Do’s and don’ts for your terrace 2016
#1 ‘Sorry, I don’t take orders, you will have to ask my colleague’ – don’t
Large groups of guests are often annoyed by this. The owner choses to take the orders through automated devices, which is fine for the efficiency, but should never bother the guests, like the answer: no one brought a ‘device’ with them. Solution: when the staff is busy serving, they are allowed to ask for a moment. Afterwards they should immediately signal a colleague with a device or pass on the order.
#2 ‘We don’t have enough staff today because of the good weather, so it might take a while’- don’t
Nowadays we all have smartphones with internet and a Weather-app, in combination with automated planning systems it should be a piece of cake to figure out which day will be the first busy day for your terrace. This to make sure there is enough staff available for the day. Actually it is quite hard for a lot of entrepreneurs to have enough staff ready in time. It is necessary to participate more these upcoming Spring days.
#3 Showing a look of recognition – do
Terrace-heroes; working very hard in the sweltering heat to earn some money. As a terrace-hero you have two choices: to greet your guests, even when you are really busy, and show them that you help them when you have time OR ignore them so your guests will be annoyed by the waiting time. Make sure the guests know you have seen them! This takes away the first stress and gives you some time to serve. Besides the staff should be cheerful, smile and show you are loving your job. This saves a lot of fuss.
#4 Wobbly tables! Do they still exist? – don’t
Not every entrepreneur has money to buy a table that is automatically stabilised (world-changing invention by the way). Don’t let your staff look for a stack of drink coaster to stabilise the table (mostly there aren’t enough of them). After a lot of hassle the table is just stable or still not. The laminate spacer is invented for this. A triangular piece of wood or plastic, for sale in every builder’s merchant for peanuts! The staff can stabilise every table with this within seconds (psst don’t tell anyone). Saves a lot of time and thus money.
#5 Polo’s/ t-shirts / aprons and some deodorant has miraculous effects
After about a week of hot weather, the trouble starts. The smell of sweat starts get into your clothes, which you don’t want to bother your guests with. Make sure you have some spare t-shits and polo’s and clean aprons so your staff can change during the day.
#6 Open door 1: Make sure that table numbers are present and visible – do
Do you recognize this situation: the drink or sandwich your ordered first passes by to 5 wrong tables before it arrives at your table? A lot of times the table numbers or the system used aren’t clear for the staff, this might cause trouble for the bar, kitchen and serving staff. Good preparations with clear and large table settings (hang this on the walls on several places for your serving staff) and clear tables numbers on the tables (which are visible) prevent a lot of misery.
#7 Open door 2: Make sure you have service points for the staff – do
Cut back the amount of times your staff will have to go inside for little things. Set up special terrace service points. You can do this with a simple table or an expensive design cabinet, that is up to you. Make sure there are clean wipes and there is clean soapy water, enough ashtrays, cutlery, straws and drink coasters so the staff can go on with their work.
#8 Open door: Make sure there are enough menus and attributes – do
When there aren’t enough menus it becomes very difficult for the guests to order and very hard to work with for the staff. Why not place a menu on every table so everyone can take a look for themselves. This decreases the workload for the staff and guests can take their time. Also order some pepper and salt for every table (and perhaps a set of oils, cause guests often ask for this and when the set is finally brought to the table the dishes are already finished or cold. A waste of everyone’s time)
Bron: Van Spronsen & Partners