How can you motivate – and empower – your servers to make more tips? Transform their style from “service’ to “serve-us!” Here’s a quick lesson in providing serve-us to pass along to your servers at your next waitstaff training session. First, find out two things about the guests at each table:

  • Have you been here before? (Or are you regulars?)
  • Are you in a hurry? (Or do you want a more casually paced meal?)

A guest who has never visited before has different needs than a regular… same with guests in a hurry. Modify suggestions for each group:

When providing serve-us to regular customers, welcome them back with openers like…

  • “Would you like the usual or our new special… the blackened chicken pasta?”
  • “Did you know we just added three new items?”

First-time visitors need a different type of serve-us. Reassure their choices and provide menu guidance with dialogue like…

  • “May I make a few suggestions?”
  • “You can’t eat here without ordering our famous ____________!”

Guests in a hurry? Service-us them with a sense of urgency and…

  • Suggest items that can be prepared quickly
  • Combine steps (for example, take the entire order at once, suggest dessert and drop check (if the dessert is not ordered) or suggest the dessert to-go)

For guests who want a casual pace, don’t rush them, but…

  • Deliver “silent serve-us” if they prefer to be left alone
  • Suggest dessert, coffee or after-dinner drinks

But perhaps the best definition of “serve-us” is to serve the guests the way they want to be served.

Restaurant Service and Sales Training

The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.