Great waiters and waitresses are becoming a rare commodity. The need for good waitstaff is on the rise and, for all the hustlers out there, it’s a safe job bet without the investment of a University degree.
We know hospitality can be complex art to master, but once you get into the swing of being an good waiter, the rewards are worthwhile. And by worthwhile, we mean money.
Outstanding waiters can afford to pay the (Bondi Beach) rent, purchase those Common Projects sneakers, and party all the time without ending up in a scenario where they can’t get an Uber home after a night because their credit card is maxxed. It’s all because outstanding waiters say hello to bulk $100 tips!
Side note, speaking from experience here: if you’re single and nail the gig, you may also be rewarded with numbers from a slew of babes, because as a waiter, you’re immediately classified as hot (in context).
So how do you ensure to get those extra monies (and phone digits) ?
It’s pretty straightforward: Don’t be a shitty waiter.
Think about the last time you enjoyed a shitty waiter? Exactly, never.
That arse that ignored my friends for over an hour after they were seated, then after finally taking their order, told them they had to hurry up with their eating when the food came out because they needed to turn the table over in 20 minutes.
The killjoy that diminished all my shred of morning positivity by dishing up a cranky attitude just because I wanted to kick off brunch with a bottle of bubbles. Don’t persecute me for wanting to have a good time at brunch right?
Those lights-are-on-but-nobody’s-home headcases who’ve clearly not slept and can’t remember your order, let alone where they even are.
That waiter that was headbutted by Justin Bieber – I definitely don’t condone violence, but surely he had it coming?
We’ve all had a shitty waiter experience. As old school as it is, think about how you would like to be treated.
Budding waiters out there, basically you don’t want to suck. The only time anyone wants to suck at something is when it’s a hot day and you’re holding a rainbow PaddlePop – amirite?
If you’re going to be a decent waiter / waitress, there’s a few things you need to not suck at.
As always, we’ve got your back with the info nuggets… here are the 10 serving skills best to have in your grasp, other than a bottle of vino.
Numero uno to killing it in this game is high quality customer service.
Be attentive, listen and, for god’s sake, give the people what they want.
Even if they whole-heartedly believe pineapple belongs on pizza (because, let’s be clear, it doesn’t), then that customer is right.
Chances are, most people aren’t that demanding, and if you get off on the right foot with them, you’re all in for a fun night.
Charisma is like making the perfect cocktail. You need one part smooth confidence, one part infectious smile and one part witty humour, all topped off with Michelle Obama or Chris Hemsworth.
Charismatic waitstaff engage positively with their customers, and ultimately, make it all about the customer. They make each and every customer feel like they’re the only person in the room.
If you can charm your way through a night of waitering, without an ego, we guarantee you’ll come out the other end happy and with a happy wallet.
We do this every day, but weirdly enough we don’t always get it right. Be clear and proactive with your communication, and be mindful of your body language.
Let your customers know if there is a delay or misunderstanding from the get go… don’t wait until the last minute. There’s nothing like a hungry or thirsty customer scorned.
The right style of communication is also dependent on the environment – so pick your audience with your banter. Whilst we love the bromance and bff potentials that can form, not every waiter-patron relationship is going to be a Paul Rudd success.
We recommend refraining from dropping “Ok Boomer” in response to a request for your top shelf whisky by a 75-year-old male sporting a cravat. Something along the lines of “certainly, sir” will go down as smoothly as that whisky he’s about to sip on.
Not matter how ratchet the crowd or heated a situation may get, you gotta stay cool as a cucumber.
The moment you are as defensive (and offensive) as Trump on a Twitter rampage, it’s game over.
Harness your empathy to win over your customers.
At the end of the day, the customer is always right.. Alright? Even when their demands may seem unreasonable, it’s imperative to be accommodating and patient all with a smile on your face.
5. The ability to smile… normally
On that note, be balanced with your smile, you’re not trying to creep your customers by forcing a grin that makes you look quasi-constipated. It’s also probably not appropriate to be beaming your pearly whites if you’re dealing with an issue and the Hulk of all customers and they’re so angry they have steam coming out of their ears.
6. Being observant and attentive
The devil’s in the detail. Is it someone’s birthday and you can make it that extra little bit special?
Is someone nearly finished their beer and in need of a new cold one?
Does it look like a group of people have missed out on food and keep popping their heads up like a pack of meerkats?
Is someone getting a little too sloppy with their chat and behaviour that they need to be started on a few waters?
Does someone look lonely and you can have their back with feeling comfortable?
Absorb the scenarios and always be two steps ahead.
7. A good memory
If you can’t remember names of people immediately after you’ve met them, then you’re going to struggle to remember what your customers want.
Solution: brain games and practice.
8. Product knowledge
Know your shit!
Know your drinks, know your food, know the ingredients. Hell, even know what’s happening in public affairs.
The more knowledgeable you are on what you’re serving your customers (even if it’s just a good time), the more likely you’ll translate as an exemplary waiter.
Juggling multiple tasks are a key component of managing your job.
When you are managing the consumption of alcohol, the devouring of food, and the general happiness of a party, you need to be able to keep up with the various micro tasks required of serving your customers.
Whilst it makes a huge difference when you can wax lyrical to a the customer, it’s also just as important you’re not skipping out on the efficiency of pouring drinks or serving food. People’s mouths are hungry and thirsty.. Don’t keep them waiting.
Move swiftly, but juggle those bottles of Perrier Jouet like you’re a graceful Swan Lake ballerina.
Got all the serving skills to be a waiter/waitress? Look for some jobs in your area here.