Restaurant Service Standard Checklist: How to Impress Your Guests?

By Massimo Montone | Operations

New eBook Reveals How To Successfully Open A Restaurant… Free E-Book!

Restaurants can improve their reputation significantly by offering quality customer service. This entails many different tasks, so restaurant managers and staff should be up to speed with the right customer service practices.

Customer service is one of the most important components that must be maintained in restaurant management. People may come to your establishment for the food and ambiance, but the quality service you provide encourages them to stay and return in the future.

Many people assume that quality customer service entails simply being polite to patrons; however, exceptional customer service includes so much more. Let’s look at the importance of good customer service and how you can provide patrons with the best possible dining experience.

Restaurant servers should bring over drinks within 3 to 5 minutes of ordering.

Restaurant Service Standard Checklist

Delivering great customer service is important for numerous reasons. These include:

  1. 1
    Retaining customers: Offering great services helps restaurants retain their existing customer base. A large portion of your revenue may come from repeat customers who visit your establishment regularly. Building customer loyalty takes time, but you can speed up the process by wowing patrons with your exceptional service.
    Restaurants with poor customer retention will need to focus on constantly attracting new customers. This is usually done with the help of advertisements and promotions. However, promoting your restaurant in this manner could end up being costly. If your promotion techniques don’t guarantee you new customers, they may end up being a waste of money.
  2. 2
    Promoting your brand image: The customer service you deliver will be a reflection of your brand and its values. Your existing advertisements and promotions may give customers some idea of what your service is like, but you should strive to offer them high quality and consistent service that is up to the benchmark you have set. Your servers and staff represent your business, so you should ensure they convey the brand image and values appropriately during their interactions with guests.
  3. 3
    Gaining new customers: Providing good customer services can also help promote your business. Customers who enjoyed their experience at your establishment may recommend it to others based on the customer service they received. This strategy can help you gain new customers without paying for advertisements or promotions.
  4. 4
    4.Encouraging customers to purchase more: Customers who are impressed with your service are likely to stick around for longer and order more items. If this trend catches on with many customers, it could boost your restaurant’s revenue significantly.

Restaurant Service Standard Checklist

Now that we’ve looked at the importance of providing good customer service, here is a helpful restaurant service standard checklist to help you implement it at your restaurant.

Step 1 - Greeting customers

  • Greet guests as soon as they enter the restaurant
  • Welcome them by saying “Hello, welcome to [restaurant name]”
  • Ask them how many people are in their group
  • Find a suitable table and seat your guests as soon as possible
  • Stay close to guests as they are sitting down and offer assistance for senior or disabled guests
  • Let your server know how many guests are seated at the table

Step 2 - Promote to customers

  • Server takes over and greets guests
  • Server introduces themselves using their first name
  • Ask guests if they have ever been to the restaurant before. If this is their first time, let them know that you hope they enjoy their experience
  • Distribute menus to the guests and talk about the specials and promotions for the day
  • Ask guests what they’d like to drink and recommend appetizer items for them to try

Step 3 - Serving

  • Server should enter customer orders into the POS system and/or deliver order receipt to line cooks
  • Drinks should be provided as soon as possible. Typically 3 - 5 minutes after placing the order
  • Server takes orders for main course items, starting from the closest guest and moving around the table
  • Note down any special requests or allergy information from guests
  • Enter order information into the POS system and/or deliver order receipt to line cooks
  • Bring over the appetizers as soon as they are ready
  • Ensure that hot entree items are served hot, and cold items are served cold

Step 4 - Check up

  • Server should return to the table after 5 - 7 minutes and ask guests how they are enjoying their meal
  • Server should refill glasses if they are less than half full
  • Remove plates from guests who have finished eating

Step 5 - Desserts

  • When guests are close to finishing their meal, the server should bring over the dessert menu
  • Server should explain what the dessert special for the day is and describe other items
  • The dessert order should be entered into the POS system and/or relayed to line cooks
  • Dessert items should be served within 6 - 8 minutes.
  • When guests are close to finishing their dessert, the server should drop off their receipt
  • Once guests have finished their dessert, the server should ask them how the meal was and pick up their plates

Step 6 - Payment

  • Server asks guests how they would like to pay
  • If guests are paying via card, the server brings over the card payment machine
  • Server should thank guests for dining as they are leaving
  • Wipe down tables and chairs as soon as guests leave
  • Read just chairs and prepare the table for the next group of guests

The aforementioned checklist can help your restaurant boost the quality of their customer service. Implementing these steps may not be difficult, but it is important to ensure that you continue providing patrons with excellent quality service.

A single bad experience can discourage customers from visiting your establishment ever again. So you should ensure that your staff is familiar with the steps for providing quality customer service.

Want more restaurant management tips? Check out our blog to learn more. Our restaurant consultants also offer services for restaurant owners and managers.

New eBook Reveals How To Successfully Open A Restaurant… Free E-Book!


About the Author

Massimo’s career has grown up through the restaurant world, starting as a waiter through to high-end restaurant openings within an operational management capacity. This depth of experience has allowed him to understand the business from both a guest’s needs to what a team needs, giving him the benefit of an all-rounded view and approach to problem solving.