How to Handle Being Double or Triple Sat

Hi there, I recently have had a few people emailing me with questions on how to handle being double and even triple sat. Firstly I want to make new servers aware that being double sat can be a normal occurrence and it’s not such a big deal if you know what to do to handle it.

For those who don’t know what being double/triple sat is, it’s when the host, or if it’s a sit-down style restaurant you get 2 or 3 sets of guests who sit in your section in a very short period of time.

Being triple sat should never happen in a restaurant, the reason is that for you to deliver quality service to each guest that sits in your section you need a certain amount of time to greet, take a drink order (if they are ready right away) and place the order. So you see having 3 tables sit within the space of a few minutes is going to make your service suffer.

So this is how to handle being double or triple sat:

The absolute first thing you need to do is not panic or get flustered. If you rush yourself you’re going to just make it worse for you and your guests. With that said you should be aware that you will need to move with a sense of urgency (this does not mean running or rushing things).

In most cases when you’re double sat you will be able to handle it fine if you just use your time wisely. But if you already have a few tables you’re dealing with or you have been triple sat (let’s hope not) then here is what you do.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or flustered then it’s okay to ask for help, don’t try to be Superman or Wonder Woman (yes I’m using them as examples). You should ask another server or a manager if they can go and greet your guests at one table while you go and get another one started. It’s my belief that you should have that kind of support from your management team or from other service staff.

If you don’t have the support from either of these people then here’s what you can do if you have no other option:

  1. The thing to start with is to acknowledge the other tables by at least walking up to them and saying “Hey everyone I have 1 (or 2) other table(s) to see before you, but I will get to you as soon as I can”.
  2. Move with a sense of urgency and stay focused.
  3. If a manager or another server can’t help you with greeting then ask them to at least run your drinks to your tables (this allows you to focus purely on greeting your other guests and getting them started with drinks or appetizers).
  4. When you get back to those other tables you told you would get back to throw in a quick “sorry for the wait” and get right into your greeting.

I’m a big believer in working as a team despite the fact that you have sections when working in restaurants as a server. But why not make your, and your work colleagues life easier if in these kinds of situations you could you all work together and rely on one another?

If you find that your working in a restaurant where the host/hostess is double or triple seating you often then it’s probably something you need to bring up to management, because in reality you have a job to do and so do they, and they need to be doing it right.

Have a great day.