Essential Waitstaff Skills: A Comprehensive Guide
There is more to serving as a waiter than simply taking orders and bringing out food. Many of the skills that you hone while working in a restaurant are prized by recruiters and hiring managers in the hospitality industry, whether you want to stay in the F&B Department or move to hotel operations. Being a waitstaff is the perfect interim job or career in the culinary industry. From effective communication to exceptional customer service, time management, and multitasking, waitstaff take up a number of roles. So… what are the necessary skills that a waiter/ waitress should possess? Let’s see!
Smiling is possibly one of the most important qualities that should be possessed by all waitstaff. The dining experience of a patron is greatly influenced by the demeanor of the waitress who serves them. Even if the food was top-notch, they won’t forget how grumpy their waitress was, even if it was the best meal they’ve ever had. When you’re in the middle of a long and stressful shift, it can be difficult to find the energy to crack a smile. You’ll see how much of an effect something as simple as a smile can have.
In the hospitality industry, communication is the foundation of providing excellent service. Waitstaff must be able to communicate information clearly and actively listen to the needs of customers. Use appropriate language and tone to speak clearly and confidently. Avoid using jargon or unfamiliar terms that could confuse customers. Maintain genuine eye contact, open body language, and genuine smiles to establish rapport with customers.
Exceptional Customer Service
Be proactive in determining the preferences and needs of your customers. Offer advice, respond to inquiries, and make specific recommendations.
Be patient and empathetic, especially in difficult situations. Recognize and respond to customer concerns or complaints in a timely and professional manner.
Go the Extra Mile to make a lasting impression on your customers by anticipating refills, smiling, or making little acts of extra care.
Taking orders for food and drinks is the meat and potatoes of being a server, so it goes without saying that you’ll need to be a good listener. Your restaurant’s menu, for instance, may be quite limited. Customization, on the other hand, is often requested by customers and can quickly add layers of complexity to orders. Customers will have additional requests throughout the meal, so it’s important to write down the initial order as well as any changes they make. Since you can’t possibly jot down every request a customer makes, it’s vital that you pay close attention when they do.
Everyone here has seen a table or a customer act impolitely toward their server at some point. Serving customers often means being the target of their anger, which can be stressful if you work in the hospitality industry. Maintaining a positive attitude is the most effective way to respond to rude behavior. Not only will maintaining a positive attitude make the customer feel more at ease, but it will also provide you with the opportunity to quickly find a solution to the issue without allowing your feelings to get in the way. A positive attitude will not only assist you in resolving issues relating to customer service, but it will also keep you going strong even during the shifts that are the most challenging.
Waiters and waitresses always have to look smart and professional. As you’re talking with customers, you need to be presentable. Some restaurants will give you a uniform to wear or you’ll be given a dress code. Your clothes should always be clean and ironed. Shoes have to be clean too.
In addition to keeping in mind the preferences of your patrons, you will also be expected to remember a significant portion of the items on the menu. Customers frequently inquire about various aspects of food and drink, including their flavors, the components that make them up, and any allergens that may be present. Working in a restaurant means rolling with changes and chaos. Being able to bounce back from a difficult customer/shift and continue smiling shows a determination to do your job well and succeed. Hiring managers and recruiters value candidates who can demonstrate resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Being an exceptional member of the waitstaff requires more than just serving food and drinks. By developing essential skills such as effective communication, exceptional customer service, and time management, waiters and waitresses can provide outstanding service and create memorable dining experiences for their guests.