On Saturday I had hot wings and a beer at a Hooters restaurant.
For those of you not familiar with Hooters… They are a US-based restaurant chain best known for their hot buffalo wings and Hooter Girls – attractive waitresses dressed in low-cut white tank tops and skin-tight orange shorts. They are a privately-held company with more than 430 locations in 28 countries. The chain began operations in 1983 with its first restaurant in Clearwater, Florida.
While their slogan is “Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined” it obviously requires more than spicy chicken wings and scantily clad women to make a restaurant successful. Just like anyone else in the service business, Hooters has developed tricks and tips to help their front-line employees ensure great customer service. A “best practice” tactic in Seattle (and locations along the west coast of the US) is to provide “E3 Service.”
The three ‘E’s in E3 service stand for…
- Every Hooters Girl
- Every Guest
- Every Day
When I sat down, my waitress wrote her name on a slip of paper on the table… As the meal progressed, several of the Hooters Girls stopped by and wrote down their names on the same paper. The goal for Hooters is to have each waitress stop by and sign their name before your meal is over.
Printed on the backside of the paper was a service cheat-sheet for the waitresses… It’s what I’m calling…
Hooters 16 Steps to Customer Service
Following these 16-steps every day, to every guest, by every waitress is their E3 service…
- Greet incoming Guests from wherever you are
- Seat Guests (at the best table in the house, yours of course)
- Greet table (within 30 seconds or less), suggest a specific drink
- Inform Guests of a specific special or promotion
- Bring drinks (in 3 minutes or less)
- Suggest a specific appetizer
- Sit down to take food order, suggest fries with every order (The men especially like this… it makes it seem more intimate with the waitress when she sits down, converses and takes the order. I’m certain this also helps increase the average cash tip Hooters Girls receive)
- Ring, Sling, Bring Setups!(I believe this refers to a. ringing up the order, b. slinging the ticket to the kitchen and c. bringing plates, napkins, forks, and knives to the table).
- Entertain, Entertain, Entertain! (visit each other’s tables)
- Secret service – anticipate the Guest’s needs
- Deliver food to the table
- Check back in 2 bites or 2 minutes and refill drinks
- Hands Full Golden Rule: Pre-bus, help with the wait station (I’m guessing this means, don’t come back to the kitchen empty-handed… bus tables and bring dirty dishes when returning to the kitchen).
- TEAMWORK – acknowledge every guest (5 ft. rule)(Greet anyone who is within 5 feet of you)
- Offer dessert and merchandise!
- Present check in a timely manner