A recent Wall Street Journal article described this well. Ever wonder what happens when you walk into a restaurant? Many are trying to get a step up: "How Waiters Read Your Table"
Reading a table happens within seconds of a waiter coming to a table. By asking for a cocktail menu or smiling and making strong eye contact, "they are saying 'hey, I want to engage with you and I want you to make me feel really important,' " says Mark Maynard-Parisi, managing partner of Blue Smoke, a pair of barbecue restaurants in New York, owned by Union Square Hospitality Group. If people seem shy, "you want to put them at ease, say, 'take your time, look at the menu.' "
When an eatery has a commitment to customer service, they train their wait-staff to notice:
- Notice how the group handles (or doesn't) the menu
- Notice the relationship between the diners
- Notice the tone of voice of the patrons
And, with practice and habit, the server learns to make these assessments in seconds.
But it all starts with a commitment to notice.
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