Friday, June 26, 2009

What is Good Service?

What is ‘good service’ at a restaurant? Time and again, many people have asked me this question. Having been a food panelist for more than 12 years, this is a question you will never escape from your friends.

I must say that it is very difficult to isolate what elements are brought to the table by the waiter and what can be attributed to training and the house style. For example, I've had very good and very bad service at the same restaurant……… then how do I rate this restaurant?
In cases like that, I feel like it's the waiter that brings everything and therefore it becomes clear there is little training. Some people want to be "friends" with their waiters; others just want the person to efficiently deliver the food and clear the table. How a waiter approaches and chats up a table could also be part of the house style.

At Pete’s Place, the staff is there at every juncture, almost appearing like magic; they seem to know when to approach the table. And they know when to make themselves scarce. In this case, it's clear that they are not only veterans but adhere to a certain style.
The Rtiz, I guess has a rigorous training program for its staff. The staff has a certain approachable demeanor that's consistent regardless of who is working your table.

In addition, good service staff does special things to accommodate the guests that might not necessarily be strictly classified as service, but gives the overall effect of making the customer feel special. If diners are sharing appetizers or a dessert, the waiters volunteer to split the portion. If it is rains, the customers are asked “Do you need an umbrella to go to your parked car?” Babies get a bit of attention. The elderly get special attention. Pregnant ladies get attention and soon you find out that everyone is treated well equally – that’s good service.
At Spice Queen, our service staff is well trained and we get lots of accolades all the time.

I'd love to know where you've had the best service, and what made it special.

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