Here Is What I Do When I Take An Order From a Guest

When I was in sales for a while I read a lot of sale books naturally and one of my favourite closes or at least the one I found most successful was the throw it right back in the other person’s lap close.

Let me explain how I use this when I take the order because what I want the guest to order is what they want and not exactly what I hear them asking me.

Example 1

Me – Okay are you all set to order?

Guest – Yes we are. But I have a question does it have to come with garlic mashed potatoes or can I have it with a baked potato?

Me – Would you like to have it with a baked potato?

Guest – No not really I will have it with garlic mashed or yes they answer I would like to have it with a baked potato.

Example 2

Me – Alright looks like we are ready to order……

Guest – Just can’t make up my mind. Is the filet or ribeye a better steak?

Me – What do you usually order?

Guest – It depends usually I always go for the filet.

Me – Would you like the filet?

Guest – Yeah I really like the filet let’s go with that!

That is all I do is just ask them a question back when they ask me a question. I don’t want to think for them for chrissakes! All I want to do is let them decide and tell me what they want , not me tell them what they should have. Because as Tom Hopkins in his Master of Selling book says if they say it then they bought it.

Also if they are to complain later that they wanted something different then I always will know that they told me they wanted it. Not me force it down their throat.

Now you can’t use this all the time. If you work in a steakhouse and someone asks if your steaks are good you don’t make them look stupid and reply , do you like steaks? I mean they must probably like steaks or they wouldn’t be there in the first place.

But many times I avoid long dialogue by throwing the question back at them and moving on quickly and taking the order.

Remember the last person to ask a question is controlling the conversation and leading the other person. You don’t want your guest to be running all over you with stupid idiotic questions while you have other things to do in the meantime.

I take the order quick this way. Then write it down and repeat it back to them. No mistakes this way and very little misunderstandings at all.

Just take the order and leave.


  1. Great advice. It is definately an art to be able to serve the customer well and still keep up great pace with the orders and the chefs calling for service. An art that some find it so hard to grasp even with good guidance. We will have to send our waiters your way for some tuition.

  2. Hi! How was vacation? :)I just wanted to say this trick works with kids too! I love it.Nice to see you.

  3. SkippyMom…go back tomorrow night. It was a great vacation. Yes this probably does work with kids too. You are right!

  4. Chef's kitchen rant…thanks there is more coming and also thanks for the follow. Feel free to pass on the waiters on to me.Ha!

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