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Restaurant Traffic Hierarchy

The Right Of Way.  Who Has It?

I write about this due to the amount of people I have worked with where I have had to play a constant game of chicken.  There are oblivious people that work at restaurants (oh, not yours? Sorry, I didn’t mean yours.), and oblivious at a restaurant is not good.  If I have a stack of plates and you are walking through looking at your server book…….please move, let me go.  If I am walking down the line and someone is dropping food to expo…..I’ll move, I’ll let you go.

Having a staff that has a clear understanding of important “items” in terms of transport is part of running a smooth restaurant.  When things start to get crazy (and we all know that ‘crazy’ is a regular occurrence at any busy restaurant), it is beneficial to have a through-traffic hierarchy.  A hierarchy that everyone knows, agrees upon and understands its benefit.

Here is a list.  Tweak yours to what is most important to you.

  1. Guests (or an employee guiding guests)
  2. Hot food
  3. Cold food
  4. Drinks
  5. Dirty dishes/glasses
  6. When just standing there, move to the side to let anyone else pass you easily. Move fast.

Great restaurants don’t assume that everyone understand these things.  Great restaurants set their staff and their restaurant up for success by creating an environment where there is clear direction and understanding.  If you work for a restaurant that is un-organized and will never talk about such a thing, I urge you to take the initiative and talk with your fellow servers.  Get them on the same page. You will create a stronger team and your dining room will run just a tick smoother.

2 Comments
  1. what about when someone works with you and they have no concept of personal space, or worse, the people who have no sense of urgency!!

    • Hey Shannon! You send them here so I can say…
      Dear Restaurant Employee,
      Please read some of these articles so you can become better at your job! You must move with a sense of urgency, because…you have shit to do! I am not talking running along mindlessly, but with purpose and speed. Maintain your composure, know the right of way and watch and learn from Shannon, because she is awesome.

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Email: jennifer@iamWaitress.com