need help dealing with a young unexperienced wait staff

Joined Apr 8, 2016
so I am in the process of a new restaurant opening all but two of my wait staff is completely lacking experience or they are only experienced in huddle house or crap buffet style serving.   keep in mind I did not hire them and I can not fire them and worse than that my gm is soft on the girls 90% of the time.  we have brought people in the past three nights as test/training customers  and every night has been a disaster mostly due to wait staff either thinking its acceptable to run down my line and ask cooks about food, sitting around my expo not running my food and bugging my expo asking wait times on food, sending back tickets through pos and then also putting the same tickets handwritten on my expos ticket line, taking food that belongs to one ticket (not theirs) and using it as their tables food( selfishness that slows down production and causes longer wait times on other tickets) 

I know this sounds like common sense but what do I do my wait staff is all 18- 22 college students who all of course think I'm an ass hole when I jump on them or even sound a bit off putting,  I can only be asked soo many times why its taking so long on a well done filet so many times before I loose it when you ask why there is no bell pepper cream sauce on the side when you didn't place it on the order and then continue to ask where your order is while I'm fixing the sauce you omitted, or getting a recook on a steak that you let sit in my window for 15 min because it wasn't your table and your a selfish @#%^&^$  watching out only for your food. 

I just really need a way to get the point across so we can fix it now before we go live Tuesday four days from now
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Is there an actual FOH manager of some sort?

If they act like that in the BOH I can only imagine what their FOH behavior is like.

The only solution I could offer at this late date is to promote those 2 experienced servers to team captains and have a couple of days of intense training.

If they don't already have some sort of SOP packet have the captains try to dig a few up online and mix and match, add in the menu with descriptions and print that out.

Hand those out for an overnite study and then drill as much as they can until opening.

The bad habits they have already developed will be hard to break without some sort of punishment hanging over their heads (split and short shifts...shitty seating areas full of 2 tops... you get the idea).

One last idea.

Have your captains escort a few of the more promising to a tablecloth and linen napkin place (if they can book a table with a view of the pass even better).

The captains can point out everything these guys are getting wrong with the better example.

This can be a great learning experience as it sounds like these kids have no idea what service should look like.

Just a thought.

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Joined Feb 8, 2009
Have the GM work the line so he could feel the necessity and importance of doing things right. I would also bring the whole service staff for a kitchen line orientation so they understand the importance of doing it right ad what happens when things get screwed up. You can only train people who care. No one knows or cares what the kitchen is going through unless it's on their back.
Joined Apr 25, 2011
I agree with FlipFlopGirl and Chef BillyB, but one specific idea to help your expo and the food running would be to have your expo keep a running tally per shift of all the servers and how many times they run food. Make a increasingly difficult sidework list for servers. Allow top one or two servers for shift to have no sidework. order the list easiest to hardest for the rest of them and go down the list. Before you know it, you will have a line of servers trying to run food.  Just make sure they don't ignore their tables to run food to get out of sidework.  You would think they wouldn't do that because it affects their tips, but you would be surprised.

Also, imho, make sure your expo is boh and has their back entirely. Since you say servers are "hanging out there" and asking about their covers, expo sounds weak.
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