Service

NoWait Makes Wait Lists a Thing of the Past

As reservation platforms move to iPads and mobile devices, guest management systems are much in demand, with several—including NoWait, DineTime, and NoshList—aiming to become the OpenTable of the wait list space.

OpenTable Reveals 2014 Diner Choice Award Winners

OpenTable, a leading provider of online restaurant reservations, reveals the 2014 Diner Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for approximately 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

100,000 Applebee's Tables Get Tech Treatment

DineEquity announces that Applebee's will redefine and enhance the guest experience through the installation of 100,000 E la Carte Presto tablets, powered by Intel, on every table and multiple bar positions at more than 1,800 Applebee's restaurants in the United States.

Personalize Customer Service

I doubt there are many restaurant owners who would say that customer service is not a priority for them. And yet, my experience is that most of them are focusing on the wrong things.I’m not talking about politeness.

Tips for Gratuities

When it comes to tipping, everyone has their own standards. To keep diners and staff happy, restaurants should assess best tipping practices.To pool or not to pool?There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to pooling tips, and ultimately, each restaurant should figure out what works best for its environment.

Resources to Help Restaurants Respond to Food Allergies

Nicole Friedman, a Chicago resident, has known for the past three years that her body reacts violently when she eats fish or tree nuts. She avoids these foods at all costs so she doesn’t have to deal with the incessant itching on her tongue and ears, the welts that form on her tongue, and her throat closing.

Worst Spills, Best Recoveries

William Smith, now general manager of Jackson 20 and The Grille at Morrison House in Alexandria, Virginia, recalls some disastrous incidents from his 17-year-career—but none as traumatic as when an obese customer broke through his barstool, falling to the floor.

Study Suggests Consumers Prefer Cloth Napkins

Restaurants that would like to improve food quality and service perception, and charge more per entrée, should strongly consider using cloth napkins, according to a recent study by Milliken & Company, a leading manufacturer of table linen fabrics for the hospitality industry.

Casual Dining Makeover

“How do you go from $113 per head at Morton’s Steak House to $18 per head at Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill?” That’s the question Christopher J. Artinian—who became president and CEO of Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill last summer after serving in the same capacity at Morton’s Restaurant Group—hears frequently.

Does Your Bar Have a Star?

If a drink menu is out-of-date or overly-simplistic and the bartenders can’t speak intelligently about the cocktails, I know two things about a restaurant: That there is no lead bartender in place, and that I’ll be ordering a beer.

Technology Turns Tables

Seating a restaurant has changed from being an art to being a science.Restaurant reservation sites like OpenTable—and smaller competitors like RezBook (from UrbanSpoon), CityEats, and MySeat.us—allow operators to seat a dining room according to computer analytics, which optimize seating arrangements, correctly populate tables of all sizes, and calculate table turns.

Bus to Perfection: Barely Seen, Never Heard

Ideally, diners shouldn’t even notice it. The best wait staffs swoop in and out, quickly and efficiently clearing tables. But when busing goes badly, it can ruin the dining experience .The best busing strategies start long before a table leaves.

Al Fresco Dining’s Allure

Dining at its finest is found in dramatic outdoor settings that simply cannot be replicated within the confines of a walled and roofed structure. Even the most opulent interior design fails to achieve the splendor of a desert sunset, and no amount of indoor originality can compare to the liberating rooftop view of a cityscape or the simple pleasures of dining alongside a gently lapping river.