In this blog so far, writers have discussed the importance of practicing good personal hygiene, welcoming the guests, and knowing the menu—all important habits that your customers will notice right off the bat. But don’t stop there. Continue to wow the crowds (and get more tips) with what happens next: remembering who ordered what.
According to Tricia Spencer, author of Tips: The Server’s Guide to Bringing Home the Bacon, the top tip-killing question is, “Who gets the [insert dish name here]?” (e.g., “Who gets the fish and chips?”). Avoid this question like the plague, and the tips will come in. It sounds simple enough, but in reality, this hurdle can be difficult to overcome—especially when you’re serving a big group.
In her chapter entitled “Overcoming the Dodo Bird Syndrome,” Spencer suggests using a system like the “royal flush” to take orders. In the “royal flush” system you pre-designate seats at a table; start taking orders from the “Ace” seat and move around the table (to the left of the ace) taking orders from the “King” to the “Queen” to the “Jack” to the “Ten” to the “Wild.” Next to each order, write the corresponding letter: A, K, Q, J, T, or W. There are an infinite number of systems like the “royal flush” that will help you remember who ordered what without much extra effort. Practice your system over and over again to perfection, and watch the money roll in.