Restaurant Training – Waiter & Waitress Training Tips For Customer Service – Hospitality Education

Did you know that approximately 14 percent of your customers will not return to your business because of food quality and 68 percent because of service quality? So, doesn’t it make sense to train your waiters and waitresses to deliver superior service to win your customers back every time?

To gain the competitive edge today, you have to do much more to place your restaurant on the “favorites” list. One way is through personalizing service for each type of customer that comes to your business. For example, selling and service techniques employed for a family with children are different from that which would be delivered to elderly customers. The same holds true for business customers versus vacationers. It is never safe to think that your restaurant service staff will inherently understand these differences. Unless trained, they are most likely to offer one size fits all service.

Teach your waiters and waitresses to be observant and follow the tips below to help assess the needs of your customers:

•Time limitation (leisurely or time restricted)

•Mood (celebratory, romantic, stressed)

•Age group (children, teenagers, baby boomers, seniors, geriatrics)

•Purpose for their visit (social, private/intimate, or business)

•Gender (male, female)

Since approximately 80 percent of communication is conveyed through facial gestures and verbal and non verbal body language, as opposed to the actual words, teach your service team to focus on the following areas:

•Verbal Language (voice tone, rate, inflection, speech, pronunciation, and grammar)

•Body Language (eye contact, facial expressions, gestures and movement)

Look for telltale signs of a customer in a rush such as looking at their watch, looking around or rubber necking, talking quickly, crossing their arms, or tapping their fingers. Also, closely observe your customers’ image (e.g. clothing, accessories, hair, makeup, etc.). This can also provide you with many clues about their dining needs.

Here is an exercise to share with your service team. It lists various types of customers and ways to customize service for each customer category. During a pre-shift meeting or company training session, review this exercise with your restaurant service staff.

Customer Types and Service Suggestions:

1. Celebrating

-Since celebrating customers usually have larger budgets, suggest higher priced items along with party-spirit foods/drinks and a cake to recognize the occasion

-Congratulate the celebrating customer and focus on their main event

-Be social unless serving a couple desiring privacy

2. Elderly

-Since many elderly customers are on a limited income, guide them towards value-oriented foods and recommend light, soft, and less spicy foods

-Be patient and speak slowly, project your voice, and listen carefully

-Refrain from acts which can be construed as condescending or treating them like children

3. Family (with children)

-Offer high chairs and booster seats

-Be prepared to make kid-favorite suggestions and easy to eat finger foods

-Offer something to occupy the child’s attention (game books, crayons, crackers)

-Be patient while the family orders and give the children the opportunity to place their order themselves

-Sincerely compliment the customer about their children

-Ask the child kid-friendly questions

-Place drinks where spills are less likely and remove obstacles (e.g. vases and centerpieces)

-Quickly clean spills and keep the area tidy

-Deliver extra napkins

4. Romantic Couple

-Guide the couple towards a booth or secluded area for privacy when seating them

-Suggest higher priced items along with wines, champagnes, and exotic desserts, since romantic couples and people on first-dates usually have larger budgets

-Deliver highly organized and efficient service

-Minimize your conversation and allow them privacy, without hovering over them

5. Business

-Suggest higher priced items, since many business people have business accounts and set allowances

-Suggest items that are prepared quickly and inform them if their selected order requires a long preparation, if they are on a business lunch

-Deliver highly organized and efficient service and ensure their order is delivered promptly

-Minimize your conversation and allow them privacy without hovering over them

Please Note: When serving alcohol, train your staff to be aware of the signs of intoxication and avoid overselling alcohol. Teach your staff to refuse alcohol sales to any minors.

Other customer types include customers dining alone (the solo customer), disabled customers, teenagers as customers, customers who are in a rush, first-time customers, and customers who dine in large groups/gatherings. Again, each different type of customer has “specific” service needs. Along with recognizing the category customers belong in, the above service suggestions are meant as recommendations and are not set in stone. Always, be sure to fully assess every dining customer by closely observing verbal and body language to determine how to positively interact with them. Mike Owens, General Manager of Brick Oven LLC, located in Topeka, Kansas, says, “Using the above examples in role-play scenarios is a highly effective method to properly train your service teams…it helps them fully understand the importance of tailoring their service versus delivering the same canned service to everyone.”

“Service” is not just about delivering food and drinks to the table-it is giving the customer much more than he/she expects. Implementing a solid training program that focuses on personalizing service will set you apart from your competitors. Exceeding the needs of each customer with customized service takes a little extra time. However, it is worth the effort. When the customer wins, everyone wins and it’s a triple play-more money for you, increased tips for your service staff, and happy customers that become loyal patrons and refer their friends to your business.

