You’ve decided not to cook tonight, and instead you’ve convinced your family it’s a great evening to go out to dinner.
So, what do you choose? A restaurant with terrific food and horrible service or a restaurant with just so-so food and the best customer service in town?
You might guess that the most successful restaurants combine both – superb food and excellent service. But, occasionally restaurants and servers get it wrong or just simply have an off night.
According to a Customer Experience Report, researchers found that the #1 reason customers abandon a brand is due to poor quality and rude customer service. These items were cited 18% more often than slow or untimely service.
It seems that great customer service and a personal touch top the list of reasons people choose specific restaurants. Today, though, we want to look at how we, as diners, treat our servers – the waiters and waitresses who spend their days and evenings serving us our meals.
Could it be that the way we show our waiter or waitress we appreciate them, can result in better service?
Let’s look at how to show your waitress you appreciate them.
“Hey you,” or snapping your fingers at your server is definitely not the way to show them you appreciate them.
A savvy server will greet your table and tell you their name. It’s up to you to remember it and to use it. Imagine how much better it is for your waitress to hear you thank her by name. It shows a great deal of respect.
In turn, this might make your dining experience better. Subconsciously, your server feels better about your table, and you’ll be able to get his or her attention once you know their name. “Excuse me, Michelle,” goes a long way to getting your table what they need.
Remember the Golden Rule we all learned in Kindergarten – treat others how you’d like to be treated?
Remember to say please and thank you to your server. While they are there to help you, you’ll get better service if you model this type of good behavior with your server.
Try to stick as close as possible to the menu items. Sometimes it’s better not to modify your chosen items too much.
You might think you are helping your server by handing him/her your empty plates, but often this makes it difficult for the wait staff.
Many servers have their own system for clearing your dishes. It helps them keep all the dishes and silverware organized so nothing drops to the floor and breaks or makes a mess.
In most restaurants, your server needs tips, and lots of them, to make her evening worthwhile. It’s a good idea to leave when you’re finished, especially if you meet one of these conditions:
Don’t yell at your server if your food tastes bad or your drink is flat. While your server is your first point of contact, and they take care of you while you dine, they do not make your food or your drinks.
Your server has no control over whether your steaks are cooked right or your drinks have the right amount of liquor in them.
It is alright to be upset and disappointed about your food, but please don’t take it out on your server. Communicate your wishes and let them try to take care of it. If you yell at your server, they’ll be less likely to make your meal “right.”
Generally, in the United States, the average tip is 15% to 20% of the total meal cost.
It can make a server’s day if you leave a little bit more than that. Consider a 20-30% tip. Not only is this kind, but it lets your server know you respect them and enjoyed their service.
Then, the next time you eat at their restaurant, you can bet your service will be exceptional if they are your server.
You’ve probably seen some of the notes that diners leave servers in your Facebook newsfeed.
A little kindness goes a long way. If you don’t have enough money to leave an extra-large tip (or even if you do), write a little thank you note on your bill after you pay. (tweet this)
This will mean a lot to your server while letting them know their job was well done.
Many restaurants are short on space, so it’s helpful to your server if you keep your bags and your coats out of their way.
It’s heartwarming to see the notes of kindness left for servers.
When servers trip on your items, they can spill food or break dishes. Be mindful, and hang your items on your seat or put them under the table.
If you’ve eaten at your chosen restaurant before, and you’ve enjoyed the service your waitress provides, ask for her by name.
This lets your chosen waiter or waitress know that you trust them and respect their service. They’ll enjoy knowing you requested them.
Plus, dining with the same server is a more pleasant experience for you. It’s not only friendlier, but your server will get to know your likes and dislikes.
Everyone enjoys eating at a restaurant with good food, but having an excellent waiter or waitress is often times more fulfilling and can have a direct impact on how much a diner likes a restaurant.
If the service was horrible at the little corner café, we bet you might try it one more time, but after two bad experiences, you’ll probably cross them off your mental list of favorite restaurants.
Customers expect, and they do deserve, to be treated with respect while dining. It’s important they are served politely and skillfully. (tweet this)
The same respect is due restaurant wait staff.
As diners, we would do well to remember that waiters and waitresses are not our personal servants. As we come to the end of our article, we believe we can answer our earlier question, “If we show waiters and waitresses we appreciate them, will we receive better service?”
We think the answer is yes.
When you show friendliness toward your favorite restaurant’s wait staff, you can almost always expect kindness, respect and diligent, superb customer service yourself.
When you are understanding and respectful, they’ll be more likely to do the same.
Do you have other tips on how to show your waitress or waiter you appreciate them? Do you have suggestions for servers on how to greet and serve guests with respect? Share your comments below – we’d love to hear them.