Serving with a Negative Mindset

We, 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 workplace, 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 off 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 workmates. 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.