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How to Take Guest Orders in Restaurants

January 14, 2010

Taking an order is a very skillful art which reflects efficiency and standard of both waiter and the establishment. Every Food & Beverage Service staff should have good command over order taking skill to ensure that each guest gets proper food he ordered and importantly in right sequence.

Food & Beverage Order Taking Tips

  1. First give time to guests after his arrival to feel comfortable with the environment.
  2. After the guest is seated and feel comfortable then present the menu and stand away to give guests some time to decide what to order. Remember don’t be hurry. Give proper time to the guest. Try to evaluate guest and understand when reaches to decision to order.
  3. When you feel to that the guest wants to order then approach toward him and courteously ask this way “May I take your order sir” or “Would you like to order now?”
  1. Before taking order first ensures that you are fully ready. You have to have a notepad, a pencil or a pen and an eraser to take notes.
  2. Although ordering depends on guest but try to maintain sequence that means first convince the guest to give beverage order and then food.
  3. Don’t lean too close to the guest and especially the host is a lady guest and also don’t keep one hand in your back. Just be smart, stand straight to the left side of the guest and bend slightly forward to guest.
  4. Always focus on what guest order. It will make guest insulted if he has to repeat his order again or again or if your attitude shows that you are not concentrating to him fully.
  5. It is must for a waiter or server to have full command on the menu items. Guest may ask different types of questions. So be prepared for that. You should know what are the ingredients of the foods you are offering, what is the special food of the day, which food is not suitable for vegetarians or different religious people etc.
  6. Many times it may be happened that guest are uncertain what to order. In that case it is your time to show some expertise. You can give him some options to choose by asking this way “Do you like to have smoked English ham or roast beef with gravy ” or “May I suggest you to have any Indian dishes ”
  7. It is very important to keep sequence while you present food. In your notepad you have to write down both the sequence of the food and the person who order. Generally it is done by clockwise direction. First take order from host and then start following to his right and give an identification number to each guest. Another way is to give number to the person who is sitting nearer to the service door. You should plan some coding method by your own so that you can easily understand who order which food. As a professional server you should not ask that “who order xyz ” or it will look worse if you place wrong food in front of wrong guest.
  8. Generally guest order appetizer, then beverages then main courses and at last some dessert items. So if guest order haphazardly, it is your duty to serve food according to the sequence.
  9. Give proper time to guests to enjoy their beverage items. If the glass gets empty then you can graciously ask him whether he wants replenishment or not by saying this way “Would you like to replenish your glass, sir?”
  10. If the guest is in hurry and seek your assistance then suggest him some “Ready to serve” food items rather “Cooked to order” items.
  11. Suggestive selling is a good skill of a waiter but if your guest is a couple or student then it is advisable not to suggest hugely expensive foods. You have to keep increasing your sells but also remember not to lead your guest in an embracing situating. This may hamper repeat guest.
  12. Repeat the food items guest orders and ask him whether he want to have anything else or not.

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