Sunday, October 25, 2015
Do Restaurant Guests Lie?
What do you do as the waiter? Do you go over there and say is everything okay? Do you start apologizing like almost right away as you are heading toward the table?
You do not do any of these things.
You the waiter waits a few minutes till everyone at the table has finished eating before you start to clear. Before you do that though you ask this person that has put the knife and fork down and has hardly touched her food if they want a to-go box.
Usually they will say yes and then it is up to them to toss the food out when they get home or just plain forget it at the table upon leaving. Now does this mean they were lying to you when you asked them if their food was okay and they said yes? Not necessarily but you do not want to open up a can of worms by asking them are you sure the food was fine? They may not be eating it for a totally opposite reason. Maybe they are not feeling well, something someone said at the table upset them. It could be anything but you do not want to go there nor do they want to talk about something they would rather forget.
Or worse yet they will admit to lying the first time when you asked them and start coming up with a list of what was wrong with the meal. Then you have to put them in an awkward position of telling them why didn't they let you know when you quality checked them?
The way I deal with this is act totally stupid. Once I have quality checked them and walked by their table a few times if they do not tell me I pretend or assume everything is fine. I don't look for problems. I avoid them.
All I do is when I clear I say something positive and smile. Would you like a take out box for that? Always assume the meal is excellent.
Every service the guests lies about something but acting stupid and happy guarantees me that unless they are going to admit to lying they are not going to complain after the first quality check and you have therefore saved any promo desserts or gift cards later on when the email comes to head office.
Now if the guests is looking furious you still have the quality check to back you up. At which point though I would normally have a manager to table check them once again by just going over to say hello. Then at least if they admit to lying they will not speak to me whom they lied to but a manager who will then fix the problem. That way at least you probably saved your buttocks and a long winded explanation at a later date when the memory is foggy.
As a waiter you just smile and serve and do the quality check. That will handle pretty much 99% of any complaints.
Radio talk show host of "The Hospitality Industry News Network" and author of "You Only Live Once" about his early years traveling around and working on ships and foreign countries Steven blogs about his thoughts on the restaurant industry as he sees it today.
Check out his web site at www.stevennicolle.com for more information.