No matter how obscure a guest’s order may be, getting it right is paramount. Sure, sometimes guests are just extraordinarily picky eaters. Often though, guests make special requests because of an allergy or sensitivity to a particular food. Allergic reactions can be severe, even life threatening. Order accuracy isn’t just about providing great service, it’s also about protecting guest safety.

Error-Free Orders in 5 Steps

There are five important steps to ensuring order accuracy.

Listen carefully. This may seem like an obvious one, but active listening is a skill too often taken for granted. Hearing something and really internalizing what was said are two separate activities. Train servers or front-counter staff to lean forward and maintain eye contact, looking away only to write down the order or press the right buttons on the register.

Clarify and verify. Staff members taking orders should ask questions if they’re unclear about anything the guest says, and read the order back to be sure it was taken correctly — every order, every time.

Train on technology. These days, P.O.S systems take care of communicating orders to the kitchen. Cashiers should clearly communicate orders to the prep cooks. But even the best P.O.S technology is only as good as the people using it. Be sure staff members are thoroughly trained in using the machines and aren’t so caught up with trying to be speedy that their fingers press the wrong keys.

Check it twice. Everyone who works to prepare the order should double-check it against the original ticket – at every production stage – before it reaches the customer. Make it a requirement.

Recognize and reward. When you observe staff members doing these steps correctly, recognize them. To show your staff how important accurate order-taking is, create incentives and contests to keep them focused and reward those that set the best examples.

Restaurant Server Training

When order accuracy improves, so does the entire guest experience. Click here to check out complete Cycle of Service online training program.