As a server, there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. Beyond simply taking customers their orders, you need to be cordial; you represent the restaurant and you need to do that well. You need to interact with other members of staff, resolve conflict and so much more.
All these roles can be hard to execute especially on a long shift when you have hard a particularly trying day. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to take your performance from just OK to great.
1. Know the menu
To be a great server, you need to know your menu. Take the time to learn about the food, beyond what is printed on the menu card. This way, you can confidently offer more information to customers.
This is particularly important in restaurants that offer speciality cuisine like Middle Eastern food that not all customers might know about. You can also offer close options in case what they have asked for is not available.
Knowing the menu allows you to be more helpful to the customer. Seeing that they are a big group, for instance, you might suggest a particular platter which might offer them more value for money.
2. Take your breaks
Why not work that extra shift none stop and get more money? Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? But long shifts can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. This will compromise how well you can work.
Pace yourself and take your scheduled breaks even when you do not feel very tired. Have all your meals when it is time to have them and do not get trapped in a loop of being too busy to even go to the bathroom.
You have to be good to yourself before you can be good to other people. Besides, getting off your feet and having a change of scene will help you recharge and ensure that you bring your best to the job.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. With your work mates, with the customers and with your boss. It is worth it to invest time in a short communications course if you want to be great at your job.
First you should be able to communicate with your boss. Work on maintaining a good relationship with your supervisor or boss. If you are lucky and they too are working to be great at their job, this will not be hard to do.
By effectively communicating with fellow employees, you will ensure the smooth flow of work. You will be able to share information and support as well as be supported in the restaurant.
Communicating effectively with customers to deliver their orders, solve their problems and make them feel welcome can turn them into regulars. This means that you will be an integral part in growing the business.
If you do achieve this, go ahead and communicate this to your boss. Who knows? This type of information when brought up in a performance review can be just what you need to negotiate a pay bump or win you that coveted perk.