famous ____!”

Guests in a hurry? Serve-us them with a sense of urgency and…

  1. Suggest items that can be prepared quickly
  2. Combine steps (for example, take the entire order at once, suggest dessert and drop check (if the dessert is not ordered) or suggest the dessert to-go)

For guests who want a casual pace, don’t rush them, but…

  1. Deliver “silent serve-us” if they prefer to be left alone
  2. Suggest dessert, coffee or after-dinner drinks

But perhaps the best definition of “serve-us” is to serve the guests the way they want to be served.

Restaurant Service and Sales Training

The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.

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