Top food server skills needed to get the job.

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Host

What are the top 3 traits or skills every food server must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your food server expertise?

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Kay in Fort Wayne, Indiana

63 months ago

Offer appetizers, drinks, main entree, dessert, after dinner drinks and ask if there are any special needs. Memorize their drinks so you can give better service. Always smile and if there is any doubt about a problem, get the manager. Thank them for stopping in.

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Jc in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

62 months ago

Attitude. Most important, I think. Without a good attitude you're doomed.

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rfsemrau in Royal Oak, Michigan

56 months ago

1. SAVE STEPS: Scan your tables constantly. Remove plates as needed, notice if beverages need refreshing. Replenish stock often. Most often the needs of the customer can be fulfilled w/o saying a word. Take notice and be attentive.

2.BE A TEAM PLAYER: Help your cohorts! Deliver food or drinks when you have time, Replace stock if you take the last (i.e.) straws, lemons, creamers etc. NEVER be empty handed... bring out dishes etc. from dishwasher. Grab an empty glass when walking by. This can be done w/o brakeing a stride.

3.Be ATTENTIVE, to all clients! They may sit in your section next time. Treat customers as if you owned the establishment. Make them feel welcome, smile when you don't want to. Treat everyone with respect. Compassion goes along way.

4.A SENSE OF HUMOR. Laughter is the best medicine. You attract more flies w/ honey than you do with vinegar.

5.EMPATHY: When dealing with unruly guests, listen to the problem. If you cannot fix it either ask if they want to talk to a manager ( most often they don't ) or ask them " what can I do to resolve it? " They will appreciate that you are genuinely concerned.

6.ABUSIVE GUESTS: You do not earn enough money to take the abuse so many people dump on servers. If management tolerates this behavior, you need a new job. Employers should ALWAYS back their employees. There are grateful employers out there tho far and few. I find family owned to be the most appreciative. Chains follow rigid rules which rarely backs employees in my experience of 40 years waiting tables.

That being said, if you work for a place that is always running short, out of stock, not enough help and lazy managers, all the advise in the world won't help.

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letsgolesko in Wilmington, North Carolina

51 months ago

G.U.E.S.T.

G.= GREETING (a warm friendly greeting, introduce yourself)
U.= URGENCY (approach the table asap, keep hot food hot and cold food cold when delivering it to them, find out asap if checks need split so when they are ready to go they don't need to wait on you)
E.= EYE CONTACT (use eye contact so you are not just stare down at your order pad)
S.= SMILE (encourage others to smile with your smile)
T.= THANK YOU (sincere thanks for having them as your guest ... if you didn't have them you, you wouldn't have any money in your pocket or a job even)

master these simple things first AND learn as much as you can so you don't have to always ask someone for help - menu knowledge, wine service, supplies, how to use the computer, etc. but don't be afraid to ask- we've all had our first days on the job so anyone should be willing to help.

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Anthony Ruff in Cincinnati, Ohio

34 months ago

Host said: What are the top 3 traits or skills every food server must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your food server expertise?

1. Communicaton Skills
2. Personality
3. Always remember that customers are always right, period.

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Francisco in Oakland, California

30 months ago

Anthony Ruff in Cincinnati, Ohio said: 1. Communicaton Skills
2. Personality
3. Always remember that customers are always right, period.

customer isn't always right.

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Lisa in Cascade, Iowa

26 months ago

Francisco in Oakland, California said: customer isn't always right.

Customer is always right. Whether they are or not, you have to treat them like they are or you shouldn't be in the service industry.

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chelleco in Littleton, Colorado

26 months ago

I have been a food server for 30 years, and agree wholeheartedly with that statement! What you are dealing with is their perception of the service you are giving them. You want them to leave, feeling that they ended up getting great service. (Remember also that they may tell 10+ of their friends!)

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greg @ village cafe

26 months ago

I have read all the previous post. I've been in the biz for 16 yrs. I think it all boils down to this. Some people have a natural demeanor for the biz. I happen to be one of those people. I have a Passion for selling excellent product. Once you've found a restaurant in which you fit, don't be afraid to build product knowledge. Don't be afraid to bug the chef about, what kind of duck breast you sell, whether or not the truffles are American or French, where the oysters are from, whether the beef is actually kobe or American wagyu. Don't be discouraged by the wine. You can put the same glass of petite syrah in front of 12 different people, and you'll get 12 different aromas. With time and determination, the knowledge will come. The more you know, the easier it becomes to sell. Most of all. If you don't have the demeanor naturally, just treat each and every guest as if they are guest in your home, and you want them to return. Don't be intimidated. You will be trained. The rest should come naturally.

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tammy.rhoads in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

23 months ago

Host said: What are the top 3 traits or skills every food server must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your food server expertise?

smile team efort and respect

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