Is your wait staff ready?

If not you could have one costly mess on your hands including a brand meltdown, a lawsuit, a very upset customer and lightning speed viral social media buzz that could give your place a nasty black eye.

This is just one important lesson a food service student would learn in the growing wave of “Service schools” popping up around the country. After reading this article in Bloomberg Business Week, I thought it was a topic worth sharing. Like the article says there is no shortage of great food in this country, just trained and professional service staff. A service reputation plays a big part in a restaurant’s brand, don’t play with fire here, make sure your staff is trained and ready to give exemplary service.

Including the schools mentioned in the article, here are a few more resources to check out too.

Excerpt from article that appeared in Bloomberg Business Week by David Sax

Waiter Schools Offer Restaurants a Refresher Course
The sorry state of American table waiting was made abundantly clear to Eric Weiss as his server at Pastis, the touristy bistro in New York’s Meatpacking District, took his order. Weiss runs Service Arts, a high-end service consultancy that has trained thousands of servers (he finds the term “waiter” demeaning) working at establishments worldwide, from Hilton hotels to the celebrated California restaurant the French Laundry. When Weiss inquired about the origin of the daily menu’s Malpeque oysters, his server replied, “They’re from the East Coast.”

“The East Coast of what?” asked Weiss, after the server walked away, “Albania?” A server not knowing the provenance of an item as important as a Prince Edward Island oyster was Weiss’s first sign that even in this restaurant, a tightly orchestrated corporate concept, the staff hasn’t been properly trained. As if on cue, the server returned with Weiss’s glass of Muscadet. “See that?” asked Weiss. “He put down my wine with his hand on top of my glass. That’s disgusting.” Lesson #2: A server’s hands should never touch anywhere a diner’s mouth eventually will.

For Weiss, table-waiting is an art that, if properly learned, can help both restaurants and waiters make more money. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a five-star restaurant or a busy diner,” he says. “Every server needs to understand how to give truly great service.” His 3- to 5-day workshops, conducted in groups of 50, often on behalf of hotels, resorts, and restaurants, use such techniques as video analysis and role-playing to help servers reach their full potential.

To read the rest of this story, visit the Bloomberg Business Week article here.