Benefits of verbal Communication in Business

Scripting can be effective for communications between the wait staff and customers.Scripting can be effective for communications between the wait staff and customers.

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Overcoming challenges to effective verbal communication is a top priority for both restaurant managers and employees in the front and back of the house. While the theme and underlying atmosphere of the place determine whether restaurant speak takes on a more formal or familiar tone, politeness and persuasiveness are always appropriate. Guidelines set verbal communication standards that encourage employees to work as a team and ensure the restaurant runs smoothly.

Basic Communication Standards

Help employees understand that they represent the restaurant and must uphold its reputation. Include tone and quality standards in verbal communication guidelines that ensure everyone maintains a level of professionalism. Discourage yelling and the use of profanity, and insist that employees speak respectfully to each other. Remind employees that even if loud voices or inappropriate language is a momentary reaction to chaos, customers may overhear and take a dim view of such emotionally charged conversations. Also, strong emotions can offend fellow employees and decrease employee morale.

Address Communication Barriers

Generational, cultural and language differences can cause miscommunication between employees and customers. Acknowledge these differences, and agree on behind-the-scenes jargon that employees of any age can understand. Conduct formal or informal language training for managers and employees so they can better understand and converse with non-English speaking customers or employees. Bridge any language gap with a set of non-verbal cues such as gestures or demonstrations. Above all else, make sure every employee understands and can verbalize safety terms such as “hot oven, ” “dangerous” and “watch out.”

Related Reading: What Is Business Communication?

Encourage Clear Communication

Miscommunication can lead to ordering errors and result in unhappy customers. Set verbal guidelines for the front and back of the house that focus on speaking clearly and politely and a rate that isn’t too fast or too slow. Hold a short meeting before the start of each shift to ensure everyone is on the same page. Reinforce verbal communication guidelines, go over daily specials and encourage employee participation. For example, you can have a seasoned waiter demonstrate upselling, have a cook explain a few kitchen jargon terms and ask open-ended questions such as asking servers to set and verbalize a total check goal for the day.


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