Timing the Check is Everything

Posted on 09.04.14 in Customer Service , by

When everything is going well, the last thing you want is your check too early – or too late. The timing of the check is not something many servers know automatically – you need to teach it to them. I have experienced situations where my entire dining experience was going great – until the check came. By providing your servers with a little bit of training, you can ensure the entire experience is perfect.

Your servers need to read your guests. If they seem rushed from the moment they sit down, it’s probable that they want their check as soon as they have completed their entrée. However, if it looks like they’re having a good time, they may want desserts and several drinks before getting their check. The only way to know for sure is to verbally acknowledge what a guest wants.

It’s okay for your servers to ask questions. It’s best to engage the guest and find out what they want instead of making assumptions. If a check isn’t timed correctly, it can lead to dissatisfaction and potentially even bad reviews. There’s nothing worse than upsetting customers and making them feel like they’re being rushed out the door all because a check was dropped at the table too early.

There’s been a lot of research done when it comes to bringing a check. Even if guests had anticipated having dessert and after dinner drinks at a restaurant, many won’t if the check is brought before they’ve had a chance to order. Why? It’s because they don’t want to inconvenience the server.

You don’t want your guests to feel as though they are inconveniencing the server…ever! This means you have to teach your servers to talk to your guests and make them feel comfortable. The guests need to understand the server is there to attend to their every need. If the guests don’t feel this way, the server has not done his or her job correctly.

Training is often the only way to ensure servers understand their role at the table. Even if they’ve done everything else correctly, the timing of the check can ruin everything if done incorrectly. We have all experienced situations where we wanted a check and didn’t get it or wanted to relax and had a check delivered to our table too early. When everything else is going right, you don’t want a little thing like the check to ruin everything you’ve been working towards.

Watch Video on Check Timing for Restaurant Staff.

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