How to Be a Successful Restaurant Server

Whether you're a new server or just need some helpful tips, this article will teach you some great steps into becoming a successful server.

Steps

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    Greet your customers. How you introduce yourself to a table is crucial. Like mom always said "First impressions are everything". A basic example may sound something like this, "Good evening, my name is BLANK and I'll be taking care of you tonight. Any drinks to get you started with?"
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    Offer an appetizer. "How about some nachos or homemade chips and queso to get you going?" I can't tell you how many people overlook the appetizer portion of the menu.
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    Bring plates/condiments for appetizer. Make sure you bring enough plates for every guest. Make sure to put appropriate condiments on the table when necessary.
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    Take the entrée order. Ask the table if they need anymore time to look at the menu or if they're ready to order. The order may have different substitutions so always remember to neatly write down the order and make sure you repeat it back to them. Make sure to get the children's food out first. If two people are splitting a meal together, make sure you let the kitchen know you would like that split on two separate plates. It may seem basic but little things like that go a long way with guests.
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    Never let glasses get less then half full. Make sure none of their glasses gets less then halfway empty at any time of their meal.
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    2/2 Rule. Once you've dropped off the appetizer, make sure to check back within either two minutes or two bites. This shows the table you care about how their food came out.
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    Clear the plates/appetizer. Make sure you ask your guests if their plate is finished. Even if its obviously clear to you. Make sure to also clear any condiments that may have been placed on the table with their appetizer.
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    Bring condiments for meal. Just like with the appetizer, make sure you bring out the appropriate condiments for their meal.
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    Bring order at the same time. With the exception of the children's food, make sure the other guests get their food at the same time.
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    2/2 Rule. Just like with the appetizer, make sure you also check back and see how their entrée came out.
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    Clear the plates. Make sure you ask your guests if their plate is finished. Even if its obviously clear to you. Make sure to also clear any condiments that may have been placed on the table with their meal.
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    Ask for dessert/coffee. Suggest your favorite or one of the most popular.
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    Never have the table ask you for their bill. Always bring it to them and say "No rush I'm ready when you are."
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    The final impression. Always thank the table for coming and offer them to come back. They could have easily cooked at home or gone to another restaurant.

Tips

  • There's a fine line between being a server and being an annoying server. Every table has a different personality and tolerance of how hands on they want you to be.
  • Use your down time to prepare for the next rush. It is not time to smoke or text, it is time to stock and clean.

Article Info

Categories: Hospitality