How to Ensure Waiters Perform Well in Your Restaurant/Bar

For any restaurant or bar, waiters are the engine that literally ensures that the business runs. They are the ones who directly sell the products to customers and interact with customers. In most cases, how much customers spend and probability of coming back depend on how the waiting staff treat them. When customers leave your restaurant/bar, they will have a lasting impression of how they were served. Therefore, excellent service in your restaurant by waiters is very critical in determining the success or failure of any restaurant or bar.

For any restaurant or bar, waiters are the engine that literally ensures that the business runs.

How can you train your waiting staff to offer excellent service?

As noted above, excellent service in your restaurant by the waiting staff in your restaurant/bar is one of the most important determinants of success or failure of your establishment. Below are some ways through which you can fine tune service delivery of your waiting staff:

All waiting staff must wear uniform, have name tags and be presentable.

It’s important that all waiting staff must wear clean, ironed uniform and place their name tags in a visible manner. Customers love to call a waiter by name rather than make that irritating “Tsk tsk” sound whenever they want to be served. With a uniform, it’s easy for waiting staff to be identified by customers. Also, all waiting staff should be presentable: well done hair, well polished shoes and generally well groomed.

Customers love to call a waiter by name rather than make that irritating “Tsk tsk” sound whenever they want to be served.

Waiting staff should always greet and welcome customers with a smile.

Every customer who selects your restaurant/bar out of the many others should feel welcome. The last thing a customer expects is an unpleasant, gloomy waiter taking his order. Always ensure that the waiting staff smile and welcome the customer. (And also thank them when they are leaving!)

Customers should be attended to within a maximum of 2 minutes after arrival.

Nobody likes to wait forever to be served when it’s them spending their own money! Preferably, a customer should be served within 1 minute of arrival otherwise you’ll create a bad first impression. While at it, a customer order should not be delayed and if there are unforeseen circumstances, the waiter should promptly inform the customer of the unexpected delay.

Waiting staff should be trained to subtly recommend other products to the customers on top of their order.

Up-selling and cross-selling helps to not only increase sales but also gives a customer the chance to sample more of what you offer. For example, if a customer orders for a cup of tea, the waiter should suggest an accompaniment. Likewise, bar waiters should invite customers to order for food to accompany their drinks.

Waiting staff should deliver a bill towards the end.

This is psychological. When a customer receives his/her bill, the natural response is to pay and leave. Therefore, waiters should tactically delay giving customer a bill and ensure they ask if the customer needs anything else before giving the bill. This ensures that the customer spends the maximum time and amount during the visit.

No phones or any other gadgets when on duty.

It goes without saying that the waiting staff should always be alert and focused on serving customers. Having a phone ring every now and then is a distraction which will inevitably compromise their focus on serving customers. NO PHONES WHILE WORKING!

Waiting staff should take regular breaks to recharge and refresh.

Taking orders, going back and forth to the kitchen, clearing tables…waiting service is a tedious job. To ensure that waiting staff stay energized, they should be allowed regular rotational breaks of say 15 minutes to cool off and recharge in order to continue offering excellent service in your restaurant

Waiting staff should be given incentives and rewards for great performance.

Human beings love incentives and rewards. Exemplary performance should be acknowledged and rewarded. This will keep the waiting staff motivated and willing to go the extra mile since they know that they will be recognized / rewarded for offering excellent service in your restaurant.

Collective responsibility and clear rules.

Management should emphasize that the success or failure of the restaurant/bar is a collective responsibility. Great service by some waiters and lousy service by others is as good as useless. In as much as waiting staff should be assigned their sections, everybody should be willing to chip in and do whatever is necessary even if it’s not in their section. That said, all waiting staff should adhere to the set rules and regulations.

Regular refresher training.

The hospitality industry is always evolving. There are new products and trends coming up every now and then. It’s therefore important that the waiting staff should periodically (at least quarterly) undergo training to ensure that they stay up to date in regards to offering excellent service in your restaurant.


At SimbaPOS, we do not just offer Restaurant and Bar POS Software in Kenya- we endeavor to provide holistic products, services and information that will ensure your restaurant/bar grows. You can check for more insightful articles like this here, check SimbaPOS pricing, view SimbaPOS Features, read success stories from customers or get in touch with us.

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