Today’s topic is going to have a few points within it and it’s purpose is to help you out when it comes to:
Keeping the little ones happy.
If you work in a restaurant which caters to families or is kid-friendly then there are some things to know when serving these tables. It can go either way when it comes to kids because you will get some who are social butterflies and have a smile on their face all the time, then on the other spectrum you can have some that are tired or grumpy and can be a bit more difficult to deal with (especially the screamers, YIKES!).
However in most circumstances the parents will do what they can to get them to behave, and hopefully they succeed.
Here’s some things that you as a server can do when it comes to serving families with kids (if your thinking to yourself “What does this have to do with making more tips?” I will explain why after these 3 points below).
- Include them
- Check with the parents first
- Give them something to do/play with
When you go up to your table to greet them and say “Hi, how are you today?“ or whatever you say, be sure to say “hello” to the kid(s) also. I’ve seen some servers before who will do nothing but deal with the parents and won’t even make eye contact with the little ones.
Now at times you will get the shy ones who will cover their face or won’t say anything back and that’s okay (just don’t keep pushing them to respond). Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time for them to come out of their shell and be comfortable with you.
Others will leap out and greet you first, or when you say “hello” they will say “hello” back, then tell you a story about how they made fairy wings yesterday and flew over a pond while playing tennis with their dog “Barkley”.
Some will order themselves, others will have the parents do it for them, some will ask questions, others will have the parents ask for them. In a nutshell for this point just don’t assume that the parents will do or order everything for them, just take that moment to say something to them and then make a judgement call for yourself.
Check with the parents first
Before jumping in and giving the kids at the table some candy or crayons for drawing or just anything in particular be sure to check with the parents first. You never know if you giving crayons to a child that may have the tendency to eat them or stick them up their nose.
Just a quick check in with the parents will confirm whether the child is allowed to have or use whatever it is your giving to them.
Give them something to do/play with
There’s a few places I have worked which were kid-friendly and some of them had on hand things like mini DVD players with a selection of kids movies, crayons and coloring books, kids menu’s with puzzles, mazes and pictures to color and so on. This point is generally the key to turning unhappy little campers into happy or settled little campers. Once again check with the parents first that it’s okay that they can have/play with these things.
I used to do things like ask them to draw me (something specific) or every time I came to the table they had to make a different animal noise. You just need to keep them occupied long enough for the family to eat and leave. Also it’s a good idea to ask the parents if you would like the kitchen to get the kids meals out right away (or as soon as they can be put up). Sometimes the little ones can be hungry and grumpy and getting their food to them quickly can help out.
So to wrap this up how does taking care of the kids at your tables help you make more money? Simple, if you manage to keep the kids under control and keep them entertained, then the parents absolutely love and appreciate that.
If you make the effort to help them have a peaceful, uninterrupted meal then you will see more money hit your pockets and a look in their eye which says “THANK YOU“.
Enjoy your day and go make some money!
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