The previous issue was all about non-verbal communication and the impact on a successful restaurant operation. Verbal communication is the focus of this issue, both (verbal and non-verbal) are essential when providing an exceptional customer experience. Verbal communication plays a vital role in the impressions that are portrayed, both to the customer and team members. What you hear, is as important as what you see. If you have not had the chance to check out the whole article on non-verbal communication here is the link:

 Keys things to remember is tone, speed, and volume of your 
voice when interacting with guests and co-workers alike. 

Speaking quickly can imply being in a hurry and appears to be an unwillingness to listen.  Talking slower with clear pronunciation makes for a more inviting atmosphere for a conversation and makes the other person feel important and valued, opening the lines for communication. An easy experiment for this is to try this on the phone. Although smiling is a non-verbal portion of communication, it applies to verbal as well. When smiling on the phone, it can be heard.  Experiment by answering the phone without smiling and then try it while smiling.   Even though the person cannot see you, they can hear the smile.  Miscommunication is more frequent than you may think and using these tips can minimize those miscommunications and makes for a better experience all around. Can you remember a time that you felt someone was short with you or not listening?  Think about how they delivered their words.  Could they have been more conscious about their delivery or perhaps just adjusted their tone, speed, and/or volume?  Would that have changed your outlook on the situation?

Tone of voice seems obvious, but some are unaware of their tone or how it comes out. For a quick look into your tone of voice, just record yourself and have a listen. Feelings often come out in the tone and can be off putting to anyone. Tone has much to do with choosing words wisely. If a guest asks for an extra napkin rather than replying “ya” try “absolutely”, “I’d be glad to get that for you”, “of course, I’ll be right back.” This shows respect and creates a welcome and positive environment and connection that is appreciated. The more professional and positive the response, the better the chance that words will not be misconstrued.   When seating a guest instead of saying “table for only 1?” try “how many in the party today?”  When using the word only, it can start the guest experience off on the wrong foot and in some situations, have a negative connotation. 

Another one that is used a lot is “you guys.”  Some people can get very offended using this term so try not to use it.  More formal options would be “folks” or “everyone”, or “ladies and gentlemen.” It seems so simple but makes a difference on how your words are interpreted. Volume should be specific to the situation. Depending on the what type of establishment you are in determines what volume is appropriate. Whispering to a guest in a night club, will have just as much of a detrimental effect as speaking too loudly in a small and quiet café.
The key to making verbal communication effective is paying attention to the situation and always being aware of surroundings and guests. What is appropriate at one establishment may be inappropriate in another. By following these simple tips, you can be a more effective communicator.

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