If you want to improve service in a restaurant, the answer is simple… keep the employees happy. I am writing from experience.. I have been a server for the past two years. Waiting on tables is sometimes a very thankless job. Sometimes the tips are crappy and sometimes you get tables that like to run you for every little thing. These things can wear on a server, and lead to poor service.
The thing is, if employers would take better care of their employees they would in turn be better to the restaurant’s guests. It’s a trickle down theory. I know on days that my boss orders us food.. or brings in treats.. I see a difference in our wait staff. For example, last night the air conditioner in our store was broke, and it was sweltering hot in there. One of the servers said we should get something to cool us down. The next thing I know there are fudge bars, Popsicles and ice cream sandwiches. Let me tell you, it really helped. Before the treats mostly everyone was a little crabby because of the heat. Afterward, I noticed more people smiling, even though it was still hot as hell in there. It doesn’t take much to let your employees know you care. In this case less than 20 bucks made everyone working feel better.
Every restaurant has some guidelines for how your supposed to “greet” a table. Often times it is a rehearsed speech. All servers have them.. “Hello welcome to ____ my name is ____ I’ll be the one taking care of you.” I’m guilty of it too. They make servers do it because we are supposed to sell you things when you sit down at a table. This is all part of the restaurant game. The key is to make it sound natural, like you’re saying it for the very first time. Eye contact is essential along with a genuine smile. When you smile it disarms people.. they feel at ease. When people are at ease they tend to have a better time no matter what environment they are in.
This goes back to keeping your employees happy. Happy employees smile, smiling makes guests feel good, and things in the restaurant run a little smoother.