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How to survive as a waiter/waitress: Server’s guide to survival

Working as a waiter pushes you to the limits. Compared to any other job role, customers demand a lot from their servers and half the time, they fail to be polite to you. Learn how to survive as a waiter (or waitress) by reading our survival guide.



Make friends

Some people get a job as a waiter for extra money but don’t make any effort to make any friends. This is a terrible mistake. As a waiter, your friends will be the ones to watch your back when you get a table of unhappy customers.

To survive as a waiter, you need to make an effort to make friends at work. Getting to know the bartenders, the chefs and the other waiters and waitresses is very worthwhile. When you’re in a pickle, they will be there to help. Many restaurants are like families. They work together and go out together.

Waitresses and waiters face plenty of problems at work, friends are there to help.

Exercise regularly



If you have an activity tracker, you will be able to easily track how many steps you do at work. As a food server, you’ll definitely reach more than 10,000 steps in one shift. Whilst you think you’re doing plenty of exercise at work, it’s important to do stretching exercises in your free time.

Carrying heavy plates and being on your feet can be painful for your back. Working a shift with a bad back or sore ankles is torture. Yoga is recommended for stretching your muscles and maintaining a strong core.

Here are some beneficial exercises recommended for chefs, you can use them too.

Get plenty of sleep

Don’t ever underestimate a good night’s rest. As a waiter, you’re expected to be in a good mood at work, smile and be polite to customers. It’s hard to have a positive attitude when you’ve not had enough sleep.

Aim to get your eight hours’ sleep. Once you get into a habit of going to bed at a certain time, it’s easier to do.

Don’t party the night before

It’s tempting but don’t. Having a hangover is one of the worst things to suffer when doing a 9-hour shift the next day.

Dress smart



You might think it’s tiring wearing the same clothes everyday but a smart uniform has many benefits. You naturally feel more positive because you’re comfortable with what you’re wearing. Ironing your work clothes makes you look more professional.


Complete Guide to Uniform for Waiters

When you’re dealing with an unhappy customer, wearing a smart uniform helps you feel more confident about yourself.


Practice carrying plates to get the right method

Some waiters suffer repetitive strain injury in their wrists from carrying plates and trays. In rare cases, waiters and waitress can develop chronic pain.

Learning how to carrying serving plates correctly can reduce damage to your wrists and help you avoid suffering pain at work.

Survive your shift with the right shoes for work

One of the biggest pains you suffer whilst working as a waiter is sore feet. Being on your feet for most of your shift and walking back and forth to the kitchens puts immense strain on them.

Wearing work shoes gives your feet the support they need. Just because you like wearing your favourite trainers doesn’t mean they give adequate support.


Aristocrat III, comfortable and supportive polished brogue


Reese, simple and classic work shoes 

At Shoes For Crews (Europe) Ltd., our work shoes for waiters and waitresses have been specially designed to support you at work. Made with durable arch support and comfortable interior soles, you’ll feel supported throughout your shift. All our shoes have incredible slip-resistant grip to reduce the chance of slips or falls. Restaurants have plenty of hazards and when you’re serving customers, you cannot always watch out for slippery floors.


Visit our shop to see our work shoes for waiters


Got an interview coming up?

We've got the essential interview guide for attending a job interview to be a waitress. There's lots of questions they could ask you, so it's important to be prepared. Download our free guide that has over 20 interview questions you can expect (with answers).



Tags: Life @ Work
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