I just love this. I saw this happen the other night when I was out to dinner with my daughter. The restaurant was full, so they seated us at the bar. I thought that was a bit weird since my daughter is only 18, but who am I to argue? Apparently they have a license that allows them to serve minors at the bar–I had never heard of that one before. At least not in Oregon when dealing with the OLCC.
Anyway, we are seated at the bar and watched a very busy bartender when a dining room server walked by and asked the bartender if he needed any help. Cool, I thought.
A co-worker recognizing the need of another? It does happen. He said, “thank you, yes” and asked her to help him get caught up on his dirty glasseware that was strewn all over the place. Later I asked if she was a manager (some managers actually help out their employees), but no! She was a server!
It reminded me of my good ol’ days back in L.A. at Spago restaurant. If you were working the VIP section you were usually having your you-know-what handed to you., as well as having Wolfgang staring at you, making sure everything is done just right.
I would often find myself in the ‘easy’ tourist. When that happened, I would always ask the busy, stressed out server if I could be of assistance. That is how the system is supposed to work. It rarely does work that way. People, servers especially, can be extremely selfish and short-sighted. Not cool.
It starts at the top
If ownership, or managers create an inclusive, “we’re all in this together” (Wow, another high school musical reference?) culture, it can spread. the opposite is also true.
Which one do you have?
If you create this culture, it doesn’t matter if it is a server, a host, a busser, a dishwasher, or a manager. They should all be trained to recognize the need and then step in and help if they have the time. Obviously this is not going to happen if you are busy handling your own customers, but if not…
All about me
I never understood the mentality of, “my cusomers are fine so I am going to sit back and take a break while everyone else is running around.” Stock some silverware! Pour more coffee. Pour more water. Clear a table. Set a table. Wash glassware for the bartender. Help the hostess seat tables. Ask the linecooks if you can get them a glass of ice water. Anything.
You’ve been doing this long enough so you should know better. Lead by example. Train your staff to help out. You will be amazed at the results: A staff who actually likes working there, which leads to happier customers, which leads to returning customers, which leads to more money. For everyone.