Being a waitress is an extremely demanding job. You have to be very tough both physically and mentally and be prepared to deal with customers both the polite and the rude types. You should be able to multi-task, know the menu and what an item is all about and anticipate customer requests. Most importantly, however taxing your day might have been, you cannot possibly afford to lose that beautiful smile and pleasant disposition even at the end of the day. That’s the hallmark of all successful waitresses and should be yours too.
What then are some of the ways and mannerisms that you should adopt to have a successful and lucrative career as a waitress?
Be presentable and well groomed – The reputation of your establishment rests on you because you are the first point of contact between your employer and the patron. Keep your uniform neat, clean and well ironed and of course stain free. If there is no fixed uniform that you should wear, get clothes that are slightly formal but one that does not give you a bossy look. You will do well do check your appearance periodically to verify that there are no stains or the clothes have not taken on a dishevelled look.
Personal grooming too is important – Do not wear sandals or tennis shoes but ones that are nice looking and well tied. This will help in your mobility as well. Strong overbearing perfume is a strict no-no as is loud jewellery or chains. Finally, keep your nails cut and clean.
Have a thorough knowledge of the menu – This is important as you can guide customers on what may be ordered. This saves a lot of time and you can ensure faster patron turnover. Further, if you know the basic ingredients of the dishes you can tell the customers so that they can arrive at a decision. Some of them may be allergic to certain items which can be avoided by them. Make it a point to know in detail at the start of your shift what are the specials for the day. You can subtly advise the customers regarding them.
Suggest alternatives and additional buys – This is one way in which you can quickly endear yourself with the management and next time around ask for a raise! Ask the customers politely if they would like a drink or an appetizer or upgrade their order. Not only will the total bill increase, your tips too would rise simultaneously. But for this your knowledge in food and drinks will come handy. But never be pushy in this regard. Politely recommend the same and wait patiently for the customers to make up their minds.
Pick up skills and update yourself – Every day should be a learning experience, no matter whether you are a fresher or have experience in this field. If you are new at your job, learn the work ethos and culture of the new place, never mind if you have past experience in some other restaurant. It is something like an established beauty clinic opting to buy IPL machine. Even trained technicians there need to get thoroughly acquainted with it before they can operate it properly. Similarly every new job will be a different challenge for you.
Punctuality – For a service establishment, people reporting for work punctually create a good impression on the management. Rush hour might be later in the day but reporting a bit early will give you time to be prepared mentally for the work coming up.
Keep these pointers in mind if you really want to be successful in your career as a waitress.