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8 Dos & Don’ts For Professional Restaurant Service That Doesn’t Annoy

January 14, 2021

Whether you’re a restaurant industry rookie or veteran server, it’s always a good idea to polish up on service etiquette and challenge yourself to be better. With that in mind, here are 8 dos and don’ts that will help improve your level of service and hopefully fatten your wallet as well:


8 Dos and Don’ts of Professional Restaurant Service That Doesn’t Annoy

Do greet your guests as quickly as possible, tell them your name, make them feel welcome, and try to get the drink order.

Don’t feel a need to introduce yourself repeatedly. Introducing yourself to your guests while greeting the table is a great way to get on a personal level with your guests and make them comfortable, but there’s no need to tell them your name repeatedly. It’s weird.


Do make eye contact and try to answer questions helpfully.

Don’t feel a need to get at eye level with customers. There’s no need to bend down, unless you’re having trouble hearing each other or you’re dealing with children. Definitely don’t feel a need to touch anyone at the table, no matter how casually.


Do give honest opinions about what items you like most on the menu, when asked.

Don’t say anything negative about any items on the menu, even if you don’t like them. If your guest asks you directly if there’s anything on the menu that you don’t like, then deflect and keep it positive. Stick to describing the items clearly so your guests can make the best choice for them.


Do let your guests take the lead on how much conversational banter to engage in.

Don’t over share with customers. Don’t over share with fellow wait staff within earshot of customers.


Do provide table service without interrupting conversation.

Don’t interject comments into conversations taking place at the table. You should remain in the background of their conversation unless they ask you to chime in.


Do be prepared to share specials.

Don’t sell specials without saying the price. The last thing you want is to blindside your guests with a higher-than-expected bill and make them mad after you’ve done all the work and they’re about to leave your tip.


Do be respectful to every guest.

Don’t give preferential treatment to certain guests over others. Don’t flirt with anyone at the table.


Do bring change. Always assume that your guests want their change, unless they tell you otherwise, even if it’s just a few pennies.

Don’t ask if they need change. It’s their money. Don’t assume that you can have it.


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