The tables are seated twice in the restaurant where I work, some tables even three times. This is for me one of the hardest part of the job. In the time I learnt some tricks how to make it easier for myself thus improving the quality. Of course I'll be happy to share these tricks with you:
- Pre-bussing (taking empty glasses, bottles and cuttery away) the table (without giving the feeling that the guest has to leave) is essential!
- You spend most time in the chain emptying the table -> going to kitchen -> emptying your tray -> going back -> redressing the table with middle three steps. So I try to empty as many tables as possible at the same time to save time.
- The hardest moment is when there are guests who leave and want to pay and new guests arrive and want to give their order. My manager and hotesse won't be happy to read this but the easiest way to avoid is to wait with redressing the tables untill your station is completely empty (or the guests left don't have to pay in the first couple of minutes). Of course you stay active and try to empty the tables and put the material on the table (so if they really need it, it's easy for the hostess to redress it) but this secret method saves a lot of stress. In my opinion being flatseated is more efficient (you take all the orders at the same time) than doing 2 payments and 2 orders mixed. I realize that the guests have to wait longer for their table but I prefer that above confronting them with a freaked out CrazyWaiter!
- Even if the table isn't ready for the guests, I try to take care that there is already bread, spoons and glasses on the table. Our collegues seat the people as long as there are two knives, two forks and a napkin on the table but missing items as mentioned cause a lot of stress because the guest will ask for it. Pan and cuchara are the first Spanish words I learned for this reason!
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