Working in a restaurant can be a very fun and rewarding experience but it often does not come easily. In order to become a successful waitress there are a lot of different skills and qualities that you should have. I worked as a waitress for over a year and learned a variety of different skills as well as honed in one certain skills I was lacking. Based on my own personal experience as a waitress here are three of the most important skills and qualities you will need to become successful.
1. As a waitress you will always need the ability to let what people say go in one ear and out the other. It is important to answer the questions of the customer and hear their complaints in order to handle them properly, but there will be times where this is not really applicable. I worked in an all-night pancake house during the middle of the night and definitely had my fair share of obnoxious drunk men and women. It is during these times that you need to basically have the ability to tune out what the customer is saying to you because a lot of times it might be inappropriate or just someone having a bad day and taking it out on you. I am not saying you should ignore your customer but you need to have the ability to not let what the customer says bother you, especially if you are working a night shift when the drunk people come through.
2. You will also need to have really good multitasking skills if you want to be an effective waitress. Multitasking is something a lot of people do in their jobs but as a waitress you will need to be extra good at this because you often will have multiple tables to take care of. When I first began waitressing I found this to be one of the hardest parts of the job because remembering what you need to do and where is not as easy as it looks. You will be running here and there getting drinks and food for multiple people at multiple tables, and this can be very overwhelming at first. Luckily however, most restaurants will only place you with one or two tables for a few weeks during training if you have never waitressed before, so you will have time to get used to the fast pace and multitasking skills that you will need. If you need some help in this area do not be afraid to keep a little notepad with you and write down what you need to do and who you need to bring items to, because a customer would rather see you writing something down than forgetting their order all together.
3. As a waitress you will also need to make sure that you are always kind to your customer and make sure that you acknowledge they are right even when they might be wrong. This is a major part of great customer service and it is something that a patron will scrutinize before deciding to return to your restaurant. Sometimes a customer might be rude to you or talk in a snarky way but that does not matter, you should always remain courteous and smile no matter the situation. If a customer says something rude to you it is just best to either ignore the comment or say something positive as a response such as wishing them a nice night. Another thing that is very important is in the back of your mind knowing that the customer is always right and you should do everything in your power to make their meal what they ordered even if they did not specify the meal in a normal way. You might have a customer order a steak medium and really mean they wanted it medium-rare so it is your job to take the steak back and provide them with the type they really wanted but did not exactly say the right way. Customer satisfaction is probably the most important aspect of waitressing partly because your tip and the money you make each night depends upon your ability to make them happy. If you get snippy with a customer or talk back to them even if you are in the right, then you will probably not be making much money waitressing or bring home a very good weekly income. The more you smile, agree with the customer and go out of your way to make sure they are happy at all times then the more you will make and the more your restaurant will benefit.
As you can see there are a lot of qualities that you will need to become a great waitress and over time you will be able to expand upon your abilities. If you follow these three easy tips then you will become a great waitress and probably bring home quite a bit of money through tips each week.
Myself, Personal Experience