Tips on being a really good waitress. Watch

OddThings
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I got a job at a local chinese restaurant as a waitress during my gap year,and want to do as well as I can(long story but it's my last chance of sorts after I struggled with the KP work)

I know to smile,be friendly,keep organised and groomed,but how to carry several plates and remember orders(whats more is the kitchen staff dont speak a lot of english,all the other waitresses are chinese,so they have an obvious advantage..)

I need to keep this job.

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tomatoslayer
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are you chinese?
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Bellissima
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smile and ask if people are ok and remember the customer is always right unless they are being unreasonable dicks...
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Foghorn Leghorn
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Having spent a good few years as a waiter/barman the best advice I can give to you that I wish someone gave to me is, don't become a waitress. No literally it is the worst job in the world, you get paid **** all to do the most awkward hours. You pretend to be happy a nice to people that don't deserve it. The management dont give a **** about you, the rest of the staff are all alcoholics/gamblers/drug addicts/just complete idiots. Oh and mandatory breaks don't exist.

Honeslty, the best advice you will ever recieve.
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iLikeCupcakes
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Erm ... Think you already hit the nail on the head ? Doesnt matter where the restaurant is located China, Russia, Moazambique those will always be the essential things. Maybe you could learn to say hello and goodbye in the language ?
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shezshez
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(Original post by Bellissima)
smile and ask if people are ok and remember the customer is always right unless they are being unreasonable dicks...
No, they are always right. Always.

I hate working in retail.
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Bellissima
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(Original post by shezshez)
No, they are always right. Always.

I hate working in retail.
not if you are a waitress, there are some greedy *******s out there who will try and scam free meals from you... they will eat EVERYTHING... then complain it wasn't hot enough.. or it wasn't what they ordered... so they can get a free meal/dessert/drink... whatever... you have to get the manager to sort this out...
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Vohamanah
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A few things I've learned:

1) Be busy. Unless its a really posh restaurant that pays people to stand around in case someone drops a fork (which it doesn't sound like it is), you're not being paid to stand around. There's always something to do. Always. I used to work in a tiny restaurant that had 15 tables and was often completely empty. Even when it was completely empty, there was something to do. If all else fails, clean. There's always something that needs cleaning or refilling.

2) If you mess up, tell someone. Look at the bigger picture, the fact you wrote down beef when you should have written chicken isn't going to ruin anyone's life. Sure the chef will be pissed off if you go and change it. But the alternative is bringing a customer the wrong meal and then getting in even more of a hole. everyone makes mistakes. If you make a mistake, don't try and cover it up, its really not that big of a deal. Tell someone and sort it out.

3) Don't take **** personally. Chefs are generally tossers. They will ***** and moan and tell you to get out of the way and you're crap, and you're doing it wrong. That's just how it goes. Don't take what they say as a criticism of you personally. Its likely that they've ballsed something up themselves and want to get mad at someone. Kitchens can get pretty heated (verbally, not just the temperature) but it'll all be forgotten within about 2 minutes. That's one of the good things about kitchens. Everyone screams at each other and then leave as friends (generally). Its not personal, don't get upset.

4) Customers are idiots, but they are paying way over the odds for the food on their plate because they want and experience. and part of that experience is they want to be correct. Ok so they did book the table for six and then turn up with seven people. If they insist they booked for seven, then they did (even though you know they didn't). Get another chair and let them believe they were right all along. Its not worth the argument.

5) Carry what you are comfortable with. You can easily learn to carry a silly amount of plates at once, but if you are at risk of pouring the soup in someone's lap in doing so I'm sure they'd be happy to wait another few seconds for you to make a return journey. I can hold four plates easily enough (I can balance, pick up and put down five empty ones, but am not strong enough once they are full!). But, if I'm carrying four plates, its going to take me about 15 minutes to tiptoe over to their table and carefully put each one down without spilling anything. Or I could carry two, go back to the kitchen and carry another two in a few seconds. So what's the point in carrying more? I always carry two (unless its a starter or sideplate of something, those are much easier).

