My heart, the bird of the wilderness, has found its sky in your eyes. (6)

Last week we discussed how restaurant patrons can ensure that they will be treated to the best service possible. However, there is no question that when it comes to service at a restaurant, it is a two-way street. We expect our servers and the restaurant staff to treat us with the same respect that we give them. These tips below will help restaurant staff give great service and help patrons give the proper signals to the staff as well. In an effort to get everyone on the same page, let’s discuss the best ways to give superior service in a restaurant.

Be Patient

Do not make the guests feel rushed. You should not clear any of the plates until everyone has finished. An empty plate is far less obtrusive than making the remaining diners feel rushed or making the first person feel as though they ate too fast.

Be Pleasantly Vague

It is better to just ask your guests if they need anything, instead of specifically asking if they want a margarita or some bread.

Timing Is Everything

Wait for the right moment to give the guests a long list of specials or interrupt an intense conversation. Your guests are there to enjoy each others companies, so it is important to not continually disturb their conversation.

Be Discreet And Professional

Under no circumstances should you laugh or gossip with coworkers, especially if patrons are around. Furthermore, you should never eat or drink within sight of them either.

Be Upfront

If the restaurant charges an automatic gratuity on parties of six or more, and your guests just tipped you generously in addition to that, point out the included service card. It is better to avoid any complications with the bill down the road, and it will preserve a good relationship with the group for the future.

Pay Attention

Do not ignore the needs of a table just because it is not yours. If you can see that a guest is clearly in need of attention then go help them as quickly as possible. Even if you just say that you will send their server over right away, it will help ease the situation and get their needs addressed.

Good Service Flows

Bring all the appetizers or entrees to the table all at one time. You should never leave on guest stranded and plate-less while everyone else in the party has their meal. It makes it an awkward situation for everybody.

Read Silverware Signals

Cutlery crossed in an X shape means that the diner is not finished. A knife and a fork together in the 10 o’clock and 4 o’clock position means they are finished. If you are having trouble remembering this, just try to think of it this way: X means no, hands off, and a straight line means that you can take it straight away.

Left, Leave and Right, Retrieve

It is common practice to serve guests on the left and then clear from the right. You should use the respective hand as well, place dishes down with the left hand and pick them up with the right.

You Are There To Help

You should never respond to a question with “I don’t know,” unless you follow it up with “but I’ll find out.” After all, you are there to help out.