Working as a waitress isn't a piece of cake. Most people think it's an easy job and that waitresses just serve food and take orders. There's a lot more than that and waitresses have a lot more to deal with. Being a waitress is the perfect interim job or career into the culinary industry. However, you need to be a great waitress if want to get higher tips and stay on the good side of the restaurant staff AND, most importantly, the customers. Here is what makes a great waitress so you can impress at work.
1) People skills
When you're applying for a job as a waitress, one of the key qualities, your interviewer will be looking for is: people skills.
Waitresses are expected to talk to customers. Not only are you taking their orders, but you'll likely have to make small talk too. Being friendly (and professional) with customers will increase your tips and show you're taking your job seriously.
Many restaurants have returning customers, waitresses who establish relationships with guests will likely receive higher tips. Diners will regularly go to the same restaurant if they enjoy the food and like the restaurant atmosphere. Customers won't return if they find the employees rude.
Even though many people say multi-tasking is impossible, as a waitress you have to be a multi-tasker. You will often be in the middle of serving food to one table, when another guest asks for more drinks or their bill. It can come across rude if you ask them to wait until you've finished or you'll look forgetful if you can't remember what they asked for. So you need to be willing to juggle several tasks at a time.
You can improve your multi-tasking skills by staying focused at work. Avoid thinking about life outside of work and make sure you get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your concentration and cause forgetfulness.
3) Time Management
Customers hate to wait, chefs get irritated when orders aren't served when they're ready and the restaurant manager will be on your back if they see you dragging your feet.
Time management is an important skill you need to have as a waitress. Learn what the different cooking times are for food so you know what's happening in the kitchen. If you know how long food preparation takes, you can focus your attention on other tasks in the meantime.
4) Dress smartly
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.
Avoid wearing nail polish, your nails have to be clean. Remember, you'll be serving food so customers will be unhappy if they see you have dirty fingernails.
Smiling is perhaps one of the most important qualities, all waitresses need. The attitude of a waitress has a big impact on the dining experience of a customer. They might have had the most delicious food but if their waitress was moody, they'll remember. And most likely, they'll complain about it, to their friends and they may complain to your boss.
It's not always easy to smile when you're in the middle of a long and stressful shift. But you'll see how much of an impact, a smile makes. Customers will be less likely to complain and they will have a happier time in the restaurant. If the customers are happy, they won't be making your life more stressful which means you'll be happy too.
How to improve work performance and comfort at work
As a waitress, you're usually on your feet for an entire shift. That can mean at least 7 hours! Because of the demanding pressures of your job, you have a higher chance of getting back pains and sore feet. Did you know the shoes you wear for work have a major impact on your health? Waiters and waitresses need to wear shoes with supportive arch support so their feet and back don't suffer.
At Shoes For Crews (Europe) Ltd. we specialise in slip resistant work shoes which are designed with waitresses in mind. Visit our shop to see the styles we have:
Do you have an interview coming up?
When going to a waitress interview, it's important you're prepared for the interview - it will increase your chances of getting the job. We've done the hard work: here's 20 interview questions with answers. It's free to download.