The Fort Bend Foodie 03/26/14
Restaurant Etiquette: Server Etiquette
This week I want to address another side of the etiquette spectrum – that of the wait staff. As patrons, our experience is primarily shaped by the pleasantness and effectiveness of these people. Often the gratuity is a reflection of that experience. So if this is the line of work you are in, take note.
The server should always maintain a pleasant disposition and smile. While it is important to communicate with patrons, there is a difference between making sure guests are satisfied and being overly friendly. A server should never engage in a lengthy conversation with guests or other co-workers. This means they may be neglecting other guests and overly intrusive of the engaged guests time and space. The server should maintain an upright posture as much as possible, and avoid yawing, fidgeting, playing with their hair or skin, or eating anything while in view of the patrons. This is very unhygienic and disgusting.
Equally important is to have clean hands and fingernails. Touching food with bare hands is totally unacceptable. Appropriate cutlery should be served with the food if not already on the table. Food should be served from the left and removed from the right. Women and children should be served before the men. When serving courses, the appetizer should be served first and by itself. It is considered very poor etiquette to bring the salad simultaneously with the appetizer, as is the case with the salad and the entrée. Serving one course on top of another without providing adequate time in between is never acceptable or appreciated.
A server should never be seen checking for tip amounts or counting tips in the presence of patrons. Finally, it is very important to communicate with the patrons about their experience and ask for feedback on how they could make it better.
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