Two Ears One Mouth: Teamwork Pt. 2

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” (Epictetus).

Listening is a part of customer service.  The act of comprehending and engaging in the message’s purpose is crucial when taking an order from customers and directions from colleagues.  The customer, your colleagues and yourself are left to inevitable failure in the customer service experience if directions are not followed.

From the customer viewpoint, having a server or bartender provide an incorrect order wastes your valuable time.  The server needs to be attentive to what you are trying to tell them.  So how do you know if they are listening? A simple but uncommon way of telling is by saying something they wouldn’t expect. For example if they say, “is there anything else I can get you?” casually reply, “Yes. I’d like a scotch and water, hold the scotch.”  It’s unusual and should catch them off guard.  The purpose is to receive the best customer service possible from that business. You deserve it.

Listening is valuable for the teamwork experience with Food and Beverage colleagues. Comprehending the orders and directions needed are a part of the listening process.  Not listening leads to bad customer service. For example the order can be wrong or an employee makes a timely mistake which leads to the frustration of the customers and the staff.  You see how listening to the message is necessary to the success of your team? The value of customer service depends on it. A helpful hint is to carry a pocket note pad to take notes on.

When have you had an experience where your server was obviously not listening? Did they handedly mess up the order? Leave your experience below.

 

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It’s 7%: Teamwork Pt. 1

According to a UCLA study, 7% of words used determine the effectiveness of communication. You better make it count

Communication is vital to the success of a restaurant, bar and customer’s experience. It is the heart, the brain, the central nervous system to the inner success of the business.  The communication process from employees to employees and employees to customers is the valued interactions that must be effective.  Without effective communication, the business’ chances of failing are almost guaranteed. Who wants to be served by a business who doesn’t communicate from within and to customers?

When you are at a bar or restaurant, you subconsciously or consciously demand attention from your server or bartender. If they do not check on you regularly or even communicate your orders back to you for verification, you have received bad customer service. Feeling comfortable with the process of ordering is concerned with the communication between you and the employee. You seek peace of mind when you place an order. You are using your hard earned money in a rough economy to spend on good customer. The communication process is the key to success of the service.

The employees must be able to successfully communicate to the customers by creating a comforting relationship.  It’s only 7%. Being attentive and checking on how their experience has been so far is required to be considered a valued employee.  Communicating with them on how long their orders will take after you have received them furthers the success of the communication process.

When communicating with your colleagues and managers, be brief and very direct. Remember 7%. Being direct provides instant and quick information on what action you would like them to do or what you have done for both the customer and the employees.  Communication effectively makes the business more efficient and provides satisfaction to both the employees and customers.

Describe a time when you received valuable customer service. Was your server or bartender attentive to your needs? Leave a comment.

Pros not foes

Have you ever had a server or bartender who just looked like they didn’t give a damn about you or their service? Did they not check on you enough? Did they have a poor and lazy attitude? Emotionless during their service or use jargon and profanity? Clearly this would be an example of a useless service experience.  Professionalism in the workplace is vital to your success and the patron’s satisfaction.

From a patron’s viewpoint, you need to say something to the server or bartender if they are acting unprofessionally. Whether it is jargon, slang, profanity or inappropriate comments, something must be said.  This brings attention to their useless unprofessional services and they need to adjust immediately. if nothing changes, talk to the supervisor or manager. It is in both your interest and the interest of the business that you address the issue.  It may be difficult but do not use profanity and maintain a subtle yet direct tone when speaking to the server or manager.  It is off putting and likely won’t resolve the unprofessional nature of the service.

So, how is it possible to prevent it if you are the server or bartender? Simple, act if you are serving your own family members or someone you idolize.  Everyone has those days where they are not motivated to work; it’s normal.  However, your paying patrons are expecting and should receive a valuable experience.  Your goal is to want them to tip you decently and come back to do it all over again.  If you attend to them as is they are family or even celebrities, they will have no problem doing so.

Tell me when you had an unprofessional experience. what happened? How did you deal with it? Leave your comment.

Come see how good I look

Ron Burgundy once said, “mmm, I look good. I mean really good. Hey everyone, come and see how good I look!” 

Before you even begin your dining or beverage experience, you have to start with the appearance.  You’re telling yourself, ‘well duh appearance is important.’ I want you to actually step back and reflect on your personal experiences with a restaurant. Why do you go back to those bars and restaurants over and over again? Before you even start to nibble on food or sip that drink, you are consciously or subconsciously scoping the restaurant or bar. 

Just as appearance is important when meeting someone to establish some sort of relationship, you’re doing the same with a restaurant; establishing a relationship based off the way it looks. Did a restaurant or bar have a good vibe, lighting, employees? This is part of the atmosphere that employees and managers in the Food & Beverage industry create to attract and retain customers.

The layout, lighting, music, art work etc. are all a part of the appearance prescribed to attract you. This is a primary step in customer service. It is not coincidence that you feel comfortable when dining or drinking at your favorite spot. They have developed a welcoming atmosphere through their appearance via sound customer service. They do it to please you! Those employees and managers have developed a unique niche to attract and retain you through their appearance.

Take note on your favorite bar and restaurant: notice the TVs, color schemes, seating, art, etc. What makes them special? Let me know what you like about them.

Drinking and Dining Made Easy….for you

Why the hell did I eat there?

I am Clark Macario, author of Drinking and Dining Made Easy blog.  Over the next few blog posts I will help you and consumers avoid that very question, “why the hell did I eat there?”  It is very obvious people love to dine out.  The average family spends $225 per month dining out! But what is just as important as the food and beverages you consume at a restaurant or bar?  It is the customer service.  Great customer service makes all the difference to your dining and beverage experience.  It is whether you retain customers or for the consumers, go back to that restaurant. Friendly attentive servers, host, hostess, bussers and bartenders are just to name a few you may come in contact during your outing. That’s quite a few for a nice time out.

This is a blog for both those employed in the Food and Beverage industry and those who attend restaurants.  I want those who are in the Food and Beverage industry to make a difference in customer’s experiences.  This is valuable to your patrons. Great customer service will become noticeable to upper management and, most importantly, adds value to you as an employee.  I will base a majority of my content on personal experiences; both job related and personal outings.  I will also include valuable links to professional webpages for your benefit.  This will further your customer service expertise and improve you as an employee of the industry.

For those of not interested in Food and Beverage customer service, you are very likely to attend a restaurant or bar in the near future.  The tools I will discuss can be observed through your personal experiences.  This helps you evaluate the customer service you receive to be a great experience or for you to ask yourself, “why the hell did I eat here?”

So let us all drink, dine and have a good ass time.