The Benefit of Correctional Education to Reduce Recidivism in Namibia

Education programmes in Namibia’s correctional facilities are aimed from being incarcerated to re-integration making education in its facilities a big-corner stone for the offenders. Correctional education is a fundamental component to rehabilitative programming offered in confinement facilities around the country.

Staff members must understand the differences between screening and diagnostic testing in order to determine the psychological and educational level of the offender, in order to effectively place offenders according to their learning abilities. These educational programmes are aimed to equip offenders with basic reading and writing skills making them possible to communicate with fellow offenders, officers and stakeholders. The Adult Education programmes in Namibian’s Correctional facilities are aimed at enabling offenders with employment opportunities once they are released. This will therefore build on their self-esteem and enhance proper rehabilitation with the help of psychologists and social workers while they are incarcerated.

The education component during incarceration plays an important role during the rehabilitation process. The Namibian Correctional Service therefore makes tremendous effort to prioritize the education of offenders through means of face – face teaching, vocational training and tertiary learning in order to equip the offenders with knowledge and skills. The role of teachers in this kind of environment is faced with many challenges, for example education might be interrupted in the interest of security. It is apparent that educational staff is faced with the ever-present challenge of finding the right balance between being a correctional officer and educationist at the same time. Teachers must find ways to motivate learners to stay focused despite their present world of confinement that can contribute to limited expectations and motivations of the learners.

Moreover, a correctional education program should strive to focus its curriculum on teaching basic skills within the context of social and decision-making skills for the benefit of the offenders more recently full-time teachers was introduced within the system offering more hours of instruction in order to ensure quality.

The opinion about Correctional facilities to the General public is a place to be scared of but least did they know what kind of activities are presented such as rehabilitation activities, education and vocational training in order for rehabilitation process to take place. Educational programs within confined areas also reduce recidivism meaning offenders not re-offending, particularly because these programs aim to impact the way an individual thinks. Various theories of learning and teaching exist on how to educate students. Although students have individual differences in the way they process information and learn, basic theories explain ways in which student learning can be maximized. The facility offered an innovative educational program that combined academic, social, and vocational aspects with other non-educational factors, such as exercising and outdoor activities. The programs help offenders develop the necessary social skills to avoid crime and addiction once they return to society. Therefore education programs create the fostering of social attitudes and instilling of temperaments that contradict the anti-social norms of confinement life.

As a result, behavioural programs have been created and implemented in order to correct criminal thinking patterns. These programs aim to restructure their thinking ability and to help create positive thinking. On the other hand, education, vocational training, has moderate effects in reducing recidivism and increasing positive behaviour. Vocational programs in correctional facilities are successful due to the fact that they provide a change from confinement routines. They also provide services for offenders after they are released and provide clear opportunities for success in life after release. These opportunities for advancement are a significant incentive for offender’s participation in vocational programs. Correctional literacy programs should address different learning styles, literacy levels, and cultures. They should be centred on the student and adapted to be applicable to confinement culture.

Through education, we begin to learn about ourselves and that is the key to its importance, self-awareness which will in turn break the cycle of recidivism. In addition, the Namibian Correctional facilities provide integrated and applicable vocational and basic academic training. It is of utmost importance that Namibia Correction Services provide correctional education programs that will be successful in the institution, with the aim of successfully re-integrate the offenders to become productive members of society once they are released.

How To Pass The ITIL Intermediate Continual Service Improvement Exam

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

The exam format of Continual Service Improvement stands different from the ITIL Foundation, in that it has eight questions, in the form of scenario based and multi-choice answers. The total marks you can obtain is forty, as every question carries five marks, but the least score you need to pass is 28, I.e 70 percent. For the perfect answer, you are awarded five marks; for partially right answers, you are rewarded three points, for the least correct- you are given only one point and the last, no points for the detractor.

For some, scenario-based questions are a complex challenge. The very idea of understanding the sentences often turns into a spectacle of doubts, queries where their own knowledge gets deceived by the lack of confidence and the exam turns into a failure. In similar cases, just attempting might put your score beneath the passing line. Understanding the basics, however, can take you to the succeeding line.

To turn the negative into positive, many training institutes conduct mock tests so that you can get an ‘inside-feel’ of a similar exam atmosphere that can propel you to give the best during the examination. The intensive training laid down by the trainers assists in transforming you from a normal ITIL foundation level professional to a person who is well equipped to handle the reins of any project.

