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Taking an Order


Order taking is a skilful art that reflects the efficiency of both the waiter and the establishment. An order taken down clearly and precisely would ensure that each guest guests exactly what he has ordered and in the right sequence. This is also the time when a order-taker can prove his salesmanship by pushing through suggestions on menu items that yield a high profit margin.

After a guest is seated, check with the guest if he or she is comfortable. The first thing to offer him is the beverage menu card, more popularly known as the "Wine List". It is quite in order to suggest an appropriate cocktail or plain drink by saying "May I recommend our barman's special Bloody Mary or Planters Punch?” In this case, the waiter has given a definite choice and has limited it to two items to make it easy for the guest to choose from. While taking down the order the waiter should have already decided on a code to associate the order with a guest. He may number the guest in a clockwise direction starting from the host or he may decide on his own starting point – perhaps the person sitting closest to the service entrance, etc. It is in order to have any other logical identification system as long as the guest is ensured of his exact order. Many restaurants have a pre-set, standard cover number system, to allocate number to guests.

In smaller establishments, an order may be taken on an order paid and later transcribed on to a check or bill. In larger restaurants the order is taken on a Kitchen Order Ticket (K.O.T), which has copies, the number depending upon the establishments control system. Usually the original copy of the KOT goes to the kitchen or bar while the second copy goes to the cashier for the preparation of the check or bill, while the third copy is retained by the waiter to aid him to give a proper service.

When taking down the food order it is prudent to allow the guest some time to decide. A guest does not appreciate being bustled into giving his decision. Polite suggestions may be given to help the guest decide but he should not be forced to decide in favour of the waiter's recommendation. The waiter should be at hand to explain dishes, which demand explanations. He is therefore required to be conversant with the preparation and final presentation of dishes listed on the Menu card. In addition, his salesmanship would enable him to explain the dishes in an attractive way. For example, "A shrimp cocktail comprises of fresh succulent shrimps garnished in tangy cocktail sauce, served on a bed of crisp green lettuce".

A course in the menu must have the logical sequence of a classical menu. Of course, the sequence is according to what range the establishment offers. The normal sequence would be:


·       Appetizer
·       Soup
·       Main Dish
·       Sweet Dish
·       Coffee

Normally the dessert and coffee order is taken after the main meal is completed. Some establishments have separate Dessert Menu Cards, which offer a range of hot and cold desserts, flambé desserts, ice creams and coffee.

 

Rules for Conduct in the Restaurant:

Physical


1) Present a well-groomed, neat appearance.
2) Always stand erect in the restaurant. Do not slouch or lean
3) Do not fold your hands in the front. It gives a closed appearance.
4) Do not touch the food with bare hands in front of the guest.
5) Always have your waiters' friends handy.
 

Etiquette


1) Greet all guests with the time of the day and with the name if possible.
2) Help to seat the ladies.
3) Provide extra cushions or special chairs for children.
4) Do no overhear conversations.
5) Be attentive to guest calls and listen to what the guest has to say.
6) Use the magic words – Please, Thank You and Sorry.
7) Avoid gossiping / arguing with colleagues in the restaurant.
8) Talk softly but clearly.
9) Light guests' cigarettes. Clear ashtrays after a maximum of two butts.
10)Know your job well – menu knowledge.
11)Be enthusiastic about your job.
12) Avoid soliciting for tips & remove tips after the guest has left.
13) Empathies with the guest's complaint.

Do Not

14) Delay in responding.
15) Give ambiguous responses.
16) Argue with the guest.
17) Ignore the guest.
18) Leave the counter unmanned or the telephone unanswered.
19) Treat the guests' complaints lightly.
20) Overcharge.
21) Send him from person to person.
22) Interrupt a guest without excusing yourself.

 

 

 

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