How to Make Small Talk With Your Tables

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When you first become a server, it can feel uncomfortable and unnatural to make small talk with your tables. Here are a few pointers to master the skill of being a conversational waiter:

1. Read your tables. I have learned that there are many different kinds of tables; some tables want to be left alone and have a private evening while other tables love to joke around with their servers. Learn to gauge what each of your tables is like and adjust to them appropriately.

2. Don’t take things personally. Sometimes guests will be rude or talk down to you, which happens to me at least once every shift. When this happens, learn to let it go and kill them with kindness. Don’t let your negative tables to affect your mood, especially because your other tables will notice.

3. Be yourself while maintaining a professional demeanor. Most tables love when you are honest, friendly, and completely yourself with them. While it’s good to be open with your guests, you still need to be professional. With practice, you will learn to balance these two personalities perfectly.

By following these three simple steps, you will make a better impression on your tables!

 

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Tips for a Waiter in Training

Yesterday at work, I started to reflect on the days when I was a waitress in training at my current restaurant. I realized there a several things I wish I knew when I was training. For example, I wish I knew to painstakingly study the restaurant’s menu because not knowing the menu leads to mistakes (and embarrassment!). In addition, I thought of three main pieces of advice that every server in training should know and follow from day one:

1. Listen to your trainer. Don’t just nod your head to everything they say; actually listen to them. Most trainers cover a lot of information very quickly, so you should pay attention and focus on memorizing every detail. The more you learn, the better server you will be!

2. Ask questions. I remember I held back asking important questions during training because I knew they were probably dumb and obvious, such as wondering if certain dishes were vegetarian. Believe me, it’s better to ask questions in the beginning instead of later on when you should already know the answer!

3. Be professional. As a new employee, you want to make a good impression on your co-workers and managers. Be on time, know your schedule, wear appropriate and clean clothes, and don’t talk about that party you went to over the weekend. Also, be positive and helpful so that your co-workers will enjoy being around you!

By following these guidelines, you can be an exceptional server right away rather than later on. There are also free online tools for waiters in training, such as http://waiterstudent.com/, that can provide you with additional training resources. Soon enough, you will be serving up this:

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For those of you that are already waiters, what do you wish you knew when you were going through training?