Joined Oct 6, 2001
I just wanted to voice a pet peeve of mine and want to ask those front of the house managers why Waitstaff is not properly trained. Once again we went out to dinner tonight and water glasses were refilled by laying the pitcher on the edge of the water glass rim; just what I want--to drink after everybody else in the restaurant. I realize that this is not a reflection on the food quality of the restaurant--I've seen it done in the finest white table cloth restaurants all the way down to your standard fast food sit down restaurant. Why? Does the waitstaff not realize what they are doing? (I've waited tables and always been aware of this) Does the front of the house manager not realize or train his/her employees in this respect?
Joined Jan 15, 2000
There are a handful of reasons for this type of breakdown in service. The person who specified the pitcher in use may have bought it for appearance and not for function - they didn't ask a busser or try ot out themselves. In most cases, though, I agree that it is a training issue AND a follow-through issue. Most restaurants give new employees in-depth but inconsistent training at the beginning of their tenure. Service training becomes an issue again only if there are big service problems, and then it's the shotgun method. Service training needs to be ongoing. Skills and standards that are presented to the service team should be reinforced both in a brief, daily service meeting AND by mangement and lead service staff who are present on the floor. It has to be done in a positive way. If there are points of service that don't work, then everyone on the service team has a voice to make a change. And once the change is made, and the new standard is set,how is it communicated? You guessed it...through the daily service meeting.

I think that every restaurant employee should have the opportunity to dine in the restaurant for free, as a training exercise. The owner or manager or lead service team should serve them. The employee should be trained on what the guests' experience is supposed to be. The service side of the industry (at least in Chicago) is full of people who have NO understanding of the whole dining experience. They don't go out enough. In my daily service meetings, I would make a point of discussing every detail of my own dining experiences around town. This helps keep the meeting process positive - you're not always complaining about what you see in your own dining room.
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