Good service is really all about speed. This assumes an absence of blatant rudeness or indifference.  No one wants to wait. They want to go at their pace. Whatever that means to them. Here are a couple of key points about speed. 

  1. Establish times for each 'table greet'. 60 seconds is recommended. This is the most important part of the meal. Set the tone. 
  2. Establish minimum time standards for apps (say..8 mins) and entrees (depends…). Beverages should be no more than 6 but preferably 4. You should time all of these. 
  3. Assuming everything goes well don’t forget about the check. Servers (depending on your style of service) should be ‘check ready’. A table asks for a check they should be able to pull it out and drop it. The critical part here is checking back within 60 seconds of dropping the check. Once they decide they want to go they want to go now. We have all been there. Check in hand with your credit card out and no one to take your check. A long wait can leave a sour taste in your mouth even if it was a good experience.

PROTIP: Write the time on the tickets when they go out. At least do a handful during the rush. You can review how close your timing was during a busy shift. Also ‘take samples’ each shift. Time the table greeting or beverage delivery time for each server during the shift. Make it part of the managers running duty.

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