1. Have a Good attitude. Be positive, upbeat and friendly. Always have a smile on your face. Carrying on a conversation with the customer is not a problem as long as it doesn’t interfere with your other responsibilities. Attitude comes from within. Be nice, calm and pleasant. Listen. The customer may have a story or joke. Try to remember regulars.
2. Appearance. Be clean and presentable. Finished fingernails is a must when handling food. Hair should be clean and not falling in your face or the food you are serving. If it is it should be tied back. Body piercing, and tattoos are all things that may put customers off. You should leave them out and wear long sleeves.
3. Service and Performance. Good service is something every customer wants. Sometimes they can be demanding, even overbearing. You have probably heard the old saying: “The customer is always right.” Well, they are. Always be aware of what they need. When the customer requests something courteously give them a look that tells them nothing is too much to ask.
4. Professionalism. A good waitress or waiter knows her/his business. Knows the menu, knows the cook’s specials, knows the wine list and knows the entrées. If you don’t talk the bartender or the cook. Know how many pieces of chicken or fish are available with what dish. And , if something goes wrong at one of your tables stay calm. Apologize and never make light of the situation.
5. Go the extra mile. A good experience had by the customer means repeat business. Repeat business means job security. Personalized service. You will go the extra mile to make their experience something special and memorable. On the other hand, if you are treated badly use descretion but stand up for yourself. You are there to serve them but not to be walked on or treated badly. Excuse yourself and get a manager.
Tips: *If you have a table of quite afew do ‘the clock’. Standing in front of the table mark just ahead of you as the 12 and then work around the table with the next one as one and so one. Do this with the drinks and ordered items. You should always know who ordered what. Repeat the order back to them.
*Try to foresee their needs. Watch for looks or expressions. Another drink, condiments, napkins or straws. The less they have to ask for the better you are in their eyes. Carry the check with you so you have it ready for them when they ask or you see they are done.
* It is a good idea and will save embarrassment later to ask if the check will be split or together when there are several in a party.
* Up selling means a bigger tip. Offer them dessert, an extra salad or another drink. * If you have a free minute walk through the dining room and see if there are any empty plates. Working with the rest of the staff is good etiquette and then they may come to your aid if the need arises.
* Invite them back and remind them of your name. They may want your good service again.