10 Helpful Dining Tips for Customers
We are always reading helpful tips for waiters and waitresses to give great service and the ultimate customer experience. But what about the diners? You only have to look online to discover a funny world of hospitality staff experiences with customers who really make life interesting, to say the least. If you are someone who regularly loves to go out for breakfast/lunch dinner, drinks or to check out the latest opening of a new venue, here are a few tips as in 10 Helpful Dining Tips for Customers for you to help your hosts/waiters/service staff give you the best experience they can.
- Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself – Most service staff do their best to give great service and have chosen a field of service to do it, be nice, friendly and polite to them and treat them as you would like to be treated. It will definitely make a difference to your attending waiter if you approach your dining experience with a positive and friendly attitude.
- Don’t shoot the messenger – Wait staff are generally not the managers or owners of a venue and are only working within the guidelines, policies and procedures of the company. Some company policies can be personally frustrating; don’t shoot the messenger. Chances are they did not create the policy and do not have a choice but to enforce it. If you have a query about a policy or procedure seek to speak with someone of ownership to come to a mutual agreement. All owners want your patronage and are more than happy to look into specific scenarios to work out a happy mutual agreement.
- We are all only human – People screw up. There is a big difference between an accident and negligence, between a mistake and malice. Many times the person in front of you is trying to do a good job — and if so, then cut them a little slack. Hospitality is a business that has many factors out of the control of the owner and staff. No one can help it if a torrent of people walks through their doors with out bookings and or unannounced, and it is expected that the staff are able to handle any situation as perfect as saints. Have some understanding if they can’t get to your table when you want them too, or your coffee doesn’t come out in 4 seconds of ordering it when they are another 40 people ahead of you. When you see staff busy they are doing their best to serve everyone and keep everyone happy, be patient and if you are in a rush, ask first how long the wait is for food and or coffee/drinks. Make yourself informed if you are in a rush.
- Adjust Your Expectations – Expecting great service is your prerogative; especially if you have read reviews on a business with great ratings for its service. Although expecting great service to mean that the company does whatever you want, whenever you want, and for as little, as you are willing to pay is not realistic. Adjust your expectations to the realities of the business, the realities that sometimes there are good and bad days, that there may be busier times where the service may not be able to reach your noted expectation. Come into a venue with an expectation based on what you are dealing with and you might just be pleasantly surprised.
- Respect The Rules – Hey, the voucher expired last week. If you want to ask whether the company will honour it, feel free. However, do not get mad if the company says no. It had an expiration date for a reason. If you book into an event and pay your ticket it’s like booking or purchasing a movie ticket or a ticket to the theatre if you can no longer attend are you likely to ring up the theatre and ask for your money back? Why should restaurants and dining venues be any different when their policies are clearly noted on tickets and terms and conditions.
- Give Us An Opportunity to Solve The Problem Then and There — Are you really concerned with the problem or does it just feel good to complain? Most service staff are genuinely concerned if you leave unhappy or have had a bad dining experience. It’s the last thing they want. When asked at the point of taking your plate, drink or coffee away if you enjoyed everything, be honest! Staff and management will do their best to look after the situation and compensate the mishap in any way they can. Leaving saying everything was fine then sending a bad review on line or tweeting your anger to the world does no help to anyone especially the business. Give the company a chance to fix the problem before taking away your business or sending that angry tweet.
- Pay Attention to Signs — Venues do their best to point out to you to watch your step, exits, toilets, specials, prices and anything else that can either be a hazard or can assist with your experience, pay attention to them and look before you leap.
- Say Please and Thank You — Your mother already told you this; you should listen to her.
- Look After Your Children– so many venues are child-friendly offering toys and play areas for children. It’s a real worry for staff carrying hot coffee, beverages and plates of food in a busy environment having to manoeuvre around running or misbehaving children. Venues don’t pay their staff to child mind, keep an eye on your children and teach them the etiquette of dining out from an early age.
- Wait Staff Do Not Have Magical Powers to Read Minds – be clear when you are ordering exactly which dish you want to have specific dietary requests included. Most kitchens are happy to adapt some of their menu items to tailor to specific dietary requirements and special requests, just ask. Waste is a huge loss in most businesses and some of this is contributed to people not being clear when ordering. Yes, it is the servers’ responsibility to read your requests back to you so they are clear, but we can only go by what you ask for.