The best waiter I ever met was a chap who worked in a hotel restaurant with me. I once was carrying food to a table with him. There were 5 soups, I had 2 and he had 3. In the course of putting one of the soups down, someone knocked him and he spilled the whole bowl of soup on his arm. The man apologised, the water said "That's ok, Sir, don't worry about it. I'll just go and get you another bowl". He walked through the kitchen, out the back and then screamed and pulled his shirt up and the whole of his lower arm was covered in blisters. I've never seen anything like it, his arm was burned so badly. And yet when the man knocked him he didn't flinch, he stayed perfectly polite and waited until he was "behind the scenes" to go crazy.

That's a bit of an extreme example, but what it kind of illustrates is that you are part of the cast. Once you enter the restaurant you are on the stage, you are all acting. What goes on behind the scenes stays behind the scenes. If the kitchen is burning down, the restaurant should stay calm (until the fire brigade come or they evacuate the place! Haha) But in the restaurant, put your face on and smile. If you're having a bad day, that should stay behind the scenes.
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MathematicsKiller
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Show your cleavage. That is how you get tips.
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blondie :)
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1. Master the fake smile and laugh.
2. Don't take it personal when someone you work with gets stressed out and snaps at you, a lot of this is chefs, but it doesn't matter and you just forget about it as you're working under pressure.
3. Try and never say 'no' to a customer - they're paying for your service.
4. You will have a 'waitress voice' a bit like a 'phone voice'
5. Do what you can only do - don't try and hold loads of plates if you can't, just do it to your own abilities and you work faster and more confidently. Also better than making a fool out of yourself.
6. TEA AND COFFEES ARE THE WORST (I doubt you'll get this much at a Chinese restaurant, but it's just a warning)
7. Even when you're feeling angry and stressed out, just appear calm to the customer.
8. Wear comfortable shoes!
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pinkangelgirl
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(Original post by blondie :))
1. Master the fake smile and laugh.
2. Don't take it personal when someone you work with gets stressed out and snaps at you, a lot of this is chefs, but it doesn't matter and you just forget about it as you're working under pressure.
3. Try and never say 'no' to a customer - they're paying for your service.
4. You will have a 'waitress voice' a bit like a 'phone voice'
5. Do what you can only do - don't try and hold loads of plates if you can't, just do it to your own abilities and you work faster and more confidently. Also better than making a fool out of yourself.
6. TEA AND COFFEES ARE THE WORST (I doubt you'll get this much at a Chinese restaurant, but it's just a warning)
7. Even when you're feeling angry and stressed out, just appear calm to the customer.
8. Wear comfortable shoes!
hahaha I love this! I have my customer voice too i sound so stupid though, but somehow i cant stop using it lol, it just sort of comes into play
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blondie :)
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(Original post by pinkangelgirl)
hahaha I love this! I have my customer voice too i sound so stupid though, but somehow i cant stop using it lol, it just sort of comes into play
Haha yes! I can feel myself putting it on and tell myself to stop but I just can't! It's like a girly voice then I'm doing my fake smile/laugh as well
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Narcissist
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Here's one tip that will save you some embarassment;

When a couple is paying by card and it's not obvious who the card belongs to, discreetly read the title before the name before putting it into the card reader. You then know whether you're passing the machine over to Mr, Mrs or Miss before they have to point you to the right person.
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Narcissist
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Also make sure you have everything you need pretty much from the moment you start a shift. Pen, pad, bottle opener, lighter. These will normally be provided but I was amazed how often my colleagues would fail to have one of them in their apron a hour or more into their shift.

Write everything a customer asks for down, no matter how simple. It's so easy to forget the obvious things when something distracts you.

If you get on well with the chefs your life will be a million times easier.

The two jokes you will hear an incredible amount of times and have to laugh at every time; "A response that the wine is terrible when you ask if they want to see if it's corked", "A hundred pints and a bottle of Vodka" when you ask if they want any drinks on the house.

If a customer asks if you can order a taxi, don't ring them the cheapest company on a Friday or Saturday as they'll be the busiest and take the longest to come. Get a taxi from the least well known overstaffed company you can think of.
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Polly1101
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There has been some really good advice, here are a few more tips:

1. Don't bulls**t the customer, if you've done something wrong, hold your hands up, and apolagise. They will know if you're lying, and get angry.
2. Welcome the customer and show an interest in them; i.e, are you having a nice day/weekend etc etc.
3.Always ask if there is anything else they need (i.e, when you've served their mains, e.g. condiments, refill on drinks)
4. Always check back to the table within a minute of them receiving their meal, e.g 'are you enjoying your meal?', that way, if something is wrong, they can tell you and you can rectify it before it is too late and they moan at the end/refuse to pay.


