Did you know waitresses are the forces to reckon with behind the exemplary performance of a restaurant? She is the motive behind the regular visits by the retained customers. She attracts the guests she serves, and she knows too well she must meet their heartfelt desires. Cafes, bars, and restaurants open their doors with the sole intention of maximizing profits through customer satisfaction. Many perceive that the success of these business ventures is the managing directors, the shareholders, the sole proprietors or the institutions but the truth of the matter is that the service providers commonly known as the waitresses are the key players behind the success seen by the outside world. The waitresses are the face of the organization they work for. They are the first people a customer meets once they visit their restaurant. A good waitress has the business at heart. She understands that satisfying the customers needs is paramount to achieving the goals of the company.
The waitresses job is among the highly skilled jobs required to handle customers of diverse social perspectives and classes. Though many perceive that their job is a low skilled job, it is not true. Dealing with human emotions with whom you are unsure of the challenges they are undergoing requires more than psychological skills and abilities.
There are many commendable attributes a service provider should possess. The range of the traits vary from personal values, qualities checked by the boss to the image portrayed to the customers.
To begin with, a waitress must observe appealing personal grooming. She should dress in the utmost decency, smart, attractive and presentable manner. This gives her physical hygiene. The customer seeking her service will feel comfortable being attended by her. The impression a waitress creates through her dress code is welcoming enough to settle the customer and make him/her revisit the restaurant in future.
A waitress is warm-hearted and hospitable while attending the customers. Ideally, the waitress is affectionate to customers. She acknowledges visitors warmly and welcomes them with a smiling face. She addresses them with etiquette like welcome sir, how are you, madam. Her polite behavior appeals the customers. In case the waitress has no reliable or accurate information, she politely seeks to inquire before confirming the orders.
A superb waitress is always steadfast in responding to customers orders. In case of a delay, she communicates to the customers in time. She attends to the customers as they arrive. She is also quick to direct customers to available spaces where the customers will feel comfortable. Her punctuality to attend to guests encourages them to keep revisiting the restaurant and makes them not to grow old impatient while waiting for service to be rendered to them. She understands very well that service delivered promptly boost her relationships with the customers and the bosses.
A waitress is highly knowledgeable about the organization she works for. She has all the finer details about the variety of foodstuffs offered, their prices, their availability and the length of time chef takes to be prepared the orders if not readily available. She is also well informed of other services offered by the restaurant for instance outside catering, photo shooting for weddings, swimming, conference halls together with the respective charges.
A great waitress is keen, observant and attentive. She is always alert on events unfolding around the guests. She keeps an eye on the table occupied by the guests without intruding their privacy. She is quick to respond to additional orders or to clear a mess on the table like beverage spillage. She regularly checks in to ensure guests are comfortable with the service. Her vigilance makes her move around taking orders and serving customers simultaneously. Her psychomotor coordination is paramount to balancing service.
Great waitresses have sharp memories. They can receive many orders at a time, respond to them accurately and keep a record of bills without errors and mistakes. They are also able to coordinate their mental activities well. Where reasoning is required they act accordingly. They do not have to wait to be told what to do where common sense is required. For instance, when a customer misses a parking space or there is a water tap running, she acts to direct the customer to available parking space elsewhere and close the tap.
The body physique of waitresses allows them to carry more than one order at a time without creating scenes. They keep fit and healthy to be able to take orders comfortably since at times their job demand that they carry more than one order or foodstuff at a go. Many of waitresses fall in the young ages of twenty to thirty-five years old. This is the very productive age limits of the waitresses associated with their facial appearance, strength, and stamina. (Spradley et al.)
Rose in the book titled The Mind at Work further emphasized that alongside the usual service job, a waitress is mindful attending to other duties and responsibilities not directly allocated to her. These may include mopping the floor, washing dishes, setting dining tables and offloading stock of goods. This calls for physical fitness to be able to withstand the demanding tasks with minimal rest.
