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5 Simple Steps to Good Service (Without Comping a Meal)

When you're in the restaurant business, things are bound to happen. And whether you're in a New York City Michelin-star establishment; or the favorite mom-and-pop stop in your small town, you'll encounter an unhappy guest or two along the way. 

Thankfully, there's not much our restaurant consultants haven't seen. And, generally speaking, appeasing disgruntled guests is a bit of a univeral language. Our consultant, Jared Flowers, has five simple steps to offering great service to your diners--without having to comp the meal.

1. First things first, a manager should always be engaged with the guests. This is, simply, part of good management. And if you can get to the guest and attend to the issue before they have time to complain, you've got the upper hand. 
2. Do not explain to the guest how or why the mistake was made. (Hint: They don't care) Do explain what steps you have taken or are going to take to prevent the mistake from happening again.

3. In the case where food needs to be recooked, leaving one member of the party with no food, immediately bring a soup or salad selection to the guest so they are not the only one at the table not eating.
4. If the food going to take longer than expected, deliver a signature appetizer to the table. Many times this will leave the guest with a bigger "WOW" experience than just having delivered the food on time. 
5. Any time guests experience any of these aforementioned issues, the manager should deliver the check to the table. This is not only to ensure that the guests' needs were met, but also shows a genuine concern and will bring them back again and again.

Of course there are instances where a meal will need to be comped. But it's also important to remember that your restaurant is a business, and that means managing it with good business sense. If you have more questions about the business of your restaurant or for tips on offering fantastic guest services, contact our restaurant consultants today. 

Photo by Garrison Gunter.