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Learn how to create a waitstaff that dazzles, delights, and delivers results. In this video,you'll learn how to set tables.
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It’s best to approach a new table within 60 seconds of their arrival. John’s table has been waiting for three minutes now. Let’s check in and see if he makes up for this by giving an awesome presentation.
John: Hey, folks. My name is John. I’ll be serving you tonight. Can I get you anything to drink?
Guest: Do you have a drink list?
John: Well, actually our bartender can make just about any thing, rum and coke, martinis, except he really can’t make anything frozen.
Guest: I’ll just have water. Can you get some lemon?
John: Yeah. Everyone else can have water, as well.
Guest: Actually, I like to have a glass of wine but if I could hear the specials first before I decide.
John: Okay. Well, we’ve got three specials tonight. We’ve got an appetizer, lamb ravioli with marinara sauce. We got two entrées, the tunas served with vegetables and a shrimp served with asparagus and penne.
Guest: Tuna, I love tuna. Do you know how it’s prepared?
John: Yeah. It’s grilled and it’s served with a cherry.
Guest: It sounds interesting.
John: Okay. Well, I’ll be back in a few minutes to get your order for you, the rum and lemons for you.
Guest: John, can we order an appetizer.
John: Yeah, sure, what can I get you?
Guest: How is a ravioli?
John: It’s good.
Guest: I think, we’ll go with the ravioli then.
John: Okay. Well, ravioli it is. I’ll be back with the lemons.
Jane: Well, hello everyone. Welcome to Lorenzo’s. My name is Jane and I’ll be the one taking care of you this evening.
Notice how the woman at the table set her menu down and made eye contact with Jane immediately. That’s a hint that she’s the leader of this meal.
Jane: And just to let you know that in addition to our full bar tonight, our bartender is making a refreshing Mojito. It’s made with fresh mint leaves tomato, Roman lime served in a chilled glass and crystallized sugar around the rim.
As you can see Jane, first impression is quite different from John’s. She attended to her table immediately and she approached the table with confidence knowing that this was going to be a great table. She didn’t let the fact that the table had a young girl influenced her approach to the table. Unlike John, Jane started her presentation right away. She captured the guests’ attention with her description of the Mojito and is now describing wine options.
She also made eye contact with the host or leader of the table. The leader is a great asset to you as the server. The leader will help guide the rest of the table through the meal and let you know through body language and subtle communication what the table needs.
Female: A Mojito sounds nice and refreshing. I think I’ll have one.
Female: I'm in the mood for wine. I think I’ll have your Chardonnay.
Male: I think I’ll have wine, as well, but I think I’ll wait to hear what the specials are. Madeleine, honey, what do you want to drink?
Madeleine: A Mojito.
Male: That’s an adult drink. How about a Shirley Temple?
Madeleine: Yeah, Shirley Temple.
Jane: Well, let me just give me you a brief tour of our menu. At the top, you’ll find our appetizers and our signature Bruschetta is made with fresh Italian bread and topped with Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and Parmesan Reggiano cheese. And moving down our menu, you’ll find our salad selections and all of our salads are served with our house made raspberry vinaigrette or poppy seed dressing.
Notice how Jane owns the menu. She clearly knows where everything is and can make recommendations. This inspires confidence on the part of the customer and will embode in them to order more rather than less.
Female: Well, I think we’ll have to try the Bruschetta and why does everyone else think for a second appetizer, the lamb raviolis?
Female: I don’t know. Madeleine is not a big lamb fan.
Jane: Well, how about the spinach artichoke then? It’s served with bagel chips and a crusty baguette that most of our younger diners enjoy it.
Female: Yeah. That sounds perfect.
Male: The shrimp penne pasta with the asparagus sounded wonderful. What kind of wine would you suggest with that?
Jane: Well, by the glass, I would suggest our housed Pinot Grigio but if you’re looking the entire table can enjoy, the chef suggests the Penne-Folds, Kunaga Hill Chardonnay from Southeast Australia. It’s a perfect complement to the shrimp.
Male: Let’s start with the Pinot Grigio.
Jane: All right. Well, I will be right back with your drinks in just moment.
Jane certainly owned the menu. Not only did she own it, she sold it quite successfully. Every one at her table has already drinks and they ordered two appetizers, the two that she suggested. Guests like to try things on your recommendation, just make sure you recommend something good. Equally important is getting the right orders to the right people. Let’s take a look Jane’s order slip.
She had to divide it up into four sections, one for each guest. She has a plenty of room to write down what each person is having for each course. Now, she just has to make sure that she enters the items correctly into the computer.