Supplying Your Wait Staff: Full Service Casual Restaurants
In order to perform their job properly, servers in casual restaurants need to have a few essential supplies on hand. Let’s take a look at all of these wait staff supplies, and what you need to know about each of them.Server aprons: Many restaurants require their wait staff to wear uniforms with aprons. These outfits represent employment, helpfulness and your restaurant’s brand and overall image . Available in a variety of styles and colors to match your restaurant’s uniform, server aprons can add to your business’s overall visual impression.
Style: There are three main styles of server aprons:
- Half-length: These shorter aprons tie around the waist and the most popular style for casual restaurants.
- Bistro: Long bistro aprons tie around the waist and fall just below the knee. These aprons are often seen in bistros and upscale bars or restaurants.
- Bib: Bib aprons are best for support staff in the front of the house as they provide more protection for clothing when performing cleanup duties.
Color: The two most popular color choices for server aprons are black and white, though colorful aprons can add a nice touch to the right type of uniform. A special note about white aprons: these aprons look sharp and crisp when they are clean and pressed, but can appear dirty with the smallest stain. Be sure to wash your aprons regularly and keep a higher count of back-up aprons on hand to keep everyone looking sharp and presentable.
Guest checks: Guest checks are a simple and cost-effective way to track customers’ orders, especially in establishments that do not have an electronic ordering system. These notepads are available in a variety of styles, including:
- Carbon interleaved guest checks have carbon paper behind each individual check, creating an easier tracking system for your servers. Each check automatically has a copy for the kitchen or accounting purposes and the original is presented to the customer.
- Carbonless guest checks provide copies for each check without the use of carbon paper, which can get a bit messy. Carbonless guest check pads do require using a wrap-around cover to keep writing from bleeding to the next checks on the pad.
- Single-part checks do not provide a back-up copy and are ideal for operations with electronic point-of-sale systems. These guest checks are a great tool for a server’s order-taking organization.
Guest check holders and guest check presenters: provide a professional and clean way of presenting the final bill to the customer. These small folders keep checks, receipts, money and credit cards organized for presentation. When selecting the right check holder or presenter for your restaurant, consider the method of payment accepted. Some guest check presenters and holders have small envelopes for credit cards while others do not.
Wine keys:Wine keys, also known as waiter corkscrews, resemble pocket knives and flip open to reveal a corkscrew and an opener for bottled beer, soda and sparkling water.. Small and compact to comfortably fit into a server apron, most t wine keys feature a small knife for cutting foil off of the wine bottle before removing the cork. Unlike t-shaped corkscrews, wine keys provide some leverage to make opening wine bottles easier for servers, which is essential as they perform this task in front of customers.
Tip trays: Tip trays add a nice touch when returning change to customers after they’ve paid. Tip trays come in a variety of colors and are designed to hold credit card receipts as well as cash, and are also a good place for customers to leave behind tips before leaving. Some tip trays come with a clip to hold bills and papers down, so if you have outdoor seating this feature is an excellent way to keep money from blowing in the breeze.
Stock up on wait staff supplies and see your servers shine in the resplendent glorythat is a well-organized restaurant.
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