Helpful tips for F&B Professionals

If you are a Butler, Waiter, Waitress, Bar Tender, this might be of interest about what helps you make it better rather then just good. Simple tips that could make you even better or help you give better directions to your staff.

By Vassilios Canellos

  • Have a warm manner, but not overly friendly. You are a hospitality professional neither a comedian nor a slave.
  • When guests arrive, immediately suggest them something to drink. It depends on the restaurant policy if it’s going to be an offered welcome drink or you will try to sell an aperitif cocktail.
  • If a guest is unhappy with a dish, apologize telling them I’m so sorry for this inconvenience, let me suggest you something else. The dish that you will suggest must have a short cooking time.
  • Do not interrupt a conversation for any reason. Wait for the right moment to discuss for food or drinks.
  • Recite food details in a soothing manner, try to watch them directly in the eyes using sophisticated words. Let them make a picture of the food in their minds
  • Inquire if guests want more to drink, don’t wait until asked. Refill wine when necessary but don’t overdo it. Ask if the food is satisfactory.
  • Never say “I don’t know” when asked something start your sentence like “allow me a moment to find out” or “let me have a look at it”. Even if it’s a child asking.
  • Never pick up empty dishes if someone is still eating unless he asks you to
  • Know what each person requested from the menu if it’s a sit down meal, don’t ask at the table .You can set the starting number of the table and count clockwise. Repeat which dish goes to whom before going out of kitchen

  • Never refuse to substitute a vegetable for another. Have choices on hand by arranging it with your manager or the Chef in advance.
  • If someone likes a wine and asks for the name, steam off the label of the empty bottle. Give it to them at the end of the meal. Dry it off take it to the table when they ask for the bill. It will make a wonderful impression.
  • If someone is unsure about a wine choice, help them. If you’re unsure, send someone else to the table who knows wines.
  • When they ask for a Pinot Noir don’t think they want it in room temperature Inquire. Some people like this red wine assorted with ice. Ideally put it in the ice when you get the order and take it out in 5 minutes
  • Make sure glasses are clean. Always inspect them before placing them on the table.
  • Do not put your hands on the spout of a wine bottle while removing the cork. Use always a tidy linen
  • Do not pop a champagne cork. Remove it slowly by twisting it slightly from side to side quietly, gracefully. For better results keep the cork steady and roll the bottle
  • Never let a wine bottle touch the glass into which you are pouring. When done pouring, twist the wine bottle tipping it upward to ensure no dripping
  • Never remove a plate full of food without asking what went wrong. Obviously, something is wrong
  • Never touch a guest. No excuses. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them, or dust them. If you need to get around a guest blocking the way, ask politely to be allowed to pass such as “may I please come through?”.
  • Do not have a personal conversation with another server within earshot of guests. If it is a must, keep it as brief as possible.
  • Never wear perfume or cologne to work, or reek from cigarettes. People want to smell food and beverage as part of their enjoyment. Some people are highly allergic and scent sensitive.
  • Do not drink alcohol on the job, even if invited by the guests. “Not when I’m on duty” will suffice. Do not say “Thanks but I do not drink”, like telling them that you find it unhealthy
  • Never say “I only do this job on the side”, nobody wants to know you’re unhappy for this job and you do this jus temporarily
  • Never use the phrase “No problem” Instead use “My pleasure” or “You’re welcome”
  • Do not discuss your own eating habits, whether vegan, lactose intolerant, or any other dietary or food preferences. No personal talk, keep it professional.
  • Never acknowledge one guest over another. All guests should be treated as if they are important and their enjoyment your primary interest.
  • Do not gossip about co-workers, or guests. Try not to discuss about three categories. Politics Religion and Sexuality because you never know who you have in front of you
  • If a guest tips you at the end of the meal, or a stay in the household, thank them for their thoughtfulness and generosity. You’re already being paid for your professional services
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