What Skills Do You Need To Learn How To Be A Good Waiter Or Waitress?
Many people think that waiters and waitresses have the easiest job in the world.
“How hard can it be? All you have to do is bring people their drinks and write down what they want for dinner.”
Those that say this have obviously never worked as a waiter before.
On the surface our job does seem easy, but we all know there is so much more to our line of work than just “taking orders”.
Learning how to be a good waiter is very important and this article will outline three necessary skills a waiter or waitress must possess in order to be effective, make bigger tips, and have overall success in their waiter career.
Waiter and Waitress Skills #1
Time Management Skills
Time is of the essence…
…and being a waiter is always a race against time.
From the second your guest sits down to the second you drop the check the clock is ticking.
Your average guest has a hard time understanding that you also have other tables and can’t imagine why they would have to wait for anything, let alone their food to cook.
Make sure to know your cook times and what stage of the meal your guest is at (appetizer, soups/salads, entrees, or dessert) at all times.
Hold off sending in entrée orders until your guest have finished their salads and appetizers, guests do not like their main course coming to the table after they have only had two bites of their salad.
If somebody orders a well-done steak make sure to explain (even though common sense is begging them to know already) that it will take longer to cook and thus their meal will take longer to come to the table.
Never keep a guest waiting more than 5 minutes (it feels like 20 minutes to guests) for anything, especially the check.
You do want a big tip, don’t you?
Waiter and Waitress Skills #2
One of the most common sayings in the restaurant industry is…
“full hands in, full hands out”.
This means that whenever you go out on the floor to bring something to your guest, make sure to grab empty plates and cups on your way back out.
This helps keep your tables clean (and guests happy) and maximizes your efficiency.
A good waiter or waitress knows that the more productive they can make each trip to their tables, the easier the whole shift is going to go.
If you have one table that needs bread, one that needs a new coke, and another that just needs a side of sauce, you will be putting yourself behind if you take three separate trips.
Grab a tray. Fill it up.
Always think, “How much can I get done on this trip out to the floor”.
Waiter and Waitress Skills #3
People Skills (Most Important)
Waiting tables is all about people.
To be a good waiter or waitress you will need excellent people skills – this is the most important skill if you want to start making bigger tips.
A waiter’s primary job is to forge relationships with the guests, and it is not easy to walk up to a table of complete strangers and make them like you. It is very important to establish rapport with your guests and find something that you have in common.
The most obvious thing you will have in common with your guests is food. If they order something that you like, tell them!
“That is my favorite entrée, great choice.”
If they ask you how an item on the menu is, be honest. If they order a dish that you know sucks, tell them!
By being honest and recommending something better you will score major points. If the guest sees that you are really trying to take care of them, then they will take care of you.
Be professional, but let your personality come out.
By developing your Time Management, Multi-Tasking, and People Skills, you’ll greatly increase your effectiveness day in and day out.
These waiter and waitress skills will enable you to give amazing service, become faster, more efficient, and more likable. Before you know it you will have tables requesting your section and leaving you great tips all the time.
Put these skills to use and let us know how you are doing in the comments. Also, feel free to ask us any questions about things you want to learn about serving, we will do our best to answer them all!
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