"So, what is it about service in restaurants? How many times have you heard someone say, "The food is great, but the service stinks"? How often have you declined to return to a place because you had an unpleasant experience with a waiter? Why do we care so much? And, what, exactly, constitutes good service, anyway?
Food Editor Virginia B. Wood, fellow writer Kate Thornberry, and I sat down for a couple of hours with an impressive panel of Austin's premier servers. We asked them to talk about themselves, their chosen profession, and their insights about providing the exceptional service for which they are known.
"There's the whole notion of 'reading your table,' figuring out what each one wants. Some people just want you to get it done, so you make sure their water is full and everything goes smoothly. Then there are people who want hospitality.
Adams believes that it comes down to "personal connection, part of the 'art' of the job. If you've made this connection, established this level of comfort, then if something goes wrong – and it's very difficult to provide perfect service – then people tend to be more forgiving. It's important to show that I'm grateful, that I appreciate that they're there."
WaiterBell Angle: This is an interesting discussion about restaurant service with professional servers. They talk about issues, such as personality, work ethic, training, and teamwork that help make up good restaurant service and hospitality.
A few issues that are not discussed is the state of restaurant service, the reasons behind its reported decline, and what can be done on a broad scale to help improve customer satisfaction. As one of the panel states, "it's very difficult to provide perfect service", and the WaiterBell system is meant to supplement all restaurant waitstaffs regardless of level or skill by providing a service safety net.