New Restaurant Server? Follow these tips.
So, you just landed your first job as a restaurant server – congratulations! Working in the hospitality industry is a lot of fun and it can be very rewarding (plus, think of all that money you’re going to earn!). However, like most new jobs, your first week as a restaurant server can be stressful and it may feel like it will never end. Here are some quick tips to help make your first few days a little easier.
Ask your trainer/supervisor lots of questions so you can get up-to-speed as quickly as possible. After working there for a couple of weeks, you’ll be expected to know the basics so don’t pass up the opportunity to ask whatever you need to. Asking questions demonstrates to fellow staff that you care about doing a good job and that you’re taking it seriously. And remember, you’re new to the job so you’re not expected to know everything on day one.
Avoid any potential awkwardness and introduce yourself to your coworkers as soon as the opportunity is there – you don’t need to wait for someone to introduce you. Don’t forget the kitchen team either! You will quickly learn that having a friend on the other side of the passthrough has its many benefits.
Learn the Menu
You should have already spent some time familiarizing yourself with the menu before your first shift, but use the first week to get a full understanding of everything, both food and drink. Easiest way to learn the menu? By eating and drinking, of course! Getting to know the menu at a new restaurant is a great excuse to stuff your face all in the name of “education.” Plus, you’ll get to pick your favourite items – which will come in handy when you’re asked by every second table, “So, what do you like on the menu?” And remember, if you don’t know the answer to a customer’s question, there’s nothing wrong with saying “I’m not 100% sure, let me check on that for you.”
Anticipate Common Customer Questions
“Where’s the washroom?” “When do you close?” “Where’s the closest bus/train station?” “What do you recommend for an appetizer?” “How big are the portions here?” Having a quick answer for some common questions can help you settle into your new position and make you appear less like a newbie.
Smile and Enjoy Yourself
The hospitality industry is all about customer service and you won’t get far walking around with a scowl on your face. Smile and try to have a positive attitude regardless of how stressed you may feel. This will not only endear you to fellow staff but it might earn you a few extra tips too.
Take Advantage of the Apres-Shift
Spending a few minutes assisting a coworker or asking your manager if there is anything you can help with after your shift is over reinforces your positive attitude and work ethic. Also, don’t be afraid to join your coworkers for a post-shift drink as it’s a great way to get to know them and make new friends.
The first week at any new job is always stressful and you’re bound to make a few mistakes; remember, no one expects you to be perfect. Keeping a positive attitude and showing that you care about your customers and coworkers will go a long way to making the transition a little smoother. Cheers to the new gig!
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