Note

You can avail of the services of a non-programmable calculator (bring them yourself) in case of paper based examinations. In case of the online exam, you can use an on-screen calculator. No other devices, mobiles or calculator is allowed during the duration of the exam. The duration of the exam is ninety minutes on both occasions (paper and online) and for the paper based, it will be a closed book session exam.

In case of answering in a language other than English, you are given a time of 120 minutes, and can even make use of the dictionary.

Retaking Exams

You have read the content, prepared yourself and then appeared for the exam. However, due to some unexplained reasons, you did not attain the desired score. No issues. You can appear for a re-exam and your training institute may give information on the areas you performed below par. Revision of these areas, along with getting the doubts clarified and you can reappear for the exam by just paying the required fees.

Whether you opt for an online exam from the comfort of location or you plan to visit an Exam Centre, the duration of the exam will be ninety minutes.

3 Tips for Learning Spanish With FSI Spanish (Foreign Service Institute)

In this article I am going to give you some tips or secrets on learning Spanish With FSI Spanish (Foreign Service Institute). By following these 3 tips or secrets to learning FSI Spanish, you will find that the course is lot more effective and enjoyable.

1. Review the lessons between 4 to 5 times

If you are using the FSI system, then you are already aware of the fact that the FSI method includes a textbook and CDs.

Many students complain that the FSI method is not effective and that the textbook is very tedious to read. If you are finding that the FSI method is ineffective, that may be because you are only doing each lesson one time. Many students make this mistake when they first start learning Spanish with FSI.

One of my students told me that he stumbled upon this secret when he did not have the money to purchase any other Spanish language courses to continue his self-education. And instead letting his learning of the Spanish language come to a complete halt, he went back and reviewed both the FSI textbook and audio over and over again. That’s when he realized the secret to learning with the Foreign Service Institute system was to review the lessons over and over again instead of only covering each lesson one time.

2. Use the audio by itself when commuting or doing other activities

After you have gone through the lessons 4 to 5 times with both the textbook and audio, listen to the CDs while driving. Alternatively, you can put the audio on your MP3 player or your Ipod and listen to the lessons while you out taking a walk, waiting online in the supermarket, waiting at the dentist’s office, etc. By following this advice, you will notice that the material is reinforced in your memory and that your listening comprehension has significantly improved.

3. Supplement your studies

As good as the FSI method is, it is not perfect. The FSI method teaches relatively formal or academic Spanish that the Institute has used to teach diplomats and other government personnel. If you want to learn how to speak the language more casually you should supplement your FSI studies with a more informal course such as Learn Conversational Spanish Now or Learning Spanish Like Crazy (LSLC). LSLC includes downloadable re-mastered copies of FSI Spanish Levels 1 to 4 with your copy of LSLC Level 1.

In summary, the FSI method can be very effective providing that you practice each lesson numerous times before moving on to the next lesson, listen to the audio repeatedly while performing other activities, and supplement your learning with an informal course.

Maximizing Teaching and Learning Environments With Social Media and Science

Teaching methodologies continue to morph into ways by which we design instructional modules for teaching and learning, colleges and universities who offer Teacher Education Programs, so too, must continue to model, design, and effectively refine teacher instructional programs and strategies that will foster the development of highly qualified teachers and learners. In the early 2000, several Colleges and Universities struggled to stay afloat. This was largely because of a weak economy due to the housing crisis according to most analysts. The economy, however; got better over time and yet still, there continues to be a large call to recruit and retain the brightest minds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM Education. Simply put, there aren’t enough talented pre-service teachers to teach students in critical areas of science and math.

Designing a quality Teacher Education Programs, which delivered a cohesive sense of community, served all of its stakeholders and constituents well. The study examined emerging research and the significance of using social media as a collaboration tool to rethink, reshape, and recreate, teaching and learning environments between pre-service and post-service math and science teachers. Pre-service teachers came from one of the Historically Black College and Universities located in the Southeast. Post-service or veteran teachers taught middle grades students from a rural agricultural community. An interactive social media platform was used to help both groups collaborate, teach, and learn instructional strategies from each other. As a backdrop, each focused their instructional content using common core standards from math and science. Posts contained articles for discussion, interactive projects, pictures, images, and videos. Learners began to create, think, and share alike. Both groups surpassed a learning curve that produced positive outcomes for themselves and most importantly their students.

