Ah, the life of a waiter. Hustling between tables, remembering countless orders, and, let’s face it, sometimes dealing with less-than-pleasant customers. It can be a grind. But what if I told you that you can turn that grind into a groove with a dash of attitude adjustment?
Being a waiter is not just about ferrying food from the kitchen to the table. It’s about creating experiences, sharing stories, and sprinkling a little bit of magic on someone’s day. While many people might only consider the basics when thinking of the restaurant server job description, like taking orders and delivering food, the nuances and artistry of creating memorable dining experiences for guests set the exceptional waitstaff apart from the rest
Let’s set those tables with a twist of fun and flavor!
1. Embrace the Dance of Dining
The restaurant floor is your stage, and each table presents a new audience. So, why not treat it as a dance?
- Learn the steps: Before you can jazz it up, make sure you know the basic steps. This means understanding your restaurant’s menu like the back of your hand, knowing table numbers, and understanding the flow of service.
- Add some flair: Don’t be afraid to have a signature move. Maybe it’s a fun way to introduce the specials or a cheeky phrase when presenting the bill. Find something that makes you memorable (in a good way).
2. Connect with Your Coworkers
Your fellow waitstaff is in the same boat, navigating the same choppy waters of demanding diners and split shifts. Strengthening this camaraderie can make the job a blast.
- Staff nights out: Organize get-togethers after shifts. These can range from watching movies to themed potlucks. Not only does this help you blow off some steam, but it also solidifies the team spirit.
- In-jokes: You know the kind – little sayings or gestures that only your crew understands. They can turn a stressful situation into a laughable one in seconds!
3. Treat Every Table Like a New Story
As a waiter, you’re privy to countless mini-dramas and celebrations. Birthdays, anniversaries, first dates – you’ve seen it all. Instead of just seeing these as tables to serve, view them as stories unfolding.
- Get personal (but not too personal): Ask how they’re doing, any special occasions, or give recommendations based on their mood. You might just get a slice of their story.
- Play matchmaker: Okay, this might sound a tad sneaky, but if you see two solo diners, why not seat them close? Who knows, you might spark a new love story… or at least a budding friendship.
4. Play (Appropriate) Games
No, I’m not suggesting a game of hide and seek with the kitchen staff! But little mental games can keep your mind active and make shifts fly by.
- Memory challenges: Try to remember orders without writing them down (provided it doesn’t risk any mistakes!). Or see if you can recall your customers’ names and use them when you check on the table.
- Beat the clock: Set personal challenges. Can you clear three tables in five minutes? Or perhaps you can challenge yourself to up-sell a particular dish for the night.
5. Keep Learning and Growing
The world of hospitality is vast, and there’s always more to learn. Dive into this wealth of knowledge to keep things fresh.
- Expand your wine & dine knowledge: Step further into the world of wine, learn about different cuisines or even attend a cocktail-making class. Not only does this boost your professional profile, but it also gives you fun facts and tidbits to share with customers.
- Learn from mistakes: Every server has spilled a drink or mixed up orders. Instead of beating yourself up, take it on the chin and learn. After all, you’re only human!
6. Celebrate the Small Wins
In the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant, it’s easy to overlook the little moments that make your day. But these small triumphs can make all the difference in how you feel about your shift.
- Customer compliments: Did a diner love your recommendation or compliment your service? Savor it! These moments remind you of your value in this fast-paced industry.
- Perfect timing: Managed to serve all your tables without a hitch during the dinner rush? That’s a win! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back.
7. Find Your Balance
As with any job, ensuring you don’t burn out is essential. Take care of your mental and physical health.
- Stay hydrated and well-fed: You might be surrounded by food, but it’s ironic how easy it is to forget to eat or drink yourself! Keep a water bottle nearby and have energy-boosting snacks during breaks.
- Stretch and breathe: Use your breaks for quick stretches or even a few deep breaths. This can help reduce stress and physical strain.
9. Have a Sense of Humor
They say laughter is the best medicine, and in the restaurant world, this couldn’t be more accurate. So, when you’re getting ready for your shift in the morning, don’t forget to pack your sense of humor along with your apron and nametag.
- Laugh at the mishaps: Dropped a tray? Instead of panicking, crack a joke (after making sure no one’s hurt, of course!). A “Phew! Almost dropped that!” after a massive clatter of broken plates is sure to lighten the mood.
- Share jokes with regulars: If you have customers who frequent the restaurant, sharing a light-hearted joke or pun can build rapport. Think, “Why did the tomato turn red? Because it saw the salad dressing!” only funnier.
Keep an Eye on the Future
While you might be content as a server, remember there’s a vast world of other positions in the hospitality industry.
- Network: Make connections with suppliers, chefs, and managers. These contacts can be valuable if you decide to climb the hospitality ladder.
- Set goals: Whether you aim to be the head waiter, start your own café, or shift to another role in the industry, setting goals can keep your job exciting and purposeful.
10. Find Joy Outside Work
Your job is just one aspect of your life. Finding happiness and activities outside of work can influence your mood and outlook when you’re on the clock.
- Pursue hobbies: Engage in activities you love, be it painting, hiking, or playing video games. This ensures you have something to look forward to after your shift.
- Build relationships: Spend quality time with loved ones. They can provide a much-needed ear after a tough day or celebrate the good days with you.
Every job has its highs and lows. As a waiter, you’re on the frontline of the hospitality industry, meeting diverse people and facing different challenges daily.
With the right mindset and a sprinkle of creativity, your job as a waiter can be more than just a paycheck — it can be a fun-filled adventure!
So, chin up, wear that apron with pride, and serve up some joy!