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.

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.

Beyond Volunteerism – Community Service Ideas For College Students

As a college student who’s dedicated to making the most out of your education, the last thing that you feel like doing on summer break is pursuing more education. After a semester of doing more studying and attending less parties than you anticipated, spending May through August palling around with friends, vacationing and visiting nightspots is the reasonable thing to do. But what if you could spend the summer having fun while pursuing non-academic education. If you’re interested but you’re wondering how much summer fun you’ll have; rest assured, we’re not talking about something that requires study; we’re talking about something that could boost your resume while bringing more excitement to your summer than bar hopping or hitting the beach: performing community service.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how volunteer work could be as fun as how you spent last summer. But we’re not talking about volunteering at a food pantry; we’re talking about community service ideas that will keep you engaged and still allow you to celebrate summer. In addition to needing volunteers in the service areas like food distribution, prepared meals, health care, etc., community service organizations also need volunteers in service areas and geographic locations that aren’t commonly associated with volunteer work. To explain what we mean; below, we list two big ways that service work could make your summer far more interesting than if you didn’t perform it.

Incredible Vacation Opportunities

If you contact a well connected community service organization, you’ll find that there’s a need for service projects and service workers all over the globe, and the news gets better: instead of having to pay thousands of dollars in airfare and travel accommodations, you can get most if not all of your travel costs covered by organizations that donate to worldwide service projects. In addition, you can also start your own fundraising campaign and achieve success by contacting a list of resources provided by a service organization. Have you ever wanted to travel somewhere that’s off the beaten tourist path? By searching out service needs and projects in the country of your choice, chances are that you can take a supremely original vacation for very little money.

Incredible Career Opportunities

Without a degree, you’ll find it hard to get meaningful experience in your field; and without meaningful experience, you’ll find it hard to get a job in your field. While many students think that having a degree means that they’ll get hired after graduation, that’s simply not the case. Employers want experience, and not low-level experience. So, what’s a sophomore or junior to do? If you take advantage of the right volunteer opportunities, you can volunteer for projects that let you use your education in a pivotal role. Offering your time and talents for free means that you won’t be competing for a paid position, which means that you’ll have little competition in the first place.

What Is Your Customer Service Worth?

Customer service is not always on our minds as leaders. It’s often seen as a cost, and little else.

What’s the purpose of customer service? You might think, to fix problems. With that mindset, it doesn’t make sense to invest much in it.

The thing is, it’s a little more complicated. Here are 7 purposes of customer service:

  1. To answer questions
  2. Yes, to solve problems
  3. To educate your customers
  4. Even better, to learn from your customers
  5. To improve their experience of your company
  6. To strengthen your relationship with your customer through empathy and care
  7. To give your company another opportunity to have the desired impact.

These 7 purposes start to shift your perspective.

You can reduce your costs by designing a better product or service. By doing a stellar job at education in your manual, online, or in a video.

You can enhance your customer service ROI by learning from your customers so that you can do all these things better: design, execution, education, relationships, and impact.

When someone makes the effort to call or email your company, your customer is giving you a second chance.

Your customer service staff have the opportunity to not only make it better, to build your relationship, and to decide to refer you or to buy again. These members of your team can make the difference between whether your company has its intended impact or not.

That’s worth the investment.

Confusion about what you want to achieve and what it costs helps no one.

If you engage with customers, be clear about what it’s worth to your company, what it is you want to achieve, and what it costs. Then decide and do that.