A good server can sometimes make the difference between a subpar dining experience and a memorable one. Of course, the food and drinks you consume also play a huge role, but all things being equal, it’s often the server who makes the difference. Serving jobs and all hospitality jobs that require you to deal with the public require certain skills if you hope to be successful. Whether you work in an upscale restaurant or a cozy pub, serving jobs are an important piece in the whole hospitality puzzle. If the servers aren’t up to speed and don’t have the necessary qualities to make the patrons feel welcomed, gratuities will be non-existent and people won’t end up returning.
Serving jobs of all types require attributes such as sincerity, friendliness and an outgoing attitude. Hospitality jobs that require a lot of one-on-one interaction with the public are no place for people who are subdued or introverted. You must be able to stay focused and make people feel as if you are having them into your home. You must be helpful and provide solutions to problems when they come up. Organization skills are also of paramount importance, especially if you work in a particularly busy establishment. When things get hectic, you must be able to keep all of your tables in order, while at the same time making sure everyone is having a positive experience.
An intimate knowledge of the menu items is also an important quality for serving jobs. If you are serving food, you must know what every menu item tastes like, so you can describe it to guests if they ask. It’s okay to be honest about your favorites, but you still have to know about everything. When you know, you can make suggestions based on what information a customer gives you, and give an informed opinion. It’s also a good quality to know when you should ask for help from other kitchen staff if you are having a problem.
Of course, serving jobs and many other kinds of hospitality jobs require a pretty thick skin a lot of the time. The server is the face of the restaurant or bar and the skills of the chef or cooks, so they take the brunt of any complaints a lot of the time. It is imperative to handle problems in stride and just follow the company protocol with angry customers. If you allow yourself to be insulted or get into any verbal jousting, you may find yourself out of a job.
Hospitality jobs and serving jobs certainly aren’t for everyone, but they can be gratifying for those who have the necessary skills. The social aspect and the fact that you are on your feet and moving around appeal to many people who don’t like to spend a lot of time at a desk or behind a counter. Good servers will also encourage customers to open their wallets a little wider when it comes to gratuities, and can actually do quite well for themselves.