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How to create harmony between kitchen and wait staff

It would be nice to think that chefs are the yin to the wait staff’s yang. Both aiming to complement each other to create and serve delicious dishes to the masses. But with the stress, fast-pace, and hectic nature of the restaurant business, sometimes this would-be harmonious relationship can be tested to its limits. So how should we go about resolving these issues?

Improve communication between the two

With the WaiterCall system, the chef can notify wait staff as soon as meals are ready to be served. The chef simply presses the transmitter and a silent message is sent to the relevant staff pager. As a result wait staff can spend more time with customers instead of making frequent trips to the kitchen to see if food is ready, taking misunderstandings off the agenda.

Train all wait staff fully!

The chefs should discuss each new dish or changes with the front of house team. Wait staff should know the menu inside out, be able to offer alternatives and know the answers to difficult food questions customers may ask. Nothing will make a chef crazier like a waiter who doesn’t know the menu. Wait staff should have tasted everything and know what ingredients have been used.

Waiter serving food

Review the booking and order process

We’ve all seen it, a restaurant is having a relatively quiet night before a bus load of customers all arrive at once requesting that their food be served asap. Ensure all customers are looked after with QSR’s ConnectSmart Kitchen (CSK). The innovative system means once orders are placed by waiters on screen, the chefs can use the cook time data function and real-time kitchen status to provide accurate quote times for orders. This also means no more paper tickets. A chef will no longer have to spend precious seconds or minutes  deciphering a waiter’s handwriting… it’s all on screen in black and white.


Allow chefs to contact the manager directly

What happens in the kitchen can grossly affect the full experience of the customer. If kitchen staff need further assistance, the Manager Button on the WaiterCall system instantly calls the manager to the kitchen to help. This can then be relayed to the rest of the staff.

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Remove the blame culture and treat the team as one

The idea should be to teach people to correct mistakes so they don’t happen again, not blame and demotivate a person. Unfortunately in high pressured situations mistakes can occur but learning from these situations should be encouraged rather than focusing on whose fault it is. The kitchen and wait staff should be seen as one team and treated as such.

Drake & Morgan's The Anthogist Executive Chef Rob Mitchell

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