Many women will work as waitresses at some point in their life, usually as a part-time job while in high school or college. The Bureau of Labor Statistics put the average income for a waitress at roughly £5 per hour in 2008, but stated that some waitresses earned close to £9 per hour or more, mostly based on tips. Since most guests base the amount of tip they leave on the quality of service they received during their meal, learning to provide good customer service can directly impact your income.
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Practice good hygiene and make sure your clothes are neat and clean. No guest wants someone with dirty hands to carry their plates of food. Keep jewellery to a minimum, or avoid wearing it altogether.
Read your guests and act accordingly. The National Restaurant Association states that some guests may want more interaction, while others prefer that you practice restraint. Size up the situation and give the guests the experience they are looking for.
Learn to multitask well. A waitress' job involves a lot of moving parts, particularly when the restaurant becomes busy. Learn to juggle all that you need to do without sacrificing service to the restaurant's patrons. Scan the room frequently to see if guests at your tables need their water refilled, are finished eating or are trying to get your attention.
Be ready to answer any and all questions. Part of your job is to guide guests through the menu, even helping them to make choices in some cases. Be prepared to explain any of the dishes to them, including the ingredients that go into the dish. Never guess if you do not know the answer. Be upfront and tell the guests you need to check with the chef --- and then do it quickly.
Be attentive but invisible. Make sure that you meet your guests' needs in a timely manner, including serving beverages, filling water glasses and bring the check, but do not intrude on their meal for any other reason. Entrepreneur and frequent restaurant patron Joel Comm recommends that you "just apply common sense and you won't be intrusive."
Listen and get it right. Give your customers your undivided attention when they place their orders, and write everything down properly. Check the food when you pick it up in the kitchen, and make sure that any special requests were accommodated. If not, do not serve the guest. While this may take longer, your guests will appreciate getting what they ordered on the first pass.
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Be on time. Showing up for work late, especially if it happens often, sends signals to your boss that you don't care about your job. If you must call out for any reason, try to give them as much notice as possible to avoid them having to open the restaurant short of staff.
Get along with coworkers as best as you can. If you have any personal issues with any of the other waitresses, brush it aside and just get your job done.
Practice good, solid teamwork, and help out another part of the team if you have nothing to do. Rebecca Tesch, named "Rochester Magazine's" Best Waitress, says that "It's not just about the customers. It's also about the co-workers."
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