If we are going to be honest, we have to admit that most restaurant server training manuals do not adequately prepare servers to create highly satisfied guests and make above average tips. In fact, most server training manuals leave waiters and waitresses frustrated and demoralized. Corporations spend absurd amounts of money training servers on sales techniques that lead to eye rolling guests and the generalized sense of hostility that is pervasive in the modern guest/server relationship. There is a very simple reason for this. Deep in the bowels of these restaurant corporate offices, restaurant server training manuals are being written with the assumption the servers being hired are not intelligent enough to understand anything more than reciting a script upselling to the platinum margarita and “suggestive selling” the awesome nachos.
I discovered early on that the best way to be a better server was to watch the people who were. I tried to emulate what they did. I had the good fortune of working with people early in my career with decades in this industry. I sought out books to teach me how to be a better server and when I could not find any, I read books on sales and customer service. I tried to adapt as many of the lessons as I could to being a better server. If a book allowed me to come up with one good line or technique to increase my income, I knew it would pay for itself dozens of times over. With each new job I took, I smiled and nodded through the restaurant server training program and wondered why no one was teaching the skills that actually worked. I tried to provide the same mentoring to the younger servers that I had when I started serving.
The restaurant industry has changed over the years. As corporate restaurants squeeze out independent restaurants in cities around the country, there are fewer places for experienced servers to make an above average wage. Service has become a commodity. If you are willing to pay for it, upscale restaurants will still provide you with a professional server. The vast majority of restaurants though are competing on price. This means that the service is marginalized and top quality servers find it incredibly difficult to make a living. In turn, the staffs at these restaurants view it as a transitional way to make money until they get a “real job.”
This lack of restaurant server training creates two significant problems for the industry:
- Who is there to mentor these servers at restaurants where service is secondary to volume?
- Where will the servers who do want to advance to upscale restaurants get the training to prepare them?
As with every great problem, there is a great opportunity. For servers who are willing to take charge of their own training, the ability to stand out from your peers has never been greater. This means building a core of regulars that keep your section full when the restaurant is empty. This means being able to advance rapidly to higher end restaurants that previously wouldn’t have looked at the resume of servers without a decade of experience. For independent restaurant owners, the opportunity to stand apart from your corporate competitors is obvious. You cannot compete with their advertising budgets and ability to offer prices that eliminate profit margins. You can however train your staff to provide the type of service that will create loyal guests and vocal fans. This is how you can stand apart and win the battle for the dining dollars of your guests.
This is why I wrote . I know that it is tough to be a server right now because I am a server. I know it is tough to be an independent restaurant owner because I work with independent restaurant owners to help them find a way to compete. It took me over a decade to learn the skills that I use today. When I looked for a book to teach me these skills back in the 90’s, I couldn’t find one. This is why I sat down and wrote the book containing the knowledge I have now and would have benefited from then.
There is no longer an excuse. The material is available. You do not have to wait for a corporate restaurant server training manual to teach you how to be a better server. Restaurant owners do not have to take on the expense of hiring someone to write their training manual. I have even lowered the price of the book. I offer even deeper discounts for purchases of multiple copies. Everything is in place for you to get the competitive advantage you need. All that is left is for you to make the decision that gaining this advantage is worth a small investment of time and money. If increasing your income is worth this investment, the restaurant server training manual you have been waiting for is available.