Lookin' Good at 58

Friday, May 8, 2009

Three Reasons Why I Always Repeat The Order Back

I am a great believer in writing everything down when I take the order. First of all I don't like to rely on my memory. If I do , by the time I run to punch in the order I may have lost my train of thought because someone interrupted me. It happens like when someone stops you to ask something or you have to wait for a terminal to free up to punch the order you have just taken mentally. Especially with special requests and allergy alerts. Always I write it down.

Another thing that I do that few don't is actually repeat what the guest has ordered back to them. This eliminates the mistake that occurs when you know someone ordered something and you write it down and then they get their dinner exactly as they ordered it and it needs to be cooked more or maybe it is overcooked. Then you have to bring it back to the kitchen to get it fixed up. Then the blame game starts and the customer is an idiot.

Now maybe I am the only one who this happens to but let's say the guy orders his steak medium rare , when I repeat back to him Medium rare his partner says no you want yours' cooked to medium well. He then says , do I like mine medium well and then the partner well go on to say that is the way he had it last time and liked it very much. At home he has the same thing.

So then he says okay I will have it medium well and he gets his steak and it is cooked the way he likes it. No worries.

Here is my point , when you repeat back to the person as you are writing down their request on your pad , what happens is first of all everyone else at the table knows what that person has ordered so if it comes back as they ordered and they complain , everyone knows at the table that is exactly what they had ordered. So you are not an idiot.

The second reason is when you repeat the order back to them it serves to trigger a memory at the table either by someone else who knows what that person really wants , or maybe that person has now heard back what they have just ordered and says no I meant this instead.

Also of course it serves as a check that I have heard them properly.

Repeat the order back to the guest for these 3 reasons and you will find that you have less dealings with the kitchen as to plates coming back than your co-workers.

It is all about attention to detail.

12 comments:

SkippyMom said...

To me this is a given and also very sage advice, not just for waiters but for other aspects of customer service.

In the Pool biz if I am writing a contract or a repair request [via phone] I always repeat everything back so I don't get it kicked back my way when the service is done or they receive the contract to sign. I don't have the luxury of a second/third set of ears, but at least in my mind I know we had the discussion. TWICE. :D

Hope you have a great weekend. Happy Mother's Day to Soley

Waiter Extraordinaire said...
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SkippyMom said...
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Waiter Extraordinaire said...

SkippyMom...you have a great weekend too!

James Mortimer said...

Too true, and sound advice.

It is one of those simple techniques that differentiates the best and the rest in our profession.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

James...thanks it just nips the problems that may arise in the butt sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

I also am the only one that repeats the orders to the customers at my place and I repeat the order to chef and sous chefs even though they get a print out. Its good to be redundant =)

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Anonymous...always good to be on the safe side.

waiternotes said...

WaiterEx, good advice. I usually repeat orders too, though I do it just after they say it, rather than recapping everything at the end of the full order. Or is that what you meant anyway? Regardless, it's an excellent practice. I recall one time I did this and brought out a cooked Seabass to the guest. He said he ordered Lamb Chops. I said I repeated his order to him after he stated it. Another guest jumped in said I was right, that he thought it was weird that he ordered Seabass when he usually ordered Lamb Chops. Score another for the repeat order.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Waiternotes...exactly and yes it is for sure after each one orders cause if we did a big recap everyone would just get confused and wondered what they and everyone else ordered at the same time.NIce one on the seabass.

Manuel said...

the only good thing I learned from working at Pizza Hut, years ago, was repeating the order back......been a life saver ever since.....

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Manuel...a good thing to learn during your stint there especially with the types you had to deal with.