Learn service from the service pros

Service with a smile

By Iwana Bevvie

There are plenty of great restaurants in the Lowcountry, and many have stellar service. That may be why it is called the food service or hospitality industry. Regardless of your industry, take a tip from some of these service pros.

First impressions matter

Nunzio Restaurant + Bar impresses you from the moment you enter the parking lot. The large, neatly maintained building is well-lit and landscaped. The front door is clean, and the hostess immediately welcomes you to its slice of Italy. That attention to detail is carried throughout the restaurant and menu. 

Takeaway: “What does the exterior have to do with a good menu or service?” you may ask. Simple. If a restaurant can’t keep a parking lot or façade clean, can they keep a kitchen clean? People notice minor things and make quick judgments, even subliminally, so set the right tone from the minute they see your business. 

Dining pro tip: Watch for their special events, including wine pairings and tastings with an Italian flair. The chef prepares a lovely menu, and the sommelier presents perfect pairings. 

Ambiance matters

Bowdie’s Chophouse is a new kid on the block but not new to food service and fine dining. The seating allows for groups — intimate fine dining or casual high-tops. The music has just the right playlist at just the right volume. Servers seem to appear at the right time and never interrupt a conversation. For lack of a better word, this place has a great ‘vibe.’ 

Takeaway: How do your customers feel in your establishment, and does the vibe match your brand? Even an accounting firm or legal office can have a vibe to put customers at ease, from comfortable seating, a clean waiting area, good music and current issues of LOCAL Life and LOCAL Biz on the coffee tables (shameless plug). 

Dining pro tip: Make a reservation, as this place gets busy and really looks after its local clientele. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and talented, so ask for their recommendations. If you are too shy to ask, we recommend the French 75. Portions are generous, so pace yourself. 

People matter

For SERG Restaurant Group people come first, and it shows in its service. Employees receive more than a paycheck. They get health benefits, training, competitive pay, dining discounts and even tuition reimbursement. That explains why you may know your servers from 10 years ago, as the staff is very loyal. Happy staff translates to happy customers, or in the case of SERG, happy guests. Customers are referred to as guests and treated as such, from the greeting at the door, to the introductions at the table and the check presentation. 

Takeaway: Treat your employees well, and they will serve your clients, customers and guests well. 

Dining pro tip: Visit Wise Guys, and the lovely Sandy will greet you. Try a seat at the bar where Tony or Colin will enthusiastically describe the wines and menu. If in doubt, the Steak Carpaccio is outstanding. 

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