Learning how to be the best restaurant server among others. Serving is a very tasking job. Similar to nurses, servers are some of the most underworked and underpaid service providers, so distinguishing oneself by being the best restaurant server among others, increases the chances of one earning larger tips and being promoted or getting bonuses.
In this article, relevant information will be provided on what a restaurant server does, tips and tricks of being a server, qualities restaurant hirers usually look for, and more.
A restaurant server is a person that attends to customers, diners, and patrons from the time they enter a restaurant to the time they leave. A server is a person that greets customers, places their orders, seats them at tables, and ensures that they receive their food and drinks within a proper time frame. A server also processes the payments of diners once they are done eating and maintains a hospitable manner throughout the encounter
Duties of a restaurant server
The primary duties of any server in any restaurant include taking orders and delivering the orders on time once they are ready. But to be the best restaurant server, there are a few responsibilities a server must ensure to be excellent at. Some of which include;
- Put customers first and ensure they are the priority.
- Know the menu well enough to help diners make good choices and also upsell when the opportunity presents itself
- Servers should ask customers about their dietary choices or needs and special requests and relay any such information to the kitchen and the bar staff
- Ensure that the relationship between them and the customer is positive from the time the customer sits till the time the bill is paid
- An efficient server should know to keep a watchful eye on the tables they are serving to refill the glasses of customers when they are emptying, and also to get rid of dishes after they are used.
- Preparing and setting tables in a sanitary manner
- Attending to customers as they enter the restaurant by guiding them to available tables
- Presenting seated customers with menus, taking their orders, giving the orders to the cooks, then delivering the orders to the customer promptly once they are ready.
- Deal with complaints that arise
- Provide bills and accept payment from customers
- Be trustworthy and honest when calculating total charges. Return a customer’s credit card, change, or signature slip to them.
- An excellent server should be able to anticipate the needs of his or her customers before they ask.
Things a server aiming to be the best should never do
- Never Sit at the table with a customer
- Don’t touch customers
- Don’t touch your hair or face while serving customers their food
- Don’t badmouth guests to each other
- Don’t count money in front of customers after they’ve paid
- Don’t talk negatively about co-workers to patrons
- A server aiming for excellence is not overly chatty to the point of being annoying
- Pop the champagne and allow it to pour onto the floor.
Difference between a “good” server and an “excellent” server
- The best server recognizes and remembers the faces and names of customers, and remembers their allergies, their preferences, and dislikes. While a good server just serves people and calls it a day.
- The best server knows how to take minimum steps while maximizing results. By refilling the cups of everyone in the same section before moving to another section, a good server refills cups and haphazardly replaces utensils, only focusing on the refills and replacements and not on the efficiency needed to carry out those tasks.
- The best restaurant server is a salesperson, knows to upsell.
- The best server is one that is always in the customers’ line of sight, to cater to them whenever they need him or her to, never disappearing for long periods.
What restaurant job hirers usually look for in servers?
Here is a list of some of the things restaurant job hirers look for when hiring a server.
- Excellent communication skills
- Active listening skills
- Retentive memory
- Physical agility
- Positive attitude
- Customer service skills
Tips to be the best restaurant server
- Master the menu
- Be comfortable and knowledgeable with the payment methods of the restaurant, be it a pos, bank transfer, or other methods.
- Always carry a pen and a notepad
- Complete all necessary certification courses
- Wear shoes with slip-resistant soles, to avoid falling all over the restaurant or pouring food or drinks on customers.
- Greet servers warmly when they first arrive and again when they are exiting the restaurant.
- Handle campers with grace and efficiency; campers are patrons that sit at restaurant tables for long periods without making any orders.
- Know when to ask other servers or staff to help you with your tables if you’re too busy. This is so that tables don’t wait for long periods before being attended to.
Combat mediocrity by bringing out the best you have to offer as a restaurant server by reading this article thoroughly and with rapt attention. Hard work yields great results. Striving for excellence in what others will otherwise regard as a menial job shows just how hard a person is willing to work.
A server has to be adept at multitasking, always keeping a polite expression and a positive attitude. Most of the qualities required to be a good server are normal human attributes, but what one needs to be the best services such as knowing which wine pairs best with the potato salad, and how to interact with customers properly are what this article has provided.
- Does a server need to have an education degree?
No, a server does not require a higher education degree. Only about 30% of servers graduate with a high school degree
- Is a server the same person as a waiter?
Yes, a restaurant server is also a waiter or waitress and the information provided in this article applies to them too.