Every Successful Server Needs S.H.O.E.S. This is an acronym that I made up and I feel that these are important traits that can ‘make’ or ‘break’ a server. It stands for smile, honesty, organization, enthusiasm/energy, sexuality (your persona, your self-carriage and the way you dress). I’ll explain in detail as to why these characteristics are important in this line of work.
Smile all the time. Smile when you’re happy, smile when you’re sad, smile when you’re tired and smile when you’re mad. Happiness is contagious and when you see someone smiling, you feel happy. When customers ask how you’re doing, your reply should be “Fantastic!” Don’t moan and groan about how crappy your day is. Customers came into your establishment because they’re there for a good time and they don’t care to hear about your problems because they have their own. Think of something happy and SMILE! You will be more approachable and people like to tip happy and positive servers!
Honesty is the opposite of stealing and there are many different ways a server can steal. She can steal from the bar/restaurant, her customers, as well as her coworkers. If staff steals from the bar/restaurant, that place will eventually go broke and shuts down. If staff steals from customers, these customers will eventually stop coming into the establishment and it ends up shutting down because it goes broke. If staff steals from other staff, good workers will eventually leave and go find work in another place.
‘Padding a tab’ means that a server charges a customer for drinks or food that he didn’t order or consume. People aren’t stupid and they know when they are being scammed. If you’re in the habit of padding tabs, customers will complain to management and you will be watched, eventually caught (you can’t do this forever!) and then fired. Karma has a way of catching up with you.
Taking customer’s personal belongings such as wallets, cell phones and jackets is another way of stealing. Calling out an order and not ringing in those drinks or food is another way that a server can steal. The server pockets the money from the customer. This results in inventory being out and all staff being monitored and watched.
Other ways of stealing involve taking inventory (bottles of liquor/beer or food). Taking a tip that was on a table that you didn’t serve and keeping it for yourself is another way of scamming a fellow server. If you start a shift after a server leaves or you take over another server’s section and a tip is left on the table that you didn’t serve, be honest and give it to her or leave it in her box. She obviously worked hard for it and someone appreciated her service.
These are just a few examples of stealing. Stay away from it. Honesty is the best policy!
Organization is another good trait to have. It’s important to have some structure, not only personally, but at this high-paced job. Keeping a waitress tool kit handy at work, at all times can end up being a life saver. You should stay focused so as not to lose any money that you work so hard to make. Learning the fundamentals of counting money will keep you on track. By learning to memorize all drink and food orders and where they go in your busy room is another way you need to keep organized. By keeping yourself organized, it keeps you sane and you’re able to concentrate on getting your job done quickly and efficiently which makes your customers happy and you make big tips!
Enthusiasm/Energy are positive waitress traits to have. By greeting your customers with enthusiasm, they will enjoy your energy and as a result you will make the big tips. Nobody likes a boring, non-energetic server. When you have some pep and energy in your persona, customers will want to be around you and be served by you. The other type of energy I am referring to is that of your body. Can you work a nine-hour shift without sitting down? If a fellow server didn’t show up for work and the room is slamming busy, could you hustle your tail off and go, go, go without complaining or get so stressed out that you feel as if you want to throw your tray down and run from the room?
Sexuality (your persona, your self-carriage and the way you dress) is an important attribute for every server. You want to walk with authority and poise throughout the room while you want to look like you’re powerful and in control. You want to wear clothing that fits your body well (no big baggy skirts that are two sizes too big for you or a frumpy, rumpled top). Be proud of your body. I’m not saying to dress like a hussy, but dress with some style and grace. Don’t forget personal hygiene and always style your hair, as well as wear some nice make-up.
By improving yourself to be the best that you can be, you will be on the road to making more tips!
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