So over the last couple months, I have been taking quite a few parties. Like any typical night, I usually share it with someone (corporate rules) or give them the rest of my section so I can focus on the party myself.
I’m finding that people have a lot of different ways of doing things, but a lot of them are inefficient. So no worries, the doctor is here with a list of things to help you make a little more money.
- Find the “focal point”
I’m sure you’ve heard this multiple times in training, and it turns out those goons who wrote the training manuals aren’t robots after all. There is always the organizer of the event that is in charge of setting the lunch/dinner party up, rely on them to make any major decisions the group is unsure about. If no one is held responsible, you’ll be the blame later when they have to pay for something “they didn’t order” (someone said, “Yeah, we’ll get that” without consulting everyone else).
This is the person you’ll keep informed and that will keep you informed. Since they are probably the organizer of the event, they will have more information than the rest. If it’s a party of kids, make sure to communicate with parents about what the kids can and can’t have. If it’s a luncheon, communicate about your splitting checks procedure or if the company is paying for it. People like to be kept informed because they like to feel as if they are in control. The more you leave them in control, the bigger tip you get because you were so accommodating.
- Ask for help
Unless you’ve got an extra pair of hands in your apron, you’re going to need help carrying out the twenty waters and bar drinks they just ordered. Tables aren’t going to understand why you’re taking 20 minutes to deliver they’re watered down bar drinks because you were too stubborn to ask for help. They just want to be drunk and hydrate.
- Put in a large order of 8 or more in separately
Tables are not going to understand why it’s taking forty-five minutes to bang out an order. If 10 people ordered burgers, chances are they probably aren’t going to be able to make all 10 of those burgers at once because there are only so many spaces on the grill and so many people to make all those burgers. Staggering the order allows some of the food to arrive, and then the rest shows up shortly after you’ve run the first half.
People don’t want you to explain the kitchen setup to them, they just want their food. I can’t say other people won’t ever be upset that their food took a little longer than the rest, but they will assume their food is en route. This in turn leads to guest satisfaction rather than a whole table pissed off at you.
- Don’t be a table hog!
Look, we’re not questioning your serving capabilities here. But if you volunteered to take the party, chances are you’re taking part of someone else’s tables and the party is going to require most of your attention. Don’t be that greedy douchebag who hogs another server’s section and take the party in hopes that you’re going to make more money. Overall, you’re going to be less attentive which makes for less of a tip. On top of that, now you’re that guy who hogs tables.
I’m going to Las Vegas again tonight, be prepared for more service stories.
May great tips be with you!