Waiting tables may look easy, but it can be very stressful. From remembering drink orders, carrying a 20 pound tray of food, or dealing with unfriendly guests, the job can be challenging. Here are a few tips that will keep customers happy and servers on their professional toes.
Tips for Servers:
1. Please stand up. Although it may seem more personable to kneel next to your customer, and studies show you get a better tip, it may actually give the impression of being “overly familiar.” While some customers may not mind you being in close proximity, others may get put off by their server getting so close. Show you are genuinely engaged by offering your name, and giving your customer an authentic smile and friendly greeting.
2. Keep your hands to yourself. Studies also suggest that touching the customer in an obviously non sexual manner builds a connection and illicits a better tip. Etiquette says you should listen to your mother’s advice and “keep your hands to yourself.” Unless your customer is clearly lunging forward for a hug or kiss, refrain from touching, patting or kissing. Your general manager may reach out for a handshake but your hands are touching food and you are held to a different set of rules. I would never recommend refusing a handshake or hug from a customer, but I do discourage being the first one to extend your hand in a restaurant environment.
3. Pull your hair back. The last thing a customer wants to see is a server running his or her hands through their hair, or rolling it behind their ears to keep it from falling forward in their face. Tie it back and keep customers happy by keeping your long ponytail out of the Lobster Bisque.
4. Pay attention to where you place your fingers. Make sure your fingers do not touch the rim of the glass, or leave a thumb print on the dinner plate you are serving the customer. It’s unappetizing to eat from a plate with someone else’s finger marks left behind so be aware and take the necessary precautions.
5. Always bring back the change. Even if it is only 23 cents, unless the customer tells you otherwise, bring back every penny.
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