I have been serving for just over 7 years now and I love it. I would like to think in pretty good at it too. I never get complaints about my service and I tend to get good tips. If you are a server or intend to be one, here are some tips that I find helpful to being a good server.
1. Be friendly but not overly so. Make sure it’s genuine, not forced, the tables can tell. Find something to comment on when you greet the table. I.e. a piece of jewelry or clothing. If there’s a child, show interest in the toy they have.
2. Try to anticipate the tables needs and bring it before they ask. From extra napkins for messy meals, to condiments, or drink refills. Think about what you or your family would need if you were eating that meal.
3. Learn to read your tables. Some like to talk a lot, some don’t want to be bothered. You can usually tell if you go to the table and they either respond with one word before going about their business or look interested waiting for you to talk. Sometimes they will strike up conversations with you.
4. Multitask. Learn to write one order while asking for the next one, it will fill the silence and get the order faster. It helps if you have shorthand for everything on the menu. Treat your station like one big table. Get drink refills for all at once, check on all of them when you check on one.
5. Prebus whenever possible. Clear plates, trash, empty glasses. Anything you can take away is less you’ll have to clear when they leave which means faster table turns.
6. Always, always ask before you remove anything. Even if there is nothing left on the plate/in the glass. You never know if they plan to use it for their spouses leftovers or whatnot. You don’t want to ruin your tip over something easily avoided. It’s especially important if there is even a little bit on the plate, they might be saving it for whatever reason.
7. Have the check ready when they ask. When they are almost done with their entrees print the check. That way if they refuse dessert you can drop the check right away. Just don’t forget to reprint the check if they do get dessert.
Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to make a great impression on every table which will hopefully lead to more money in your pocket.