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Scripts for Greeting Guests and Presenting the Menu

Customer satisfaction is what rules your restaurant or bar. Service inconsistencies and forgetfulness can sour a guest’s otherwise positive experience. We talked in-depth about the importance of greeting your guests here, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can improve your customer service and organization further by creating scripts for your staff to use during regular guest interactions. A script in this sense isn’t meant to be read word-for-word like a traditional script and should be used as a mental checklist for important questions. We’ll go over the benefits of using scripts for greeting your guests and some solid examples of what a script should (or shouldn’t) look like.

The Power of a Warm Welcome in a Restaurant

Creating an amazing and memorable experience starts with your staff. From the second a guest walks through the door, the tone is set for how their night’s going to go. We’ll go over some of the key points to remember when creating your script.

  • Personalized greetings for guests.

When a guest arrives for a reservation, your staff can refer to them by their name on file. Paying attention to the time of day, holidays, and other relevant information is also helpful. Small personal touches like this show that your team is paying attention, giving guests a sense of belonging and relaxation.

  • Tone and body language speak volumes beyond the greeting itself.

Having a welcoming, professional attitude when guests come in is essential to the process of creating an amazing experience. While encouraging your staff to be enthusiastic is good practice, maintaining a sense of neutrality and warmth can yield better results overall. You don’t want your staff to come off too intensely, so simply telling your team to treat their guests like old friends can get the point across. Maintaining a positive attitude and a welcoming posture is important as well.

  • Time and place are important.

Make sure your staff is front and center while guests enter your establishment. None of your guests should be waiting too long to be tended to. 

  • Efficient seating is also paramount.

You can streamline your seating process by having staff ask whether a guest has a reservation right off the bat. This prevents any confusion or awkward interactions during the greeting and seating.

Crafting an Engaging Menu Presentation

Your menu should work in tandem with the work your staff is putting forth to create an easy and professional experience for your guests. When you create your menu, it should include:

  • Clear and concise ingredient-centric descriptions. You should table your creative writing skills and create a very to-the-point description of what your menu items contain to avoid confusion.
  • Eye-catching design. Simplicity with a few unique elements can create an elegant and exciting menu that visually prepares your guests for your offerings.
  • Indicate allergens and dietary restrictions. Especially for those who have specialized dietary needs, these indications show you care about your guests and make it easier for them to make choices.
  • Specials and recommendations. Highlighting your specials and recommendations encourages guests to try the foods you specialize in and can help your staff upsell on different menu items.


How to Provide Impeccable Service Experience

To provide exceptional customer service at your restaurant, it is important that your staff have a comprehensive knowledge of the menu, use techniques to upsell and cross-sell, coordinate efficiently, and offer personalized attention to each customer. One way to achieve this is by ensuring you have a flexible script that provides general ideas instead of forcing them to recite it word-for-word. This ensures optimal profitability while also enabling your staff to deliver consistent service quality through easy-to-remember touchpoints.

Scripts for Presenting the Menu and Greeting Guests in the Restaurant

So how do you create an effective script? Restaurant scripts are something you might not even notice when you’re going out to eat, which is how it should be. If you’ve ever gone to Chipotle, for example, you’ve probably been asked a lot of questions like “For here or to go?” or “Would you like mild, medium, hot, or corn salsa?”. These are parts of an (albeit long) greeting script taught at Chipotle restaurants. For you, it’s completely dependent on what kind of restaurant you are. Let’s look at some dos and don’ts for your greeting scripts. 

Restaurant Greeting Scripts. 

This is your bread-and-butter script and the one your staff will be using the most. 

  • Dos:
      • Start with some type of greeting within the first minute a guest comes in.
      • Ask about reservations, if they have a pick-up order, etc.
      • Briefly communicate any next steps, like asking how many are in a party or ask if they’d like to sit at the bar.
      • Leave room for small talk. This can create a conversation that leads to upselling.
      • Talk about specials and make sure you follow up by doing regular staff tastings.
  • Don’ts
    • Give a long-winded specific greeting. This can come off as odd to guests.
    • Forget to include asking about pick-up orders or reservations. It might seem “obvious” but it helps your staff remember to always ask.
    • Talk about specials or give recommendations without having staff familiarize themselves with the menu first. It’ll be pretty obvious to most that your staff doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
    • Leave no room for questions or conversation.

Phone Scripts for Restaurants

You’ll also want a script for your guests when they call your restaurant.

  • Dos
      • Give a brief greeting, state the name and location of the restaurant along with “how can I help you?”.
      • Ask for a name for the order if a guest is ordering for pick-up.
      • When a guest has finished an order, repeat it back to them to confirm with their total and an estimate for when it will be ready.
  • Don’ts
    • Answer the phone by just saying “hello?”. This is confusing and awkward for everyone involved.
    • Forget to have them ask for a name. It’ll lead to a lot of confusion when a guest comes to pick up their order.
    • Place guests on hold for long periods of time.

Goodbye Scripts for Restaurant Guests

It’s a good idea to have a goodbye script for your staff as well. This is great for getting valuable feedback on how the service went and ending things on a good note.

  • Dos 
      • Thank guests for coming.
      • Ask how a specific recommendation was, or how their meal was overall. Try to encourage staff to remember bits about the service so they can bring it up here.
      • Say something like “I look forward to seeing you again” or something similar.
  • Don’ts
    • Say nothing at all. This is a great way to ruin your service completely. 
    • Leave in a hurry and rush guests to get out the door.

Final Thoughts on Presenting the Menu and Greeting Restaurant Guests

Crafting scripts for your restaurant is a great way to ensure your guests have a good experience. They’ll come to know you as reliably good as well, since your staff will be consistent each time they come in. All in all, organizing your menu presentation and greetings only leads to profitability when done correctly.

Ryan Philemon


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