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How to Be a Good Waitress

Aastha Dogra
This story offers some useful tips on being a good waitress. Learn from these and apply them in your job to earn good salary and tips...
The best part about being a waitress is that you do not need a degree or any kind of education to be one! You can learn the "tricks of the trade", right on the job, while earning good amount of money by way of salary and tips!

Be Positive!

If you have taken the plunge in the hospitality industry, irrespective of how you feel inside, learn and practice to always come across as a positive person, on the outside. No one will want to see a gloomy face while enjoying his meal at a restaurant. So even if the customer is unreasonable or does not treat you right or whatever might be the provocation, stay calm and positive under all circumstances.

Look Good!

Again, this is very important. Look your best when waiting tables. Comb your hair nicely, put on some make-up (do not overdo it though), wear clean and ironed clothes and a good footwear. Maintain hygiene and be well-groomed. All these things do matter as they enhance a person's dining experience and thus, you may end up getting more tips from customers!

Be Knowledgeable!

Learn as much as you can on the job. Know the menu by heart, including the ingredients that go into each and every dish as well as its taste, so that you have all the answers to the customer's queries.
Secondly, learn the appropriate ways of serving various dishes, how the cutlery and plates have to be placed, how the table has to be set, etc. This will not only help you in your present job, but in future as well, especially if you are serious about making a career in the hospitality industry.

Take Orders Appropriately!

When you are taking orders from the customers, suggest some options from your side as well. Ask the customer what kind of food he would like to have, something spicy or bland or cheesy and then suggest accordingly.
This shows that you know what you are doing, are concerned about the customer and are willing to give him undivided attention. Also, always make it a point to write the order. Carry a notepad and a pen with you at all times, so that you do not forget the order or have to come back and ask the customer to repeat his order.
Although, with some experience, you will learn how to take a number of orders simultaneously, yet, initially, take only one order at a time.

Be Friendly!

Be friendly with your customers as well as your fellow workers. Do not fight for tables with the other waitresses as it can create hostility and sabotage everyone's performance. Remember your regular customers and it would pay a lot if you keep in mind the things they usually order.
If you want to be perfect in your job, you have to aim for maximum customer satisfaction. This means that even if the customer is angry over something or is arguing with you, maintain your composure and never answer or argue back.

Keep Checking Back!

Once you have taken the order and served food, this does not mean that your duty is over. Keep on checking at the tables every now and then to ensure that the customers get everything they want - be it cutlery, napkin or another dish. At the same time, do not keep hovering around the table as the customer might feel that you are invading his privacy.
So maintain a balance and be there for the customers when needed. Also, when the customers are eating, keep on removing the dishes, plates, glasses, etc. from the table as and when the customers are done using them so that the table remains clutter-free.
In short, go that extra mile to ensure that your customer is happy, satisfied and enjoying himself. This will help you in getting a lot of tips!

Some More Tips...

There are two more things that you should bear in mind. Firstly, before presenting the bill to a customer, always ask him whether he needs something else, unless and until the customer has asked for the bill himself. Secondly, even if you do not get a good tip, do not at any point ask the customer for more or discuss it with the other waiting staff in front of the guests. This is considered as unprofessional behavior on your part.
Currently, the salary of a waitress can be anywhere between $8000 to $48000, depending upon the years of experience, location and the kind of restaurant one is employed in. Tips are over and above this salary. This profession can prove to be lucrative, although you will have to be on your feet for long hours, which can be physically taxing. Still, this job is easier than a lot of other ones and if you want to make quick money on the side, take it up!