How to Be a Good Waiter

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How to Be a Good Waiter

Being a good waiter is important in any kind of restaurant, big or small. Any good waiter must be of command of the myriad of tasks assigned to him or her while tending to the customer’s needs. Here are some things that you need to know and need to do to become a good waiter.

  1. Be familiar with the restaurant you’re working in. Have a working knowledge of the restaurant’s history, its owners and the managers. Customers are sometimes interested in knowing more about the restaurant’s history, so it’s always best to prepared with some answers.
  2. Know your menu. People get less confident about what the food they’re getting if the waiter himself or herself doesn’t know what the restaurant has to offer. Knowing the menu means knowing at least the basic preparation of each menu item goes through, as well as its ingredients.
  3. Know your drinks. If your restaurant is offering alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, like food, you need to at least know what its ingredients are. Knowledge about wines, their differences and what kinds of food they go best with is also invaluable knowledge for a waiter.
  4. Know the specials and the best sellers of the restaurant.  Newcomers to the establishment may have a difficult time deciding on what to order, so it’s best to know what sells well in meat dishes, seafood dishes, vegetarian dishes, drinks and desserts. Be accurate when talking about the specials. Relay it to them like you would your own family when ordering in a restaurant, recommending something that is worth the money and the restaurant visit for.
  5. Adapt to your customers while staying friendly, attentive and respectful at the same time. Not all customers are the same. Some will know immediately what they want to order, others will want to take their time, some others will ask a lot of questions about the menu items. What’s important is that you let them define what the working relationship between customer and waiter will be. Don’t be too pushy or overly helpful. Handle them like they are guests in your very own home.
  6. Convey a mood of cheerfulness and be nice. Customers are less likely to be impatient or cross with waiters that are cheerful and nice toward them.
  7. When taking orders, write them down in your pad in a clear hand. Repeat the orders back to them clearly, and don’t forget to ask if they would like to add anything else to their order.
  8. The kitchen is your headquarters, but every trip from the kitchen to the table must accomplish any one of these three things: First, bringing something from the kitchen to the table. Second, collecting an order or information from customers. Third, bringing something back from the table to the kitchen. Keeping these three steps in mind will ensure that you are always doing something productive and tending to the needs of both the restaurant and its customers.
  9. If you are currently not in the business of any of these three steps, make it a habit of going around the restaurant or at least scanning the area to make sure that no one of the customers need help on something.
  10. Peripheral vision is also very helpful in being a waiter. Customers can be very aggravated when a waiter passes right by them without acknowledging their signal for assistance. Even the merest request for a customer to wait can make a customer feel tended to and consequently, more patient.

These tips, coupled with time, experience and willingness to learn and become better, will help make you an infinitely better waiter.