Get an inside look at restaurant service with mystery shoppers

Finding servers that provide exceptional service in a restaurant can be difficult.

Finding servers that provide exceptional service in a restaurant can be difficult. If your comes with disgruntled table-side service, it's doubtful that your customers will return no matter how delicious your food is. In addition, it can be difficult to measure the success of your servers while they are in your presence because they will likely put in extra effort while under the eyes of upper management. This is where seeking out the assistance of a mystery shopper can be particularly helpful. An individual who receives the full treatment can report back on areas where service may be lacking.

According to Michel Roux on BBC's Food Blog, it takes a lot more skills to work as a server than most restaurateurs realize. These individuals need to be efficient, good at keeping track of orders, precise and attentive. Meanwhile, they also have to be good listeners and communicators. It's a mixture of emotional intelligence, multi-tasking abilities and other skills that not everyone has. Yet, a large number of restaurants seem to employ people who just aren't up to the job.

Restaurants can benefit from the insight of secret shoppers. These individuals are given detailed reporting assignments that may include anything from attire to the attitude of the servers. Another great advantage of secret shoppers is they can inform you of elements that may be missing and you may not have considered at all. For instance, the music may be too loud and the lighting too low. An extra pair of eyes can be invaluable to improving customer experience.

If you do find your servers lacking, it may not be necessary to replace them. Rather, you may want to consider additional training for staff. Hospitality expert James Poling just released a book that provides advice for those in the service industry, which may be a useful guide, RestaurantNews.com reported.