Anticipate people’s needs. The simplest example of that is filling up a water glass that is close to empty. A more nebulous example would be dropping a splash of a particular wine to a bar guest when they have ordered some snacks as a pairing option to bring the most out of their food. They don’t necessarily ‘need’ it as such, but it’s a way of elevating their experience and offers a touch of the wow factor, showing a genuine extra mile touch which is what hospitality is all about.
Read the situation like a book. An example of that could be one person has barely touched their second drink and you feel they much preferred the drink from their first round, in this situation I would come to the table with another drink and swap it out. This may seem a brash step, but if you’ve worked hard to build the rapport and trust, the guest will love that touch and thank you for it. Alternatively, you may overhear someone mentioning that they haven’t eaten so you just pop a tiny snack in front of them from the kitchen as a gesture. It’s not going to fill them up, but they’ll know you genuinely care and will appreciate it.
Try and leave whatever else is happening at the door. It’s easier said than done, and some things will inevitably spill through. I guess compartmentalising is something that has always come easy to me. Generally speaking, I will come in to work with the soul purpose of having a great service, and all the implications of that. The team and guests become my absolute priority for the hours of service and everything just sort of washes away.