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Serving with a negative mindset

Serving with a negative mindsetWe, as servers should be welcoming, enthusiastic, presentable, knowledgeable, and always appear happy with a smile on our face, which can be a hard set of skills to consistently tackle every day. Another skill that isn’t always easy is to leave everything negative at the door when you walk into the restaurant.

Perhaps you’ve had issues with family or friends, you’re stressed about a numerous number of things life throws at you, or you just aren’t feeling up to working that day. The thing is, we need to be able to train our minds to leave these problems outside of the work place, easier said than done, but it’s something that has a big impact on how your shift goes.

Have you ever been at work when someone has walked in the door for their shift and before they say anything to you, you can already sense they are in a bad/negative mood? If you can see that before they even speak, how do you think their tables will see this server while being served by them? (providing they continue their attitude from when they walked in)

Although negativity in any workplace has an impact, in our industry of dealing with people face to face on a daily our demeanor and mood directly affects everyone around us. If you start your shift off saying things like “I’m not going to make any money today” or “my section sucks” then most of the time (not always) that’s probably how it’s going to go down.

Some things I do to break away from a negative mindset are:

  • Keep myself busy while working, this helps to keep my mind of whatever it is that’s bringing me down. If it’s quiet I’ll deep clean things, restock, organize shelves and just focus on the tasks at hand.
  • I don’t talk about my problems while at work. Bringing up issues with fellow workers is just going to remind you of it, and it can also change the mood of the people you share your drama with. Without a doubt, it’s not something you talk about with your guests either.
  • I look at the positive outcomes of changing my attitude (I’ll make more money, easier to deal with guests and co-workers, feel a whole lot better and happier, time will feel like it’s flying by etc)
  • To boost my mood I’ll have a laugh with my work mates. I’ll bring up a story of one of the many shenanigans we’ve had together, and let the story unfold :).
  • I don’t stop until my mindset turns positive.

As I said, it’s not always the easiest thing to stay positive every single day, but why not make the most out of your shift and change your mindset to benefit you? At least then you give yourself the best chances of making good money and ending your shift on a happier note than when you came in.

We all have our bad days, but it’s nice to know that we have the ability to change it around by being optimistic and not letting negativity control the outcome our day.

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”

– Gandhi

Have an awesome day.


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8 Comments to “Serving with a negative mindset”

  1. Debbie Morella says:

    Beautifully stated! Customer service can be a pleasant distraction from life if we allow it and our energy is powerful. Thank you.

  2. Michelle says:

    Recently my (ex)fiance and I split up. I’ve had a hard time leaving that negativity outside of work. But I’ve found that sharing laughs with my co-workers and trying to think positive has really helped me out. I did notice that people had been cheapskates, but now I realize it was probably because of my demeanor. I didn’t care to go to work or be around people. Now I find it a welcoming distraction.

    • Nathan says:

      Sorry to hear about your recent split Michelle, these situations never really are an easy thing to deal with, let alone work without thinking about it. I’m glad that you use laughter with fellow workers to your advantage, it really can give you a boost to get you through your shift. All the best!

  3. singmomunite says:

    I’m really glad I found this. I’m starting a new position tomorrow as a server and I was a bit nervous because I haven’t worked let alone served in almost six years. It gives me great hope to see a fellow blogger as well as server doing great. 🙂

  4. Hi Nathan, long time “no talk”, hope you are well.
    It’s easy for us o say that we must be happy, in a good mood and positive but we all know that is a challenge for many. Life gets in the way. But that is what separates us from the rest and shows the mark of a true professional.

    Being a professional doesn’t just mean being paid for something, vs an amateur.

    It is being able to distance yourself from the issues that will make the guests’ experience less than stellar. We are here for them. Our problems are never to be shared with others. Mainly because everyone has their own issues to deal with an don’t need to hear about ours.

    “How are you today”? I am fantastic, wonderful, etc, regardless of whether we are or not. We must make our own positive attitude and share that with our guests.

    How a great day!

    • Nathan says:

      I’m doing great thanks Steve!

      Life can get to us all at times and you’re right, our problems are none of our guests concerns because we all have our own problems.

      I hope everything is great with you Steve. Thanks for the comment and Have yourself an awesome day mate.

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