March 28, 2012

Unprofessional Waiters of the Arab World: A Pity

Here I would like to bring up a problem that has been happening a lot lately in the restaurants industry... bad service from unprofessional and untrained waiters who will ruin the experience of even the best restaurants...

Waiter Hotel

How often have you experienced a bad encounter with a waiter: Those who join into your private conversation at the dinner table when no one has asked for his/her opinion... Those who are clueless as to what the menu carries and the details of dishes, especially their main ones...Those who hit your head with their elbow while passing without apologizing and those who complain when you ask to change/add something and those who argue with you if you complain about something that you found in your food... and so on... Since every businessman wants to be a restaurateur, since every person who has some savings wants to open a restaurant lately... problems and unprofessional  are getting bigger day after day Lebanon and the Arab world. Opening a new restaurant is an art and needs a certain know-how in the industry. They didn't create diplomas in restaurant and hotel management for nothing! When someone decides to start a new business because he heard that his friends or neighbors succeeded in that, here is where the problem starts and where the challenges lie - the most important challenge is recruiting the staff.

So what I am curious to know: Can whoever become a waiter? Is a waiter's job only to take food from and to the kitchen? Is a waiter's job available only to those who can't find another job? No, No, No: A waiter is a professional person who graduates from university to be ready to do this meticulous job, serving and taking care of picky customers and showing the best image of the restaurant (Check out some basics)

waiter-salary

What are the basic rules that waiters must abide by and that we do not have in most of our restaurants in town?

1-   Serve food from the right hand side working in a clockwise direction except when delivering silver service which is served on to the plate from the left.

2-   Clear plates from the right hand side.

3-   Serve wine from the right hand side working in an anti-clockwise direction from the right of the host.

4-   Always greet a customer even when you are busy or unable to assist them.

5-   Always say good-bye to your diners.

6-   Remember the names of regulars and people in your section.

7-   Check your bills before delivering them.

8-   Arrive to your shift 5 minutes early to check specials and the bookings. Ensure you have a waiter’s friend, lighter, pen (or 2), waiter’s cloth, and docket book. You can also include a small pen torch and a pair of spectacles for your complacent guests if necessary.

9-   Where possible, always use position numbers.

10- Know your food & beverage products, taste them all and know how to discuss about every ingredient.

What are the minimum requirements for the job?

  • Be well presented
  • Have good communication skills
  • Have a good memory
  • Be polite and patient
  • Be friendly, efficient and fast
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Be able to work as part of a team
  • Prepared to work weekends and evenings
  • Having the aptitude to handle money
  • Being born with a stamina.

Unfortunately, few places abide by those rules. Dear professional waiters, do not accept what they are doing to your decent profession...

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