The Conceptual Framework for this Teacher Education Program take into account the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for student candidates to possess before entering the real world of Teacher Education. Teacher candidates aspired to be among those proficient educators that already exists in schools all over the world. Colleges of Education affirms the importance of aligning its programs of study with each particular state’s professional standards. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which is the profession’s mechanism to help establish high quality teacher preparation acerts the following goals for proficient status:

Five goals for the “Proficient Educator”

1. Demonstrates competence in content knowledge;

2. Uses effective pedagogical skills;

3. Uses technology appropriately to enhance learning;

4. Evidences a caring disposition; and

5. Has an understanding of and appreciation for diversity.

Although, many skills and technological divides were evident for many, the pedagogical skills of post-service teachers bridged the gaps of age and experience. Whereas skill in this digital divide narrowed, knowledge of the latest technology with post-service teachers was abundant due to time and protocol of recent program needs. By closing gaps and entrusting skillsets both groups were able to reach all students. With the use of social media knowledge gained by both groups made a lasting impression on students, parents, and administration.

Researchers suggest that it is important to look at social networks from more than simple communication or information-flow perspective. The interventions have more to do with helping groups know what the others know and ensuring safety and access among people. Cross, Parker, and Borghetti, 2002, suggested that we should began to focus less on communication and more on the knowledge-based dimensions of relationships that make them useful in sharing and creating knowledge.

The Digital Era

The Digital Era has allowed us to cross space and time, engage with people in a far-off time zone as though they were just next door, do business with people around the world, and develop information systems that potentially network us all closer and closer every day. Yet, people don’t live in a global world – they are more concerned with the cultures in which they participate Boyd, 2006. As to date, social media has evolved to become a powerful tool for education. Social Network sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Ning and tools such as Skype and Eliminate are connecting students to learning opportunities in ways that are engaging and exciting. Whether you teach in an elementary, middle, or high school class, or a traditional face-to-face or online college or university, social media can have a direct impact on student learning.

Smith 2011 posted that in 2011, 63.7 percent of US internet users used social networks on a regular basis, amounting to nearly 148 million people. Although the pace of growth will be less dramatic in the next few years than it was in 2009 and 2010, usage will remain strong and shows no sign of declining. People learn through observing others’ behavior, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviors. Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action. Social learning theory explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences Bandura, 1977.

Necessary conditions for Effective Modeling

Attention – various factors increase or decrease the amount of attention paid. Includes distinctiveness, affective valence, prevalence, complexity, functional value. One’s characteristics such as sensory capacities, arousal level, perceptual set, past reinforcement, affect, and attention.

Retention – remembering what you paid attention to. Includes symbolic coding, mental images, cognitive organization, symbolic rehearsal, motor rehearsal.

Reproduction – reproducing the image. Including physical capabilities, and self-observation of reproduction.

Motivation – having a good reason to imitate. Includes motives such as a past such as traditional behaviorism, promised imagined incentives, and vicarious seeing and recalling the reinforced model.

Middle grade learners tend to learn, yet communicate differently than any other level in the educational arena. Based on the social media method that was implemented for the project, criterion reference comprehensive test scores increased in both math and science content areas. In math there was a 2.4 percent increase and 9.6 percent increase in science. Researchers continuously try to find ways that are challenging, engaging, and relevant to middle level learners while ensuring that both students and teachers are constantly engaged in active learning.

In today’s culture a student’s learning environment is infused with lots of old and new technologies. Even the technological aspects and mechanics of a pencil has changed since it’s inception with the discovery of graphite in the 1500’s. Whether that technology involves the latest gaming systems, the coolest gadgets, or invitations to social media, students live in a culture that want to be engaged with those “things” that will motivate them and bring gratification to them instantaneously.

The learning environments for students both in school and at home should be seamless enough that when technology is a method of integrated learning, it should operate on a level in which both continue to grow. It should become a tool that students become more accustom to. It is advantageous and well worth the educational journey throughout teacher preparation. The students are already there; why not meet them on their playing field.

References

Bandura, A. Social Learning Theory, 1977;( http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/sociallearning.htm; retrieved on 7/1/12.

Boyd, D., (March, 2006). G/localization: When global information and local interaction collide.”. O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference; San Diego, CA.

Cross, R., Parker, A., & Borghetti, S. (2002). A bird’s-eye view: Using social network analysis to improve knowledge creation and sharing. IBM Institute for Business Value, 1-19.

Smith, Anise. “Social Network Usage Growing Strong.” My Amplify. 18 March 2011.