100 Rules for Service

CafeDave posted a link to the first half of this series the other day.

The next half is up.

Here are my favourites.

  1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting.
  2. Do not lead the witness with, “Bottled water or just tap?” Both are fine. Remain neutral.
  3. Do not hustle the lobsters. That is, do not say, “We only have two lobsters left.” Even if there are only two lobsters left.
  4. Never say “I don’t know” to any question without following with, “I’ll find out.”
  5. Do not touch the rim of a water glass. Or any other glass.
  6. Never serve anything that looks creepy or runny or wrong.
  7. If someone likes a wine, steam the label off the bottle and give it to the guest with the bill. It has the year, the vintner, the importer, etc.
  8. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them or dust them.
  9. Never remove a plate full of food without asking what went wrong. Obviously, something went wrong.
  10. Never mention the tip, unless asked.
  11. Never say, “Good choice,” implying that other choices are bad.
  12. Never reek from perfume or cigarettes. People want to smell the food and beverage.
  13. Never patronize a guest who has a complaint or suggestion; listen, take it seriously, address it.
  14. Never play a radio station with commercials or news or talking of any kind.
  15. Do not play an entire CD of any artist. If someone doesn’t like Frightened Rabbit or Michael Bublé, you have just ruined a meal.
  16. If a guest goes gaga over a particular dish, get the recipe for him or her.
  17. Do not wear too much makeup or jewelry. You know you have too much jewelry when it jingles and/or draws comments.
  18. Do not race around the dining room as if there is a fire in the kitchen or a medical emergency. (Unless there is a fire in the kitchen or a medical emergency.)
  19. Do not ignore a table because it is not your table. Stop, look, listen, lend a hand. (Whether tips are pooled or not.)
  20. Do not show frustration. Your only mission is to serve. Be patient. It is not easy.

Most of the principles underlying these 20 tips (and many of the others) are easily transferable to any career or service – and can be applied to the way we treat guests at home, or at church.

Mikey has a good post about good dining manners that’s a useful addition to this one.