The restaurant industry is all about leisure and recreation. People want to enjoy a delicious meal, be treated well, and avoid the hassle of cooking something themselves. If you are a server, then your tips depend on your ability to make your customers happy. So here are some tips to provide better service:
- Start with a smile - aim to have a positive, upbeat personality at work. You want your customers to feel happy around you, not like they are a burden to you.
- Arrange special needs - ideally, before your guests have been seated, you will be made aware of special seating or table setting requests that they have. Perhaps there is a couple with a young child and they need a booster seat. Perhaps a family prefers a booth setting rather than an open table. The sooner you can accommodate these requests, the happier your customers will be.
- Remember regulars - if you have regular customers that are consistent with their orders and preferences, then make a point to serve them accordingly, without them having to ask. Get to know their names and backgrounds. If a customer asks you for healthy recommendations, point them in the right direction. If a customer goes so far as to ask you for a reference for a nutritionist, recommend someone from a company like New Horizon Foods. Remember, these are the people who pay your bills.
- Stay on top of drinks - your customers should never be waiting too long for free water or drink refills. Make sure they have enough in their glasses, and if they get lower than the half-way point, bring them a refill or ask them if they would like another one (if they will be charged for it).
- Come clean about mistakes - every once in a while, you will make a mistake on a customer's order. Don't blame the kitchen or make up a lie. Let your table know that you have made the mistake, apologize, and quickly correct it.
- Use teamwork - in the food service industry, teamwork is vital. If you find yourself swamped and unable to attend to a certain table's needs, ask your fellow waitstaff or manager to step in. Communication is key.
- Write it down - always write down your customer's order. It's better to be safe than sorry. Forgetting an order is far worse than taking the extra few seconds to get it down confidently on paper.
When it comes to food service, the customer comes first. If you want to make better tips at work, then you should be constantly improving your ability to serve the guests. Follow the advice above and you can enjoy a more fun and profitable career in the food industry.