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
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:
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:
1) Present a well-groomed, neat appearance.
2) Always stand erect in the restaurant. Do not slouch or
3) Do not fold your hands in the front. It gives a closed
4) Do not touch the food with bare hands in front of the
5) Always have your waiters' friends handy.
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
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.
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
19) Treat the guests' complaints lightly.
21) Send him from person to person.
22) Interrupt a guest without excusing yourself.