6 Steps To Be The Best Server Possible
Are You Thinking Of Taking Your Server Career To The Next Level?
Truth be told, being a server isn’t as easy as it looks! Every shift presents food and beverage workers with new guests, opportunities and challenges. Servers wear many hats in their position to ensure that guests not only enjoy their experience, but they also come back. A server’s primary responsibilities include serving food and beverages, and ensuring correct transactional payments. This position sounds pretty self-explanatory, right? However, have you ever had a server that only serves your meals and takes your payment. Well…maybe you have, but were you inclined to go back and visit them? Probably not. Being an exceptional server, one must also add to the experience!
Servers also play the role of party host, customer service specialist, therapist, salesperson, entertainer and encyclopedia. Doesn’t sound so easy anymore, does it? Whether you want to be the best server possible or climb the restaurant hierarchy, one thing is for certain- you came to the right place for advice on how to be the best asset possible!
Work Hard, Play Hard and Get Promoted!
Here, at Charleston Hospitality Group, we recognize hard work and promote accordingly. Our core values are instilled in our company culture by our CEO, Sam Mustafa. We pride ourselves on mentoring and providing all of our employees with the resources to do their jobs correctly and be the best they can be.
Our most successful employees started their journey as servers. Let’s take a look at Gabby’s success story. She started her journey with us at Charleston Hospitality Group working as a server at our Toast of West Ashley location in 2018. After 4 years and her “whatever it takes” mentality, she was promoted as the General Manager of Toast! All Day at our franchise model store located on Coleman Blvd, Mount Pleasant.
Gabby commends Toast! Of West Ashley as the reason for her successful transition as a General Manager. At this location, Gabby worked well with upper management, who believed in her potential and challenged her daily. Her curiosity and enthusiasm to understand the restaurant’s operations led her to her first promotion as a keyholder. As a keyholder Gabby’s responsibilities included opening and closing the restaurant in addition to assisting guests, supporting staff and ensuring that daily restaurant operations are running smoothly.
After two years of working as a keyholder, our company posed a new challenge for Gabby as we franchised nationally our Toast! All Day concept. In December 2020, Gabby was promoted the General Manager at Toast! All Day’s first franchised location. This was a big deal and Gabby quickly acclimated to the high demands of being a General Manager. While there are trying times being a General Manager, she would never trade this position for the world. Every day is a new challenge and a new opportunity to learn and become better. Gabby is the epitome of work hard, play hard and get promoted. She is a role model to many and a friend to all. Check out some tips Gabby has for those who want to be the best server or are looking to climb the restaurant hierarchy!
Tips from Gabby:
Stay humble. Every day is a new challenge and an opportunity to learn.
Find a company that will give you the tools to succeed
It’s all about the guests. Create the best experience possible for each guest
Remember- we have no control over the circumstances but we do have control over our reactions.
Let’s Break It Down!
I bet you’re wondering, “How do I get there?” The answer and how you can get there may be a bit easier than you think. Let’s start with the basics.
Step 1) Connect with your guests
Step 2) Upsell guests
Step 3) Be detailed and forward thinking
Step 4) Be efficient
Step 5) Be a team player
Step 6) Don’t overthink the process
Step 1: Connect With Your Guests
By simply introducing yourself to your table and asking your guests the occasion for dining with your restaurant today, your compensation is proven to increase by 24%. This was based on a study conducted in 2009 by the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.1 This simple act of introducing yourself can be the difference between a 16% tip and a 24% tip.1 Who would want to miss out on extra cash by not mentioning your name?
Step 2: Upsell Guests
While upselling is a sales strategy in order to increase profit margins, here at Charleston Hospitality Group, it means so much more. When our servers listen inherently, connect with their guests and ask questions, this typically results in the guests ordering meal enhancements, and having an optimal experience. It is important for servers to be intuitive on non-verbal cues when guests want to be upsold and when they don’t. It is all about creating the best experience for your guests.
Step 3: Be Detailed
What comes after getting the order from your guests? That’s right, entering the order into the POS system. Charleston Hospitality Groups best practices for ensuring that each item entered is correctly is as follows:
3) Check again
Writing down the order and reading the order back to your guests mitigates room for miscommunication.
Step 4: Think Ahead
Anticipate your next action as the flow of your shift progresses and be proactive. There are bound to be pop-ups that you are not expecting throughout your shift. What are some side work tasks that you can do during pre-shift that will ease up your time later when you are experiencing a rush? Remember- an efficient server is a well-compensated server!
Step 5: Be a Team Player
Help your teammates out! Tap into the psychology of another person. If you receive help, how much more likely are you going to reciprocate that help? Much more likely, right? Instead of walking past a table with dirty dishes pushed to the side, take the extra step (literally) to help out one of your co-workers. I guarantee this attitude will help your career in the restaurant by tenfold.
Step 6: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff!
Mistakes will be made! Give yourself the mind set to always put your best effort forward, stay positive under challenging moments and most importantly, provide the best dining experience to your guests as possible!