As a member of a restaurants waitstaff, you are probably all too familiar with the term “In the Weeds”. For those of you that don’t, this term usually refers to a time during a waiter’s shift when they begin to feel stressed by multiple customers demanding their attention.
In an industry that usually relies on tips in order to make ends meet, you can’t afford to let stress impact your ability to serve everyone in a charming, professional manner. Check out these tips on how to manage those extremely busy shifts stress-free and with ease!
Communication is Key
As with most professions, it is important to communicate with fellow employees and customers. This still rings true in the restaurant industry. Even when you are extremely busy, it is important to take the extra few seconds to introduce yourself to your table, take their order, and make sure they feel like you are there for them.
This one might seem less important, but trust us, you are going to want to prioritize your customers based on where they are at in their meal. Make sure to greet customers that have just been seated as quickly as possible. From there you can prioritize customers based on who needs refills, or changes to their order, who just got their food, and who is ready for their check. As a server, it is up to you to figure out the sweet spot between checking in on your customers too much, and not enough.
The last thing you want to do when you’re in the middle of a busy shift is stop to complete small tasks such as folding silverware or brewing coffee. One easy way to prevent these minor yet important tasks from piling up and affecting your productivity is to simply do as much as possible ahead of time. It not only keeps you focused on your tables, but it will also keep you from rushing, which can potentially lead to poor service for customers.
Most Importantly, keep your cool.
Don’t let the pressure get to you. Break a seemingly endless list of requests and duties down into single tasks that you can check off your mental to-do list. This will not only help you focus, but it will give you small, manageable goals. Breaking the endless list down will make it easier for you to concentrate, stay on task and keep calm, all of which will translate into a positive experience for your customers. Because at the end of the day, happy customers leave better tips!
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