Last Updated on March 23, 2020
What do your servers say about your business? A great staff embodies the brand of a restaurant, but a bad egg can tarnish the establishment’s reputation in just one dinner service.
Following are 30 common restaurant server mistakes, in terms of hygiene, guest interaction, and professionalism.
- Wearing obnoxious scents (e.g. deodorant, aftershave, perfume, etc.)
- Keeping hair down or swinging a pony tail around
- Using thumbs to hold a plate or handling silverware/glass rims with bare hands
- Touching their face, rubbing their arms, or wiping their hands on their clothing
- Servers paying more attention to/flirting with guests of the opposite sex
- Trying to force conversation with a guest
- Hovering around a table or watching guests eat
- Hugging or kissing guests
- Addressing ladies as “You guys”
- Using the phrase “Are you still working on that?”
- Expressing an unsolicited opinion: “No one has complained about that,” “I see you dyed your hair,” “Are you two dating?”
- Checking up on the guest too often
- Becoming too familiar with guests
- Cleaning, vacuuming, or sweeping while guests are eating
- Taking a glass away from the table to refill it
- Forgetting who ordered what
- Complaining to customers about the job
- Carrying on a conversation with coworkers and ignoring guests
- >Favoring some tables, while ignoring others
- Acting harried or stressed out
- Making excuses: “We have a new cook,” “We changed supliers,”etc.
- Being overly blunt to guests: “We’re out of that,” “Our cook doesn’t like to…”, etc.
- Patronizing guests to get a better tip
- Wearing too much makeup, fake flowers in hair, false eyelashes
- Overfilling glasses with ice to allow for little beverage
- Making false or misleading comments: “Would you like butter?” (when it’s margarine); “Would you like cream?” (when it’s non-dairy), etc.
- Squatting, sitting, or leaning while taking a guest’s order
- Using inappropriate language or slang
- Asking if the guest would like to take home their food while they’re still eating.
- Making guests wait too long after eating before delivering the check
What are your server pet peeves? Share your stories in the comments below.
Aaron Allen & Associates is an international restaurant consultancy, offering branding, marketing, and design strategy for restaurateurs. Contact us today to start improving your business.