Restaurant servers like teaching and nursing are among the most poorly paid and overburdened occupations. During their duty, a server plays an equal role in hosting a party and contributing to customer care.
Researchers found that working efficiently at a restaurant can be very draining, both physically and mentally. Not only that, waiters usually depend on tips from the customers, reflecting the fact that they are always looking to earn some extra money. A good server is a multitasker and is great at conversations. One’s on-job performance has a direct link with the income of the organization and his tips.
Tips to Be an Efficient and Organized Server
What do I need to do to make my ordinary serving extraordinary? We have listed a few tips to make your job organized and efficient. Whether you are new to an apron or not, these tips will assist you in polishing your serving skills and help lower your anxiety level:
1. Know Your Menu
Many restaurants make it compulsory for a new server to take the menu home and learn it during the first few starting days of their job. If memorizing is not mandatory, it’s still advisable to do it anyway. As it is a key factor to impress the client.
Being a cafeteria server, it’s a part of your job to know the menu inside out and be capable enough to make recommendations for the customers about the available toppings and provide information related to the basic risks of allergy. You’ll be able to immensely improve the quality of service you are providing to your guests just by knowing the menu of both drinks and foods.
Remembering the menu will also reduce the time of every table by knocking out the time needed to run back to the kitchen and ask if a respective topping is available and get the answers to some common questions. In this way, you’ll be able to build a strong relationship with regular customers.
If your eatery offers daily specials, you need to instruct yourself about those as well. Customers, especially the regular ones, will want you to explain the special serving as that is not usually mentioned on the menu.
2. Cross-check Every Order
It is always recommended to take some time to cross-check every order before taking it to the kitchen and then bringing it back to the table. Double-checking is better than wasting time dealing with an unfortunate customer who was served a wrong order.
3. Stock Up Your Essentials
Pens are one of the most in-demand items for the front staff of a restaurant. Utilize the pockets of your apron well by loading them with pens, straws, and some extra table cloth so that you don’t have to run here and there when customers demand them.
4. Be Warm and Friendly
Every restaurant demands expertise as per their setting, but versatility, agreeability, and friendliness are the key to success in practicing reception settings.
There are several different ways of being friendly. For instance, heartily greeting your customers upon their entrance to the dining area. Even though they are not coming to one of your tables, welcome them with a warm smile. It’s a simple way of friendliness that can bring in rewards when it comes to tips.
Sharing a joke and laughter with your customer may even lead to the greater possibility of receiving a tip. Furthermore, the customers will recognize you in their future visits, generating a consistent customer and uniform flow of income for you.
5. Seek for Efficiency
The key element to earn more money is reciprocating the tables; hence efficiency is a must-needed skill. Your goal is not just to serve many tables but also to build good relations with as many guests as you can without making any blunder.
Always be productive, strive for efficiency. Train yourself to never be empty-handed. This means taking orders for someone or clearing tables on your way to the kitchen and then picking food and beverages on your way back to the table. In this way, you will be efficient enough.
6. Be Observant
It’s important to be a sharp-eyed server, even though you must be dealing with many tables at a time. You don’t have to stop at every table to observe; a casual walk will do so. You should stay alert as the guest may require something and try to get your attention, or they may have finished the meal and want the bill. Be efficient in your actions and help them in all possible ways.
The satisfaction of the guest will then be seen on your reward.
7. Pre-empty Your Tables
Empty your tables as soon as the guest leaves because no one likes to sit on a dirty table with used packets, wrappers, empty glasses, and all the mess. Clearing the dirty items off in advance will help you shift the table quickly, and so you’ll be ready for more customers.
8. Introduce Yourself to the Customer
Good relations with the guest can drastically affect your growth and your restaurant’s overall business. Reliable regular customers tend to produce ten times more profit in their lifespan than a newly arrived customer. Also, such customers are fun to be accompanied with during working hours.
The method is easy-peasy; you don’t have to communicate your life story – simply presenting yourself with your name can work to get better tips. Moreover, servers who introduce themselves to their customers increase their chances of getting a tip.
Following are some greeting examples:
- Hi, I’m (your name), and I’ll be your attendant (this morning, this evening, this afternoon, this night).
- Welcome to our restaurant (name), my name is (your name), and I’ll be your server for today’s (lunch or dinner).
- Hello, my name is (your name). What would you like to have? Can we start with today’s specials?
9. Tell Your Guests Specials
Customers, even the pickiest ones, are curious about specials. Never think your guests know what they want to eat until you start recommending and telling them about daily specials. Recall: you are more familiar with the menu than your customers, although they are regular ones. While they are being seated and deciding what to order, you have adequate time to boost your sales and to convince them to request a certain dish from the menu.
If you succeed in convincing your client to order a bottle of wine or an appetizer, you have accomplished enhancing your sales. The amount of tip may also increase with items being ordered on the table.
10. Customer is Always Right
The number one rule to remember as a productive waiter is to know that the customer is always right. Wondering how is this productive? Let us elaborate; instead of debating with your client and making a fuss, it’s wise to be polite, humble, and apologetic to fix any problem. This will guarantee the customer’s pleasure, too. Keeping in mind satisfied customers is a way to maximize your tips and make them your regular customer.
11. Token of Appreciation
An individualized relation between a guest and a server makes a huge impression. A very simple yet best technique to maximize your tips is distributing a small token of appreciation. This may be candy, mint, or a cookie. Such small treats have a long-term effect.
A research carried out by the Journal of Applied Social Psychology states that:
- If the waiter offers one mint per table, this will increase his/her tip to about 3%
- If the server offers two mints per guest with the bill, this has a chance of receiving an additional 14% more tips than average.
Hence, this proves that leaving a token of appreciation is a method to increase customer satisfaction and get more tips.
Servers need to be very organized as they are not representing themselves but the restaurant, hotel, or bar they are working at. We hope that you like all the tips we mentioned above – apply them all in your life if you are a server, and you will definitely reap the benefits.