Article: “The lost art of guest finesse in the dining room” (Mar.2006)


"How you guys doing? OK?" "Kara taking good care of you tonight?" "How is everything folks? Good?"

How many times have you–or your guests–been interrupted in midbite or midconversation by a manager who pops in and tosses those trite comments at your table? How many of your managers confuse the inhospitable act of intrusion with the hospitable act of interaction? How many of your managers mistake the process of "checking on tables" for the art of "working the room"? The answer is "too many," and the question is "why?"

…Our industry has spent a good deal of time teaching managers how to inspire the performances of the waitstaff. Now it's time to teach our managers the lost art of enhancing the experience of the guest.

…Touch every table. Many managers connect comfortably with regulars but often avoid making contact–or only make peripheral contact–with unfamiliar diners when walking through the dining room. The great dining room managers seek out a stranger every shift. They learn to become comfortable with–and actually enjoy–meeting and connecting with strangers. They wait for the right time to introduce themselves and always begin with an apology for the interruption."

source: "The lost art of guest finesse in the dining room" by Jim Sullivan (Nation's Restaurant News, Mar.6,2006) (via 

WaiterBell Angle: Imagine you are a diner and the restaurant offers WaiterBell, you signal for assistance, and the manager comes to your table. When a customer uses WaiterBell, it is not just a signal for assistance, but an opportunity to enhance customer satisfaction.  Restaurant managers can also use WaiterBell as the perfect opportunity to interact with guests while not unnecessarily interrupting their meal.


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