Tricks of the Trade: Being a Successful Server


[one_full last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]Working as a server can be one of the most lucrative—and challenging—ways to earn cash on the side. Servers earn their wage primarily through gratuity, so there’s incentive to provide the best possible service to get the most out of your tips. But that’s easier said than done—pleasing everyone isn’t always easy, and the fast-paced environment of a dinner service can be overwhelming. Not to worry: Here are some useful tips and tricks for servers to maximize tips and minimize stress!
Greet your tables. Try to greet your tables within around thirty seconds after they’ve been seated. Even if you have stuff in your hands or you’re with another table, let them know that you’re there and that you notice them.
Be personable, friendly, talkative, and helpful. If you look and act like you’re having a good time at work, your guests will respond to that energy. So smile! Let customers know your first name, and try to learn one “fact” about them. Engaging your table in light conversation is a good way to score some extra points. And while you’re shooting-the-breeze, make sure to be as helpful as possible. This is where knowledge of the menu, specials, drinks, and cocktails comes in handy.
Use language to your advantage. Be specific when you’re asking how your guests are doing. “Is everything okay?” is not a very useful question. Instead, go with “how was your steak?” Always use positive, inviting, and encouraging language. If you see a guest with an empty beer, don’t just ask them if they’d like “another.” Instead, ask them if they’d like a “fresh beer.” It seems like a small thing, but it increases your chances of selling that beer by a lot!
Time Management. Multitask! Do as much as you can on the floor before retreating to the back or to a computer. If two tables have just been sat in your section, make sure you retrieve both of their drink orders first before you head over to the bar to get those drinks. You’ll save yourself the hassle of repeated trips and you’ll look like a pro.
Overwhelmed? Everyone gets overwhelmed—it comes with the territory. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take thirty seconds to gather yourself. Look around and see what needs to be done. Then, make a mental checklist of tasks, prioritizing them from most urgent to least urgent. Do the most urgent task first, then get back in the flow!

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