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What are Your Servers Doing Wrong?

What are Your Servers Doing Wrong?

Your servers are the face of your restaurant. Even the best of menu items can be tainted with an inefficient or incapable waiter or waitress, and perceptions can be altered with a drink left unfilled or a rude attitude. There are certainly many ideas that one can probably come up with on their own as to why a server may fall short, but Thrillist asked servers about their experiences with inexperienced coworkers to help pinpoint what exactly it takes for a server to do their job wrong. Here are some of the answers they gave. 

Cellphone Use

Many restaurant owners and managers have taken cell phones off the menu to combat the issue of servers being distracted by their mobile phones. Whether it’s too much time spent texting between tasks or an annoying ringtone or buzzer going off right in a customer’s face while they’re serving a meal, cellphones and servers simply don’t mix. Make sure to enforce your cell phone policy - whatever it may be - and take into consideration its effects on your customers and their perceptions and experiences.

“That’s not my section.”

We’ve probably all been in the customer’s seat on this one. Your drink needs refilled, or you have a simple question, but you can’t find your server anywhere. You attempt to flag down the nearest one, but they’re clearly avoiding eye contact. The excuse of ‘That’s not my section’ will certainly come back to haunt your restaurant as a whole, as customers don’t simply gather their perceptions based on their assigned server. Every server needs to represent your restaurant as if they were tending to every customer, so be sure that they know that even those not in their section need to be addressed if it appears they’re having issues.

Forget the Silverware, Side Dish, or Order

It’s not that hard to remember that every customer will need a place setting, and so it’s probably not surprising to learn that customers are equally annoyed when simple essentials like silverware aren’t in place. Similarly, when customers order something that you forget, don’t guess at the order. Go back and ask them to clarify.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of ways that a server can ruin someone’s dining experience. Be sure to address everything from the get-go with a simple policy, and encourage servers to truly interact with guests to make the best impressions.

Cynthia Maier



Sales Consultant


E Friedman Associates Inc