Article: “Learning to identify what customers want: training and good instincts help workers ‘read’ guests and tailor service to fit their needs” (Sept.2005)

"Knowing when and how not to intrude requires a certain amount of perception. And that ability to "read" guests and tailor service accordingly is a crucial component in any server's ability to provide good service–whether at a fine-dining restaurant like Melisse or more casual venues, says Alex Susskind, associate professor of food and beverage management at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, N.Y.

Some people are more perceptive than others, so "not everyone is destined for a career in service," Susskind says. But employees can be trained to look for clues and elicit information that will help them develop better relationships with their guests, he says."

source: "Learning to identify what customers want: training and good instincts help workers 'read' guests and tailor service to fit their needs" by Lisa Jennings (Nation's Restaurant News, Sept.19,2005) (via

WaiterBell Angle: Reading guests is difficult and if a server is wrong, then it might detract from the dining experience. WaiterBell supports your waitstaff so if they read the guests incorrectly, WaiterBell can help your waitstaff recover and provide the correct assistance. WaiterBell also helps take the guesswork out of serving guests who wish to set their own dining pace.

Note: The Sept.19,2005 issue of Nation's Restaurant News is focused on restaurant customer service. If you missed it, you can read the articles at by clicking here.

Here is an excerpt from another article in that same issue:

"According to experts, excellent service is more than promptly greeting guests and serving them with a smile. It also goes beyond getting orders right the first time or bussing tables in a timely fashion.

At the most basic level, "service fulfills a need, and hospitality fulfills people," says Jim Sullivan, chief executive of Appleton, Wis.-based, a hospitality consulting firm, and a columnist for Nation's Restaurant News. "Service is meeting expectations, and hospitality is what we do to exceed expectations."

source: "At your service: faced with the widely varying demands of diners from all segments of society, operators strive to emphasize hospitality and capture the hard-to-define magic of impeccable service" by Erica Duecy (Nation's Restaurant News, Sept.19,2005)


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