What are the attributes of truly exceptional restaurant servers—the ones who make you want to come back, tip a little extra and send praise to the manager?
These qualities are likely subjective depending on your specific restaurant. However, all great servers—regardless of where they work—have one thing in common: empathy.
A great server is able to relate to customers, anticipate their needs, show care and concern if an issue arises and treat others with kindness and respect.
Juan Fernando at La Parrilla shared a bit about what makes an exceptional server.
“I think it's always going to be important to understand that we're serving human beings. This is all about emotions, you know. We firmly believe that all the decisions we make are emotional. And we believe that we have to [make it emotional] because a lot of people are relying on technology to order. I think the restaurants that are going to still make the difference are going to be those that focus on the experience,” he said. “We continue to believe in those principles. My partners and I are going to continue doing that and [hiring] people accordingly.”
Understanding real human emotions and caring about them helps set a server apart from the rest.
Hiring exceptional talent in the restaurant business is no small feat, given the transient nature of the industry—not to mention the current national labor shortage. However, getting specific about the details you include in your job application can provide candidates insight into your restaurant’s brand and values, as well as what you’re looking for in your employees. Setting clear expectations for job responsibilities and the skills you require provides transparency early in the process. This will lead to better hires and drive better performance in the long run.
Overall, the most important thing to keep in mind when making hiring decisions is empathy. Keeping people at the center of your business will help take your restaurant from good to great.
For more great restaurant resources, head to https://www.ncr.com/restaurants.