Three Ways to get Better Customer Service

If you want to get good customer service every time you go out to eat, follow these simple steps. In return, your waiter will like you more, and you’ll be treated much, much better.

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Holiday Madness

As everyone knows, Valentine’s Day was two days ago. For restaurants, this holiday is one of the busiest days of the year. Reservations are made weeks in advance, the restaurant floor is fully staffed with as many servers as possible, and managers make sure everything is completely over-stocked.

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Servers normally try to work on Valentine’s Day because a busy day means a lot of money. However, holidays can be the toughest and most stressful days for waiters. When you’re constantly getting a new table the instant that one leaves, always waiting on your guests’ food to finally come up in the crowded kitchen window, and trying to track down managers in a packed restaurant, it can make holidays the most overwhelming times to be a waiter. But with the following tips, you should be able to survive the busiest days of the year:

1. Come in prepared. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before you work so you’ll be well-rested and energized during your shift. Also, you might not get any time to eat once you clock on, so make sure your belly is full with healthy foods such as eggs, toast, fruit, and granola before you start your shift. At my restaurant, it’s common for our managers to buy us donuts and pizza on the busiest days of the year. However, these are the worst foods to put in your body because they will only weigh you down. Avoid heavy and greasy foods as much as possible.

2. Keep moving. Once people start pouring in, they won’t stop coming until the restaurant locks its doors. It can be overwhelming to suddenly get slammed and have it never end, but you must endure! The key is to stay focused on what you need to get done, and ignore any negative anxiety that is bringing you down. As long as you stay on your feet and keep getting things done, everything will be just fine.

3. Enjoy the holiday spirit. People eat out on holidays to celebrate the special day with their families and/or loved ones over a good meal. Thus, everyone is usually happy and looking to have a great time. Keep the good vibes alive, socialize with your tables, and soon you might realize that your job can be a little fun. Being positive and outgoing should also increase your tips, and all of this money that you’re making should keep you smiling too.

4. Ignore the crowd. Restaurants get packed full with people on holidays, and these people usually do not understand that they need to get out of the way. Be loud and aggressive when you need to get through crowds of people waiting for a table at the front or standing around the bar. But also be polite by saying “Excuse me” and holding your serving trays high above everyone. Also, in the kitchen, servers are always frantically running around everywhere to get things done quickly. So think fast and complete your list of tasks in whichever order avoids running into other servers.

5. Be smart with your free time. There will occasionally be moments when all of your tables are happy and need absolutely nothing. However, this is not “down time” where you should just sit back and relax. Instead, help run food that’s in the window or bus other tables. This will help maintain the flow of the restaurant and show that you’re a team player. Also, by asking your co-workers if they need anything, they will be more inclined to help you in your time of need.

By following these steps, any server should be able to survive working on holidays. First, it’s all about having a good attitude and determination. But you must also have energy and stamina so your body does not give out early on you. No matter how physically ready you are though, you will most likely be exhausted by the end of the night. Fortunately however, you should still leave work smiling because of that huge chunk of money that is now in your pocket.

Attitude is Everything.

While I was at work today, I had to remind myself that my attitude towards my customers and my co-workers can influence my entire day. I woke up in a bad mood this morning; I was tired and didn’t want to work a 10 hour shift when it was the weekend. Then during the morning shift, it was incredibly slow and I was hardly getting any tables. So right away I knew I wasn’t going to make any money, which made me even more upset to be there, since it was basically a waste of time.

No matter how annoyed I was though, I tried not to focus on it. Instead, I tried to enjoy the fact that it was going to be an easy and stress-free day at work. In result, I was being sociable with my customers, cracking jokes with my co-workers, and enjoying the free time I had. Since I was so laidback and easy-going, my tables loved me and the good tips just kept on coming. Thus, I got even more happier and positive as the day went on! By the time I went on my break, I felt good and had made decent money.

So trust me, if there’s anything you don’t want to do when you’re a server, it’s being in a bad mood. First of all, other servers can’t stand it when one server is always a “Negative Nancy” and constantly complains about the same things that all of us have to deal with (that we never complain about!). Your co-workers won’t enjoy working with you and then you’ll find that you have nobody to talk to during the painfully slow days. Not only that, but your guests won’t find you pleasant to be around either. They will also have no reason to think “She/he was awesome! I’m going to leave them a good tip.” And isn’t that the whole point you’re working anyways?

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So by being in a bad mood, you can lose companionship and even lose money! And finally, feeling down also affects you. By constantly hating the fact that you’re at work, it’ll feel like the hours are dragging on and you’ll become more irritated than necessary. Being pessimistic has negative health effects on your mind and body too!

When you’re thinking positively, being happy, and laughing with your guests and co-workers, your shift will be much more enjoyable and profitable. So if you’re feeling negative when you go into work, try to remember the reasons you enjoy your job. Or as an alternative, at least fake that your happy. A big part of serving is your ability to act like the happiest and more pleasant waiter ever, no matter what mood you’re actually in. As this Emily Nevius explains, “put your work face on.” 

Eventually, even fake happiness can rub off on you and become the real deal. So in the end, everyone will be smiling.

What are your guys’ strategies to snap out of a bad mood?