How To Be A Great Waitress

Being a great waitress means you know when you are overwhelmed.  You know that you can’t take anymore tables.  You are in the weeds. A great waitress is able to anticipate and prepare prior to becoming overwhelmed.  This doesn’t mean that great waitresses still don’t get overwhelmed; it just means that they are better at monitoring the situation before potential chaos erupts.

So what is my limit? There is no magic number.  Every waitress has a different number of tables that they feel comfortable with taking.  This number of tables will also vary depending on the guests and their needs.  For example: On a typical Tuesday night you might feel comfortable taking 5 tables.  But on this Tuesday you have 3 tables and each table is requesting special items. One table constantly needs refills, while the other is asking you about every ingredient in every dish.  On a night like this you aren’t able to take 5 tables.  Whereas the next night you might have 5 tables that are extremely laid back and are only there to get desserts.  This night you might be able to take 7 tables.

Another item to keep in mind is the type of restaurant you work at.  Some restaurants turn tables every 30 minutes, where others it might be 1-2 hours.  Typically, if the restaurant you are working in has a longer turn time, the fewer tables you will be able to take.  This is due to the fact that these types of guests are dining at that restaurant for the experience. They aren’t there to grab a quick bite to eat and then leave.  They are there to enjoy the food, ambiance and service.

The most important thing for a waitress to remember is that it’s all about the guest.  The needs of the guest must come first. Just because you can take 7 tables doesn’t mean that you should.  Always ask yourself if you are providing the highest level of customer service.  It will do you no good to just do the bare minimum.  Think about it, the guests won’t have a good experience and in turn won’t tip you very well. But if you take 3 tables and offer outstanding service, the guests will hopefully tip you more and return for future visits.

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