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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

8 reasons to train waiters skills. Believe me - it’s also Customer Relation Management!

“Why should we waste money to train how to carry a tray, plates or to set up a table? Is that necessary?” one owner of a restaurant chain asked into the round. I didn’t say anything as I was more interested in the reaction of the others at the table and was not involved in his restaurant business at all at that time. Sure enough a lot of nods and agreements that this was a waste of time and money – including the CEO. Most of those who confirmed – including the CEO - also had no clue about restaurant operation but you should nod to the owners expression. Sure enough this chain went down the drain. The owner might have loved some honest opinion.

Rent or staff?

In San Francisco - like in other expensive cities - the first restaurants had to decide to pay either the rent or the staff. Rent wasn’t a real option so the staff had to go and self service was introduced. That of course avoids training skills. But is this what you or your guest really want it to be?

Teaching is always a worthwhile investment

Teaching cooks the skills how to cook is an investment nobody doubts makes sense. Teaching waiters the skills they need is a waste of time?

Your guest would appreciate to have a fast efficient waiter who has the calm to be honestly friendly and provide – another hammer word – “the experience?”.

What would be the advantages?

Faster efficient work. Servers trained to carry plates and trays right, approaching customers without the plastic smile and artificial upselling will

  • have less breakage and accidents

  • serve a table faster and more elegant and convenient for the guest

  • separate waste automatically ( real trained waiters always did that but it has been forgotten)

  • the dishwasher becomes more efficient and needs less labour

  • the whole service becomes an experience

  • setting up tables is faster, cleaner and better

  • the waiter gets more relaxed , looks professional

  • all the time saved can be invested in guest contact ( even though most owners will just cut on staff – no illusion from my side)

Don't try experience - deliver!

It would make sense to invest here. The guest experience – a word miss - used up to the limit nowadays – would be provided. Money would be saved. But of course the short term thinking of most owners and the habit of hiring part timers and outsource services doesn’t allow for this too often.

Guest will be educated by experiencing real service. On youtube a video with title “best waiter in the world” turns my stomach when I see the catastrophe of a waiter clearing a table and the guest believes that is good service? Want to know what bad service looks like to them.

Train them all - so all will benefit!

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