Other than the customers and the waitresses, a restaurant has many other employees in different departments attending to different tasks. As a waitress, you should be collaborative to chip in whenever a helping hand is needed by other colleagues. Working as a team player will help solve any arising crisis. In case any undesirable situation arises, the waitress should be able to come up with possible solutions to curb the problem. Customers coming to the restaurant in the unlikely times are the problems themselves like they might be drunk and arrogant. A waitress handling such a customer should exercise patience while handling them. By understanding them, the waitress should take the initiative to inform the management when she is unable to handle the customers. This calls for tolerance in the behavior demonstrated by the customers. Even when aggrieved, the waitresses put a friendly smiling face.
Working as a waitress is interesting, enlightening and challenging in equal measure. A restaurant is a hub of people of diverse culture, economic status, professionalism, and skills. It is a center meet point where people come to relax, others to share experiences and others are there to strike business deals. The topics of discussions the waitress often enter with regular customers are wide ranging from education, research fields, military, government proceedings, careers. This setup makes them informed of what is happening in their field, their nation and the world at large. In the long run, the waitresses possess a lot of curiosity knowledge that places them at the competitive end to handle their families and people around them. Some of the information learned is applied immediately in real life others are a process like how to effective parent while others are precautions like medical practices. By so interacting, the waitresses develop and lead a better life through the mutual connection achieved. The waitresses can build their ambition and purpose to venture into their independent areas of interests later in life as they retire. The writers mother in The Mind at Work Book entered into restaurant business two decades later. Despite the difficulties, she was able to overcome the hurdles with the already developed set of skills she acquired while working as the waitress.
At times the working as waitress detaches you from your local social activities and family events. Engaging with customers largely drives one to focus on delivering services to the customers and establishing connections with them. You forget about your colleagues and the organization you work for. The writer of The Mind at Work book reports that she cannot recall her mother attaching herself to the restaurant she worked for despite spending two decades with them. Working a thousand miles from her home, with the sick husband around, the writer notes this to be an isolating situation. The profession requires one to stay focused on the job. Minimal chances are available for one to think about something else outside the job and the money one gets from the job. Time flies fast while working in a restaurant as the waitress. Little or no time is left to focus on other external issues. (Rose)
It is a common practice for customers to want to appreciate the waitress. This may be done through the customers asking the waitress to keep the change, placing some cash with the paid receipts or expressing interest to give them a treat elsewhere when they are off duty. The waitress should carry manners and decorum as they accept these offers. The waitress must not express such interests to the customers however much they may desire lest they lower the reputation of the organization they work for. Tips add great value in the life of a waitress. Their pay is typically low, and their needs ranging from household requirements are too demanding. The Mind at Work writers mother, Mike Rose, was a waitress and had a lot of family obligations to meet. The social dynamics while handling the customers play a pivotal role in winning more tips from the customer. The waitress employs skillful psychological art that leaves the customer smiling while getting into his/her pocket to get a tip for her service. This economic approach adds to the waitresses low pays and helps them meet their obligations. (Ginsberg)
The pride of waitressing is in the service they offer. When giving recommendations for alternative offers available, they do so courteously that even when they check in your table to inquire if everything is ok, customers cannot resist the yes response. While food or drinks they serve may be amazing, their confidence and humility in their products are the great pointers the customers want. Business owners must work to motivate this virtue in the waitresses they engage. The waitress quality is a true reflection of the business. They are impression makers. No wonder it is said the impression created in the first encounter, is the lasting impression carried at the back of the mind.
Rose, Mike. The mind at work: Valuing the intelligence of the American worker. Penguin, 2005.
Rose, Mike. "The working life of a waitress." Mind, Culture, and Activity 8.1 (2001): 3-27.
Ginsberg, Debra. Waiting: The true confessions of a waitress. Harper Collins, 2009.
Spradley, James P., and Brenda E. Mann. The cocktail waitress: Woman's work in a man's world. Waveland Press, 2008.
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