• Dominic Tam

Casual Conversation Tips for Restaurant Servers in Singapore

Updated: Dec 20, 2018


It’s said that your food brings the customers to the restaurant, but it is the service that keeps them coming back. Here are some of our casual conversation tips for restaurant servers in Singapore! 


In Singapore, many of us look at customer interaction with minimum expectations. Unlike other countries where the level of service determines the tip received, the lack of this practice in Singapore has reduced the expectations of server-customer conversations. However, this could be what you need to keep your restaurant or café in the mind of your customers – service that stands out! And it isn’t difficult at all – it all begins simply with talking to your customer.


Some may think it’s unnecessary and additional work to the already hectic workload of managing a restaurant. However, it really doesn’t take a lot of effort, just a few words to begin:


The Starting Words


The easiest conversation starter has been said to be a simple “Hey, how are you doing today?”. In Singapore, the weather is always a great point of conversation. The heat, the rain – these are all quick comments that you can make to make your guests feel comfortable and relaxed for the meal to come. From there, you could quickly recommend them something off your menu. For example, a hot day could warrant a nice cold soda or specialty tea!  Another good practice is to ask them if they’ve been here before. This allows your server to quickly recommend your best dishes, and any special offers that they may be interested in. Drawing attention to your best sellers and most unique dishes is always a good way to get them to try your eatery’s defining dishes!


Any Tips and Tricks?


Do you have any secret, unique ways to eating your dishes that would elevate it? Or small nuggets of information that you can share to make the eating experience more interesting? In Montreal, a server shared with us that people usually ate their onion rings with honey, and indeed, it did taste different (and delicious!) with that small addition. Tips and tricks like this enables your customer to have a very different experience, and it truly doesn’t take much effort to share these “hacks” with them.


Ending the Night


It’s always good to come back to your guests (especially those first-timers) to get their feedback and thoughts about the food. And instead of simply asking for the sake of doing so, use this as a chance to gather the customers’ thoughts about your food and menu in general. Furthermore, you can also recommend new dishes for them to try, giving them an incentive to come back again. As Jon Taffer from the reality TV series Bar Rescue says “You have to market to three visits, not one.” A good night now doesn’t promise that they’ll come back, so give them a reason to! Recommend other dishes, things to try, but most importantly, let them know that their opinion matters and you’ve taken what they’ve said into consideration.


According to a study published by Harvard Business Review, “delivering great experiences actually reduces the cost to serve customers from what it was previously”. This means that when your customers feel good and have a good experience at your restaurant or café, you save time and resources. We consider the possibility that they will share their good experiences with their friends and online, bringing traffic to your establishment. In comparison, a bad review will cost you quite a bit as well. So take the effort and work at giving your guests the best experience they can – it’ll help you in the long run too. Do you know of any other conversation starter with customers? Share with us in the comments below!

Zeemart is Singapore’s first B2B platform for the Horeca industry, with a single-minded mission to enable businesses to make smarter purchasing decisions. Our platform connects buyers and suppliers through a simple interface, making discovery, purchasing and communicating more powerful and easier than before.

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