Lastly, just try and relax, smile, if you aren't very good at first, explain its your first few shifts, they will understand, and always ask for help if you need it.

I really enjoy waitressing, and have been doing it for about 7 years, and make a killing from tips.
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Foghorn Leghorn
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(Original post by Polly1101)
There has been some really good advice, here are a few more tips:

1. Don't bulls**t the customer, if you've done something wrong, hold your hands up, and apolagise. They will know if you're lying, and get angry.
2. Welcome the customer and show an interest in them; i.e, are you having a nice day/weekend etc etc.
3.Always ask if there is anything else they need (i.e, when you've served their mains, e.g. condiments, refill on drinks)
4. Always check back to the table within a minute of them receiving their meal, e.g 'are you enjoying your meal?', that way, if something is wrong, they can tell you and you can rectify it before it is too late and they moan at the end/refuse to pay.


Lastly, just try and relax, smile, if you aren't very good at first, explain its your first few shifts, they will understand, and always ask for help if you need it.

I really enjoy waitressing, and have been doing it for about 7 years, and make a killing from tips.
I disagree with the part in bold. Nine times out of ten the customer is usually oblivious to the bull****.
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Aaaaaaaargh!
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(Original post by Vohamanah)
3) Don't take **** personally. Chefs are generally tossers. They will ***** and moan and tell you to get out of the way and you're crap, and you're doing it wrong. That's just how it goes. Don't take what they say as a criticism of you personally. Its likely that they've ballsed something up themselves and want to get mad at someone. Kitchens can get pretty heated (verbally, not just the temperature) but it'll all be forgotten within about 2 minutes. That's one of the good things about kitchens. Everyone screams at each other and then leave as friends (generally). Its not personal, don't get upset.
Stand up to them too. Generally I've found they're so stumped when someone fights fire with fire that they end the rant pretty quickly.

Keep calm, keep composed, communicate properly with all of your staff. Let your manager know if a customer is unhappy with anything, it is their job to step in then, not yours.

If you're opening champagne, don't point the cork at the customer's head....

*Floaty cloud above head flashback of me running across a restaurant to a new waiter watching a cork slowly force its way out of the bottle while pointing it towards the table of guests* :rolleyes:

Sigh....
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Polly1101
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(Original post by Foghorn Leghorn)
I disagree with the part in bold. Nine times out of ten the customer is usually oblivious to the bull****.
I don't know, i've had experiences of forgetting to put an order in the system, and blaming it on the kitchen, then another member of staff uses another excuse etc etc. I always find it is best in most situations to just say 'i'm really sorry, it was my fault' and explain how you'll fix it, and check they are happy in the mean time (e.g., while they wait for their main, check that they have enough drinks, maybe give them some complimentary nibbles etc).
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TM94
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show them boobies.


Also Chinese restaurants employ non-Chinese people? :beard:
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Ras17
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(Original post by Vohamanah)
A few things I've learned:

x

The best waiter I ever met was a chap who worked in a hotel restaurant with me. I once was carrying food to a table with him. There were 5 soups, I had 2 and he had 3. In the course of putting one of the soups down, someone knocked him and he spilled the whole bowl of soup on his arm. The man apologised, the water said "That's ok, Sir, don't worry about it. I'll just go and get you another bowl". He walked through the kitchen, out the back and then screamed and pulled his shirt up and the whole of his lower arm was covered in blisters. I've never seen anything like it, his arm was burned so badly. And yet when the man knocked him he didn't flinch, he stayed perfectly polite and waited until he was "behind the scenes" to go crazy.

That's a bit of an extreme example, but what it kind of illustrates is that you are part of the cast. Once you enter the restaurant you are on the stage, you are all acting. What goes on behind the scenes stays behind the scenes. If the kitchen is burning down, the restaurant should stay calm (until the fire brigade come or they evacuate the place! Haha) But in the restaurant, put your face on and smile. If you're having a bad day, that should stay behind the scenes.
Wow! What happened to that poor waiter was grim! Fantastic professionalism though
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