I cannot emphasize enough why when you are sat a few tables in a row you should stagger your tables. In other words if you can make it so they get their main course at different times.
Now sometimes if everyone is having just a main course this is hard to do. But let's say a table gets some hot appetizers to share amongst themselves then is having a salad afterwards then having their main course. The other table is just having a salad before their entree and still the other table is just ordering an entree. Then you have another table who orders a bottle of wine or cocktails before deciding what to eat.
Here is a grand opportunity to stagger your tables so you can better run your section.
The one who just ordered the entree you can punch the entree up right away. That way that table is taken care of. No need to worry here. All we have to do is check their drink once in a while.
The one table who ordered a salad can depend on what they are drinking. For example if they are having a bottle of wine you may want some time in between their salad and main course. By meal time they may order another bottle or round of cocktails. It also depends how long that salad is coming. On a busy night it may be a few minutes. Don't make the mistake of ordering the salads so quick that you cannot serve the wine beforehand. But even if they have nothing to drink order the salads and wait a minute or two till the next time you are at the POS terminal then order their mains. This way there probably will be a couple of orders punched in between your first one and this one.
The other table that ordered the hot appetizers to share let them know you will bring these out first. Once they are done with these then order the salads and punch the entrees right after you send the salad order.
The last table that was in no rush to order will be the last one to get their main no matter what they order. Do what you did with the other tables when placing this order. This table is in no hurry to leave so why hurry them. You can run up the bill on this one for sure.
Doing this helps you handle more tables. If you take the time to think about how people have ordered you can time your service so you are least stressed.
Also there is a consistent continuity of service. There is about the same amount of time between courses. You have time to clear too when each table has finished their meal.
Aim to achieve this style of giving service. Work your section rather than let your section work you.
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