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- First things first, from now on don't call the people you are serving customers ... call them guests.
- Make your guests feel at home and welcome. I usually do this by verbally saying they are always here, but there are probably better ways.
- With that said - you do have the right not to serve a customer if they are harassing you, drinking too much, didn't pay last time, etc.
- Know the menu! For example: if all burgers come with a side of fries, ask them if they want fries or a substitute.
- Know some drinks! If a customer asks for a mojito, it helps to know what a mojito is, if the bartender says she doesn't know how to make it ..
- Bring cutlery and side plates before you bring the food. I try to bring them just after they order to make sure I don't forget .. because that can be embarrassing!
- Management is going to want you to up-sell, so if it's dinner offer a dessert menu and coffee at the end.
- With that said - don't ask them if they want anything else while they are waiting for their food.
- If you have trouble remembering orders, it's okay to write them down.
- Smile. I hate saying this because I hate being told to do it, but it helps you get better tips.
- Look clean! Washed hair, washed finger nails, clean clothes, etc.
- Makeup isn't mandatory but it can help sometimes. It can also be fun.
- It is best to avoid perfume, some people are allergic to it.
- If you think you might forget a task that you need to do in ten minutes, it's okay to write it down.
- Check the order before bringing it to the table.
- If there is a mistake don't blame the chef or anyone else. Just apologize and fix it.
- Never complain about a bad tip. The only time you can mention a tip is if you are saying a simple thank you.
- Never sit around doing nothing. 'If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.'
- Stay neutral in arguments about who will pay.
- Ask if they would like water when they order coffee or alcohol.
- Bring extra cutlery for specific orders. If someone is getting a steak, grab a steak knife. If someone is getting a soup, bring a spoon. If someone is getting a coffee, put a spoon on the side.
- Don't set dangerous objects near children. If the parents order hot soup just try to keep away from the kids a little.
- If you don't have an apron pocket, you can consider buying one online.
- Familiarize yourself with the daily specials. I hate to say this but it's best to do it before your shift even starts.
- If someone is getting take-out, bring it in a plastic bag with plastic cutlery and napkins.
- Don't let it get to you if the other waitresses are being mean to you, they could easily just be jealous you are getting better tips or they are just stressed.
- Know the numbers of the tables, trust me it helps. Also it looks really bad if you don't know the numbers.
- Choose the music with some care. Don't play a whole album of the same artist. In the morning, play softer music and in the afternoon, play more energetic music.
- Perform unpleasant tasks without complaining.
- Keep the music a little low so that guests can still talk to each other.
- Want more tips? Good! Introduce yourself, make eye-contact and be friendly.
- Befriend the regulars. Remember their names and favourite drinks. Make them feel like they are coming to visit a friend: you!
- Don't gossip about customers, even if you think they can't hear you. Just don't risk it.
- Show up to work early. This is important to any job, especially if you are new.