5-FOH-Mistakes-to-AvoidAre you passionate about everything you put your name to? Do you find it frustrating when other people on your team aren’t really putting in the same effort you are? Hell, at one point in time, you’ve probably found it hard to look up to a few people that hold the title “manager”. It’s a good chance you are one of the few people we refer to as an Exceeder. Read on to discover how hospitality workers can go above and beyond in terms of service.
If you want to be perceived as someone who practice’s Exceeder tendencies, and aim to leave people feeling like they’ve had an experience they were not expecting - try to incorporate these traits into your daily routine.

In order to go above and beyond in not only your job, but everyday life, you must feel your work or purpose of being there has meaning. That you in fact can influence someone’s day for the better or if we look at it the other way, for the worse – but let’s keep it positive. This in fact is the essence of service, and why we choose to work in hospitality industry after all. So, what are some simple things you can start doing right away?


Working behind a bar doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Try getting out on the floor when you can and lend a hand to the floor staff, keep an eye on their workload over the next few shifts, just be proactive one day and do something that they were not expecting. On a day where your bar or dispense is quiet, reset their section for them or at least prep the mise en place. Being a bar tender and staying behind the bar with an attitude of “it’s not my job” just doesn’t fly in most places these days, and this is one trait that you need to address in your work environment.

When a guest is closing their tab off, escort them out and open the door for them. Some casual conversation and a fond farewell is an easy way to create further rapport for the next time your guest visits.

Don’t bully or talk down to your bar backs, become a mentor to them and aim to help them out when time permits. They’ll have your back when you need it and actually want to help you rather than being fearful of you.

Bussers or Runners

It’s a similar scenario on the floor. If you’re a busser or runner in todays modern restaurant, it’s your job to be prompt, support your section waiters, and be at the pass when orders are up. This is expected, so find other ways to communicate with your team to make their tasks easier. Check in with the kitchen between peaks and see if the chefs need water, show them you care, no matter how scary they can be. Service is usually only 4 hrs, so punch it out. Ask your section waiter, “What can I focus on tonight during service to support you?”


If you’re a host, then you’re expected to actually understand the complete front of house operations. In addition to being cool, calm and collected under pressure, you need to have eyes in the back of your head and see tables freeing up before the section waiters have alerted you. When guests arrive and their table isn’t ready, you need to be able manage their experience from the get go, without letting them know the main restaurant isn’t ready for them. Establishing rapport and introducing them to a holding area in the bar, presenting them some basic refreshments or if you anticipate a longer than normal wait, having the confidence to comp a cocktail or beer to pacify them is all part of going above and beyond your basic duties. The experience this diner has in your restaurant can go either way at this point. YOUR actions here make the difference and influence the guest towards a positive experience or a negative one.

If the overall meal isn’t a show stopper, its not a big deal. Feedback and research has proven that if the service has been great and any obvious issues have been addressed and managed by staff, the overall experience is positive and guests are:

  1. More likely to return
  2. Less likely to provide a poor review, and
  3. More likely to leave a tip than if the meal was great but the service was non existent.

As you can see these are just a few ways to step outside the confines of your job description to enhance the guest experience and influence beyond food and beverage service. If your current employer doesn’t see the value in your newfound passion for service, it might be time to discover what level the industry’s best operators are currently working at now!

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About the author Marlowe Bennett

With 22 years of experience and over 23,000 professional hours working across Sydney’s hospitality industry, our content aims to inspire young candidates to pursue professional careers and to help operators grow compliantly.


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