How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Taking the Order
First make sure everyone has a menu. Offer the wine menu to the person who looks like they may be paying or ask who would like it.
Keep an eye on them and return when they start looking up. If they do not choose quickly, you can arrive and ask 'How are you doing?' and 'Would you like any help?' You may also make excuses around talking about how it is difficult to choose as most things are really nice.
If the menu is in another language or in any case, you may need to explain what the dishes are. Practice describing these beforehand to make them appear succulent and make the customers' mouths water!
If they ask for recommendations do not just head for the expensive items. You can talk about the 'chef's special' or ask what sort of thing they like before making a suggestion.
Sometimes one person will have a hard time choosing. If you take the orders of the others this will help hurry them up.
When people order things, nod to show you have heard and repeat back the order. You may also or alternatively repeat back the order for the whole table. Practice and restaurant rules may vary with regard to what and how you write down the order. It can be impressive to just remember everything, but this depends on whether you can do this. If in doubt, write it down.
When they make a choice, compliment them on their good choice (but do not parrot the same thing to everyone around the table).
Offer water or bring it to the table depending on local custom. Also check if they want bottled or tap water.
Ask if they want any extras, such as a slice of lemon in the tea or sauces for the salad.
Finally, do set expectations if there is going to be any delay. If this is a particularly long time, this is best done before you take the order.
And of course smile and be pleasant throughout the whole affair.
When you are taking the order you are interacting with the customer so this is a great time to make a good impression. It also is a time when they are spending money, so if you can help them spend more then all the better as tips are usually calculated as a proportion of the bill.
Helping them choose shows that you are taking particular care of them and are ready to spend extra time to help them, which may of course then be reciprocated in a bigger tip.
The memory trick can be impressive but some people worry about you forgetting the order. As with any method, try it out and find what works for you. Your tip level depends on scientific experiments!