Food servers are responsible for a lot of things in a restaurant. In fact, this profession requires special attention because this person is in charge of handling food and beverages, as well as doing customer service. If educated properly, this person can easily get repeat customers and referrals from them.
So, what are servers’ responsibilities and duties? This usually depends on the type of restaurant they work in, but here are general guidelines:
Waiters and waitresses
(fine dining, casual dining)
- Cleaning and preparation of assigned work areas
- Setting tables before customers arrive
- Meet and greet a customer
- Take the customer to their table
- Give the customer a menu and tell about “specials”
- Handle customer service issues as they arise
- Explain menu and food choices to the clients
- Take orders and make suggestions or recommendations (if appropriate)
- Bring food to the table
- Remove food from the table
- Process payment
- Clean tables and prepare for new customers
(if they work over the counter, in a coffee shop, for example)
- Clean counter
- Take orders
- Prepare food
- Serve food and beverages *
- Prepare a take-out *
- Take food to a car *
*depends on a restaurant
Basic guidelines for servers in a restaurant
Servers are also required to follow certain guidelines for the restaurant not to “lose their face” in front of a customer. Servers are responsible to follow these basic guidelines:
1. Absolute knowledge of menu and specials
A great server must be able to answer any question about any food or service that is on the menu. It is essential for better customer service and the reputation of your restaurant. The server needs to spend enough time with kitchen staff to know about what is happening with the food in the restaurant.
This knowledge will help your server be more attentive to your customers and offer them something they haven’t thought of. Don’t forget to hold daily meetings about your menu before everyone starts working.
2. Knowledge of food and drinks
The person in charge of handling food and drinks must have sufficient knowledge of the items that appear on the menu and in the wine list, in order to advise the client and offer him some suggestions.
You should know how to properly serve each dish that appears on the menu, what are its accompaniments, the correct cutlery, the presentation of the dish and its appropriate dressing and you should also know how to serve the various types of drinks, in the correct glasses and the right temperature.
3. Personal hygiene
This is of the utmost importance since this is the person who constantly handles food and works closely with the client. The male server must be well shaved or have very short, neatly trimmed facial hair.
Short, well-groomed hair is appropriate for male servers. A female server must have her hair collected (preferably in a bun), be without excessive makeup, and large hanging jewelry.
All servers must have immaculately clean hands and have their nails trimmed and neat.
Personnel should not sneeze, cough, or blow their nose near food or the client. Being polite with a client is just as important as knowing the menu.
No one likes rude and unfriendly servers.
The uniform should always be clean and well ironed, especially pants and skirts. Shoes should be well polished and black socks should be worn for a gentleman.
Blouses or dresses for waitresses (depending on the type of uniform required), as well as appropriate aprons, should always be nice and clean. A neat and elegant appearance of your staff will surely impress your customers and give your staff extra confidence to perform their job well.
Punctuality is very important. If a server shows up continuously late for work, he shows his lack of interest in the job and a lack of respect for management and his colleagues.
7. Local knowledgeFor the benefit of the clientele, the server must have some knowledge of the area where he works, so that he can advise the client about the various forms of fun they offer; the best means of transport to places of interest, etc. This knowledge shows that the waiter tries his best to please his client.
Severs must have tact, be attentive, and be of good character and well-disposed spirit. They should talk with the client in a friendly way, using the correct language; the ability to smile at the right time gets very good dividends.
These attributes will help you to become a good seller.