If you're looking to be a waiter or waitress, or you already are but want to look for areas to improve, it's important to consider more than the basic skills. Restaurants won't just be impressed if you can hold a large amount of food on a tray and are able to work in a team - these skills are expected of any waiting staff, regardless of experience. Think outside of the box with skills that set you apart from the rest. Here are five qualities of a good waiter.
The skills you need to have or improve on include:
Menu Knowledge That Sells
Reading out the specials like some sort of walking, talking, food-serving robot will only bore customers and make them order something safe. All those specials will end up being thrown out.
Become one of the best waiters by knowing the ingredients and flavours to help customers try something different and also avoid allergies. You'll know how the food is prepared and will be able to give honest recommendations rather than just naming a dish with little knowledge. It's a good way to satisfy customers, build retention and maybe even get yourself a nice little tip.
Attention To Detail
Instead of just picking up the food and serving it on a table, make sure you're inspecting each dish before you serve it to make sure it looks perfect. It might look like the wrong order, there might be a hair in the dish or the plates might just feel cold. Having that skill shows you're not just a follower, but you're someone who can be relied on when a problem comes up and acts quickly to sort it. By doing this, you're eliminating the problem before a customer can even spot it and react.
You're part of a team - so be willing to play your part. Oh, and be tactful with how you let the kitchen staff know they missed something - they're busy too, you know?
Rude customers, complaints, overly loud tables, complicated drinks orders - it can all get a bit too much in restaurants. That's why it's vital that you have patience as a core skill and can show that at all times. You're going to get unsatisfied customers all the time.
While you will be placed in situations like these...
...having that patience means you're able to remain positive and not show that these things are affecting you and your enjoyment of the job. Again, it shows that you're somebody who can be relied on under the steaming pressure of a problem service.
Attentiveness is good...to an extent. A fantastic waitress will always check on her guests and make sure they're as satisfied as they can be. But this doesn't mean interrupting diners just before they tell a punchline to their jokes.
Don't go overboard and invade their personal space. While it's a good idea to keep an eye on the table, don't make it obvious that you're watching them like a hawk. Nobody likes feeling they can't enjoy their food and drinks in peace.
Instead, pay enough attention to your tables so that they appreciate what you're doing. Fill up their glasses when they look empty, be on hand to clean unexpected spills and hover around the restaurant floor so guests can call you if they need you.
Be Wary of Hazards & Stay Safe
Perhaps the most important skill you need to have is being wary of hazards around the restaurant and the steps you need to take to stay safe. This is vital as it's not only your own safety to take into account, but colleagues as well as the guests too.
This includes things like spotting spillages on the floor, broken glass or anything else that can be deemed dangerous. By having this keen eye and skill, you're eliminating the most common workplace hazards - slips, trips and falls. Having this skill means you're able to take others' safety into consideration and can be relied on to eliminate hazards, rather than waiting for somebody else to notice it.
Make Sure You're Staying Safe at Work With the Right Footwear
As you'll be on your feet throughout shifts, it's important that you avoid any injuries by wearing appropriate, comfortable slip-resistant shoes. You need to have shoes that protect your feet and your posture. Plus, since you're on your feet all day, you need shoes that will last and will get you home safely.
Have You Seen Our Amazing Slip-Test Results?
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