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Menus Before or After Seating

There is no standard practice as to when to hand your customers menus. For instance, some establishments with long wait times may keep menus out in front to allow waiting customers to think about their order in advance. In these cases, you need to take menus with you to the table and hand them out there, or allow the customer to carry their own. In other cases, the menus may even be stored at the table for convenience, or laid out in advance.

Please note that some restaurants have gone digital with their menus as a result of COVID-19. Be aware of what policies your restaurant follows, and be ready to either explain how to access the digital menu online, provide disposable paper copies of the menu, and so-forth.

Drinks Upon Seating

It is standard to offer your customers something to drink upon seating. Start by asking what they would like to drink, and offer water (or tea, in some areas) if they prefer. In some states and at certain times, you may not automatically provide water, such as California during a drought. Be aware of the rules and regulations in your area.

Below is an example of providing drink orders: