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The service industry is a quick and demanding place of work where workers barely stop to check their phones or have a glass of water. As stressful as dynamic, it requires a lot of patience, kindness, good memory, and skilled arms to perform any given task quickly and efficiently. But perhaps, the most difficult thing to do is to sympathize with customers. Pleasing their demands isn't easy at all, but our job is to keep them as satisfied as we can.
After two years in the service industry, I would like to share my personal experience for beginners. Although I am not the most skillful waiter, I discovered in my own six helpful tips that my supervisors took for granted back then, but I applied them in my daily work day to provide a good service.
1. Dress accordingly and be hygienic.
Many restaurants have their own uniform policy. This is something that a good waiter must be aware of. It is extremely important to wear neatly because most restaurants attract crowds of costumers because of the look of their employees. Usually, the manager of the restaurant I worked for said: "the nicer you dress, the better the treat you give. That is why people come to us." In my opinion, independently of how the uniform is, there is not necessarily a relationship between the way you look and the service you provide. It won't lower your value as a waiter, but whatever your uniform is, wear it neatly. Besides that, girls are not the only ones who have a sensitive smell; any person in a restaurant has it too! Be careful with your reek; it can cause disgust among your customers; consequently, a problem for you. Use deodorant or a perfume. These don’t need to be expensive or special, using them in small quantities will do.
Also, take care of your breath. Believe me, you are going to be very close to your costumers. They will perceive your breath and can complain about it. Some can make faces while others prefer to tell you how bad your breath stinks. What a shame, right?
2. Regulate how fast you work.
Do not rush like a maniac. It is not a race and there is no trophy for running to the kitchen before your co-worker. Be fast whenever is required. But if you are assigned some tables, it’s your responsibility to give equal attention to all of them. My advice here is to dedicate fair time to each table and facilitate to them whatever they demand.
3. Do not overload yourself with tons of dishes and glasses (while serving and cleaning up the table).
It is true that one as a waiter has to move fast, but when it comes to serve or clean up a table, do it carefully. You don’t want to spill meat sauce in your costumer shirt. That will ruin his or her meal. Or you don’t want to lose equilibrium and drop the dishes in front of everyone, including your boss. That would feel embarrassing. It never happened to me, but I saw some co-workers struggling after that.
4. Be polite, even though they deserve a punch on the face.
Remember this part, no customer will value enough your good service. This point is not about tips, it’s about how they appreciate your effort of making all more pleasant for them. You will find a lot of unhappy customers that come in and try to bring you down, just because they might be having a bad day. Don’t let them rain on your parade; their stay is temporary and your quality cannot be affected by their rudeness. If you find it difficult to deal with, talk to your manager. Likewise, be smart and don’t get into their foolishness. Be polite at all times. Manage your anger and do not let it control you.
5. Help your co-workers when possible.
If you are not too busy with your tables, help any other coworker with their tasks. Be a friend rather than a rival; you never know when you are going to need their help. But you as a waiter must be cautious. While you want to be a good worker, you unconsciously can be doing someone else’s job. People may take advantage of your good will and let you do their own job while they do not work as hard as you. Be aware of who you help to and how much you help.
6. Do not excel for the tips, but for yourself.
Tips are good incentives to keep working hard and providing excellent service. But it does not mean that your priority should be the money. In this industry, the waiter develops communication and problem-solving skills. Focus on what you can learn from your job that will help you in the future career. And yes, you deserve the tip for your own sweat. If you get it, say thanks and enjoy it. Otherwise, improve your service quality.
With these tips, any beginner can become a good waiter in a short period of time. All it takes is dedication and enthusiasm. Of course, policies vary from one restaurant to another, but these six tips serve anywhere and do not attempts to change anything from the employer restaurant.