How many reading this have been to a restaurant and had a horrible experience? When dining out most people want that server who strives for professionalism yet still seeks to bring the greatest sense of personal value and importance for each guest in addition to an incredible meal.
A server is a lot like a messenger bird; communicating with guests, providing recommendations to patrons by sharing special menu items or rare liquid treats prepared at the bar, and communicating selections to the Chef and Bartender.
Servers spend hours of their life navigating picky and obtuse requests from dining guests while being yelled at by the chef or kitchen staff. Often enduring condescending and rash remarks from guests, bartender and kitchen crew.
The veteran server learns quickly when to respond or not. Pointing out to guests how their poorly timed requests at each table visit negatively affect others’ meals or how the Chef’s yelling inspires a one way trip to the car will not accomplish anything NOW.
Thinking back to a poor dining experience where upon arrival, with reservation, the hostess devalued the party members with poor attention to detail and not having the table ready. Then, once seated, the charming server made mistakes. The food delivered was not what was ordered.
Sure, the plate had been delivered by another server to a different table. Then management tried to offer this plate from the other table. NOW at this point with so many mistakes patience had worn thin. Most people when facing a situation that is less than expected do not respond well.
Sure, though calmly addressing the server’s mistakes with intent to improve the situation, one’s remarks may have inspired a fear of returning to the table.
In the moment, keeping a calm tone against rising frustration may consume great energy. It would be easy to feel pride in the moment for exercising such calm. This pride would really be a distraction and defense against guilt of not bringing value to the evening. Party members were probably not impressed either as the words used, though calm, did not foster a harmonious, enriching experience.
Consider the server who does not just serve a guest’s needs or wait on requests but must anticipate what both the guests and kitchen staff will need. Conveying a spirit of calm charm at the table and combating sweaty, Spartan style aggression from kitchen staff wielding sharp, shining tools and verbal abuse moments later in the kitchen.
Think of a time when a certain outcome was expected and deeply desired yet what was desired by the heart did not go as best hoped. It’s been said sharing what the heart really feels to another can’t be done. Can one implant the emotional desire in another so it is felt by the person being responded to?
The phrase goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. This simply is not true. Unless the horse is sick and will not eat, feeding well salted outs will inspire drinking every single time.
NOW the only option is to inspire change within self. The host who makes idiotic remarks is easily forgotten when seated in the great environment, clean table, and the bright smile of a genuinely caring gratuity employee. How can one best respond in the moment when events NOW do not go as hoped? How can one address the situation NOW best so it is salted towards the best results for all involved?
Response ability will make or break any server’s career just the same as creating or destroying personal and professional relationships NOW when poorly executed. Most people do not respond perfectly NOW in the “heat” of a moment. With the ideal timing and proper planning every person would respond perfectly using “salt” and other persuasive techniques to perfectly share a perspective with others.