Ten rules for good service
“When I don’t get a good service in a restaurant, I don’t leave a tip, and I don’t feel guilty about it.” There’s no reason to tip a server (the modern word for a waiter or waitress that solves the gender problem) just because he or she has managed to get the food to the table! Diners have the right to expect and receive good service. Unfortunately, most servers don’t know what good service is. So let’s see if we can help them. Here are the 10 Commandments of Good Service:
1. Always be prompt. There is no better way to lose a tip than to leave a guest sitting at the table for 10 minutes waiting for his/her drink, or to make him/her wait 15 minutes to get the check when they are ready to leave.
2. Be pleasant. Never be surly or arrogant is te golden rule for a good service.
3. Be neat and clean. Dirty or un-pressed uniforms are a sure sign of an uncaring, unprofessional server. Even worse are servers who need a bath or ones with hands that look like those of an auto mechanic.
4. Fill requests immediately. There is no such thing as a delayable request from a diner. A request for some mayonnaise to go with a hamburger cannot wait for minutes while another table is served. By that time the burger is cold and everyone else at the table is halfway through their meal.
5. For a good service, be attentive/ receptive. Servers should frequently be within sight of their tables so that guests can catch their eye if they need anything. Having to shout, “Waiter” halfway across a dining room should never be necessary.
6. Be knowledgeable about the menu specials and wine list. Be able to explain items accurately and to make recommendation can easily increase the tip.
7. Deliver the food to the person who ordered it and be vigilant enough to pace the meal so that the entrée doesn’t arrive before the soup is eaten.
8. Be attentive to condiments, bread and water, as well as flatware. Running out of water is not acceptable, as well as not having a spoon to stir the coffee, which was ordered with cream and sugar.
9. Know how to open and serve a bottle of wine properly.
10. Be able to handle unusual major disasters.
Servers should not look disgusted when a table of eight requests separate checks, even if they forget to tell the server until the end of the meal. And the server shouldn’t panic when he or she walks to the table and sees that most of a 4-year-old’s lunch has landed on the floor.
Everything doesn’t have to be perfect to feel that the service was good, but the meal does have to flow smoothly as a result of the server’s attention and guidance.
If the service is just OK, guests usually leave a 5 % tip. If the service is good, guests leave 10 %. But if the server has gone out of his or her way or a guest thinks the service was excellent, they will leave up to 20 % tip.
On the other hand, when the service is bad, guests do not tip and they intend to not complain to restaurant hostesses/Maitre’d or managers (or to the outside environment). Some express their dissatisfaction directly, by not leaving the tip. Next time, if they return to that restaurant, they will just ask for a different server. That is, if they ever return to that restaurant.