How to train new waiters
Most of the companies in our business don’t have the budget and time to train new waiters!
At the same time, it is getting harder and harder to find quality workers with proper training and tons of experience!
Mostly, the new waiters are people who come out of school, college, or other branches of the economy! People without knowledge and zero experience!
So how do we implement those people into our ranks and our system and how to assure that our guests receive the highest standard of service they deserve and pay for?
I have worked and trained a lot of new waiters and I have often fought with frustration over the incompetence or unwillingness of the management to put a minimum training system to help those new employees overcome the initial fear and stress our job brings, to ensure that the guests receive quality service and that we as a team don’t kill each other over the mistakes which will no doubt occur with untrained and inexperienced waiter on the floor!
Firts day at work.
First and foremost, you have to convince your staff and mostly your head waiters that the proper training of a new employee will help them tremendously and eliminate the troubles and stress a new waiter usually brings to the floor!
THEN, YOU ASSIGN YOUR BEST AND MOST EXPERIENCED WAITERS, WHO SHOULD KNOW HOW TO TRAIN NEW EMPLOYEES, IN CHARGE OF THE TRAINING NO MATTER IF THAT IS ANOTHER HEAD WAITER, A BACKUP WAITER OR A BUSSER!
THE PEOPLE WITH THE MOST EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE AND THE PEOPLE WHO LATER WILL DEPEND ON THIS NEW GUY TO SUPPORT THEM SHOULD TRAIN HIM OR HER!
HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW BUSSER TO BE INTRODUCED TO THE JOB FROM ANOTHER BUSSER WHO WAS HIRED JUST TWO WEEKS AGO??? I have way too often! It is ridiculous!
The training program should start from the beginning for the new employee! That means that he/she should be trained how to carry plates, how to buss tables, how to carry trays and serve drinks and food, timing, small talk, steps of service, etc!
What are the requirements for his/her job, all the side work that is included in his duties, and then the timing of all operations!
Training by itself leads to no better service and better performance if it is not followed through with control and repercussions!
Every trainee should sign the training program to affirm that he has been told everything he needs to know about his job in order to perform at the highest standard possible!
After that he/she should carry responsibility for not performing according to his training! Once a new employee sees that there is no punishment if he takes a short cut and not finishing his side works or is not performing the service according to the training he/she received, he/she will turn into a lazy and irresponsible person, who will break the culture of the entire team! Responsibilities and punishment are the two most important factors in establishing a good company culture and working environment
The training program should include:
1. Appearance and punctuality
2. Working on the expo window and recognizing the food items.
3. Learning the ingredients of the food, the timing of the preparation process, and the proper service of dishes (what are the side dishes, sauces that accompany the main course, how to carry plates, how to serve the plates to the guests, how to introduce the meals and etc.) Let the new employee take the menu home and tell him/her you want the next day all the questions he/she has about it, written on a paper so you can explain everything to him/her!
This will be accomplished best if the new employee works runner and expo for the first few shifts at the restaurant!
HOW TO TRAIN NEW WAITERS ABOUT DRINK SERVICE AND BAR
4. Learning the wine by the glass with the main characteristics of the different wines – 2 days
5. Learning the signature cocktails and ingredients – 1 week
6. Learning the entire wine list top-selling wine, first. Characteristics of top-selling wines, techniques of selling wines! Technique of opening wine and entire wine service (every restaurant has different requirements!)
7. Carrying tray, serving drinks (basics included: how to touch glasses, how to and when to remove glasses from the table and etc.)
8. Learning to prepare the basics cocktails and long drinks alone. Garnish and different glassware!
HOW TO TRAIN NEW WAITERS ABOUT GUEST SERVICE AND COMMUNICATIONS:
9. BE PRESENTABLE IN FRONT OF GUESTS, SMILE, AND BE POLITE AT ALL TIMES!
10. Learning the table numbers and seat numbers on every table – the first hour at work!
11. Greeting the guests (standard and personal), seating the guests, work with the reservation book, the house telephone, and handling reservation problems
12. Presenting the menu, the wine list, and taking the orders: style, timing, and requirements of up-selling and selling the daily special! Example: there will be no guest who doesn’t hear the special of the day! No exception! EVERY TABLE WILL BE ASKED FOR APERITIVES BEFORE TAKING FOOD ORDER OR WINE ORDER AND ETC.
13. WORKING WITH THE PC SYSTEM! Closing the program and checking out.
14. Procedures for accepting the station and transferring the station and the tables to the new shift. Example: every table should be informed that there is a new waiter on the station and he should be introduced personally from the waiter that is leaving)
SIDE WORKS, CLEANNESS, AND BASIC RULES IN THE RESTAURANT
19. when smoking is allowed, drinking, eating
20. living the restaurant, check in- check out times
EXTRA TIPS FOR EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE
21. A HEAD Waiter SHOULD MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT WITH HIS GUESTS AT ALL TIME! Do not leave your station unattended!
22. Be attentive and intuitive! Don’t wait for your guest to ask you for something! Anticipate the guest’s needs. Try to guess what the guests might need and offer them to provide them with it:
Example: You bring a stake to the table and you see that the waiter has not prepared the steak knife! Ask the guest if you can bring a steak knife!
If the knife is there you can offer the guests to grind some fresh pepper for their stakes and not waiting for them to ask you.
You see the bottle of water is empty or almost empty! Take the bottle, make sure the last drops are emptied in the glasses, and suggest that you order another one!
23. Small talk with your guests – find the time (the appropriate time) to say something nice and personal to your guests. If they have a dog, offer to bring water, ask for the dog’s name, and how old it is! You can do the same if they have a kid.
You can acquire politely for the nationality or the language the guests are speaking. You can make a compliment on a dress or shoe or jewelry just to make the guests special and assure them that you care about how they feel and their experience in the restaurant!
24. Learn how to sell wine, daily specials, and in general up sale!
25. Be quick with bringing the check and taking the payment! We don’t want to ruin the whole evening just because we have made the guests wait for the check!!! We are losing tip making a last bad impression!!!
26. Try to do everything you perform in front of the guests with finesse
27. Make sure the waiter follows the steps of service thoroughly when working a station!
We can train your new waiters with our Online Waiter Training Class and help you improve the overall quality of service, reduce expenses, and increase profit at no cost for you!