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Improve Restaurant Customer Service: Provide Detailed Operational Manuals and Forms

by Richard Saporito

As an owner/operator or manager, if you want to provide excellent restaurant customer service, then it is essential that operational manuals and forms be implemented for all staff positions.

These manuals and forms must include all restaurant service policies, procedures and equally important— all task breakdowns for all dining room positions. Aren’t you tired of repeating yourself all of the time like a broken record?

It is the only way to ensure consistent and reinforced restaurant customer service training programs. And, it will reduce the number of headaches because there will not be any squabbling amongst employees as to who is supposed to do what service task.

Restaurant employees really want to know what is expected of them when they come to work. They want organization, boundaries and a true understanding of what is expected at their job.

It is a restaurant employer’s responsibility to provide this organization in black and white on paper for all staff to read and understand. When I perform restaurant service consulting, it astonishes me all of the time when I find that these mandatory systems are not in place.

The result of this lack of detailed forms and manuals is disorganization and sloppiness which heavily affects restaurant customer service flow and employee morale negatively. If there is low employee morale, it will be harder to keep people satisfied thus easy revenue and repeat customers will be lost unnecessarily.

Here is what physically needs to be done. A folder must be available with titled sections containing all restaurant policies, procedures and task breakdowns for all dining room service positions. Operational manuals, server, bartender, host, busser, food runner training manuals, menu descriptions and sidework duties must be kept safely here.

Each restaurant employee must have the appropriate manuals in their hand that pertains to their position and situation. Once accomplished, all employees will know exactly what they are supposed to do the minute they walk through the front door and begin the first day.

And much more importantly, when there is staff turnover, new hires will receive these proper manuals and forms on -the-spot. This way, they can familiarize themselves with the particular dining room operations in its entirety. And, all restaurant training sessions will run much more smoothly.

Restaurant customer service always suffers when there are new hires that walk aimlessly through the dining room without understanding their task breakdowns.

New hires must trail or “shadow” an experienced staff member at least 3 shifts before coming onto the floor to work. The new hires must be observed by the restaurant management or owner to see if they are properly trained to provide excellent restaurant customer service. If not, then they must continue the trailing process until they are properly trained and ready to serve. Without question, new hires must be drilled and quizzed on their job requirements provided by the restaurant owner or management.

It does take a lot of time, energy, effort, and thought to put these operational forms and manuals together. But, if you want to maximize your restaurant labor force while maintaining a high employee morale, then balance, consistency and constant implementation is the key here. Only a simple tweaking of these manuals and forms will be needed as the restaurant progresses and evolves over the time.

Aren’t you tired of repeating yourself all of the time like a broken record?




About the Author:
Improve Restaurant Customer Service - Proper Floor Diagrams & Table Numbering
Richard Saporito is the Founder of Topserve Restaurant Consulting, author of “How To Improve Dining Room Service.” If you’d like to improve your restaurants’ service reputation and increase sales, contact Richard today for a Free Initial Consultation by calling (888) 276-4808 or visiting his
Contact Page.


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