A good waitress is just more than serving food, putting on your best smiles or taking people’s orders. A waitress is the forefront of the restaurants. You can have people swarming in because of reputation, great location or good food, but having an excellent service from a waitress that shows passion for her job enhances the experience for the customer, one that is worth returning for and to recommend. How to be a good waitress? Good service starts from how you treat your fellow employees, be a helpful and reliable co-worker before you improve the way you treat customers. Here are some tips on how to be a good waitress.

How to Be a Good Waitress: 9 Essential Tips to Help You Become an Excellent Waitress


Look good and smell nice

Make yourself look presentable to the customer. A sloppy looking waitress or waiter is unpleasant to view and just reflects poorly on the establishment and you. Keep yourself groomed, clean and neat, especially your work uniform. Looking attractive will also boost your confidence and self-esteem.

What basic makeup is enough for the waitress job in general? A French study discovered that fifty percent more men will tip the waitresses that wore makeup than the one that doesn’t. Well, we still live in a generally superficial society, so the amount and frequency of tips received are directly related to the attractiveness of the waitress. Exploit it for your own benefits if you must.


Anticipate your guest’s needs

You notice that the customers include a baby, so you bring out the baby plates and utensils for them. Maybe the table order fries so you bring ketchup for their meal before they asked for it. Anticipate the needs of the customers, before the customers even ask. As you pass by the tables, watch out for the little things that the customers might ask for, e.g clearing empty plates, refill water glasses, etc., and take care of it. Don’t forget that you can always ask them instead if you aren’t sure.


Use “suggestive selling”

No, this does not mean in a sexually suggestive way, which will still work but I won’t recommend it. It’s a selling technique, where you suggest adding an item to what the customers ordered. For example, suggesting a chicken for their salad or pairing food and wine.

Be assertive yet subtle. You don’t need to tell them that any little additions cost extra. For examples, for a burger order, ask if the customer “Would like cheese on that?”.


Accommodate any unreasonable request your customer make

This isn’t really your responsibility, rather it’s the restaurant’s. It is, however, your job to convey a special request from a customer to the restaurant and back to the customer. If people have allergies to certain ingredients, it is your job to inform the customer what dish is safe for them to enjoy

Be familiar with the dishes on the menu, the ingredients needed and the way it is prepared. Ask your supervisor if you aren’t sure.

Never lie to your customer. Such as giving them the ingredient they explicitly requested to be removed. This is will only hurt the reputation of the establishment and your tips. If you can’t accommodate a request, suggest an alternative the customer can accept instead.

The customer is always right, the right to not have you question them that is. There is plenty of reasons for their menu change, such as vegetarian or allergies. Accommodate the request you can and don’t ask why.

Remember you can always bring in the supervisor to deal with the problem customer. Then learn from your supervisor.


Make yourself seem approachable

Customers will have questions and requests and sometimes recommendations. Your posture when answering them will matter to your tips, with studies showing that you get more tips the closer you stand to the table. To look more approachable, stand straight close to the table, crouch slightly so you are closer at their eye level.

Then always asked the women and kids for orders first. It’s the basic waitress unspoken rule which is easily missed.


Pay attention to the parents when kids are ordering

If you want to score some tips for customers with children, be on the parents' good side. If the kid tried to order something unhealthy, take your time to give the parent a chance to change the order before you take it.

Repeat your order to the parents loud and clear, to alert the parents if their kid ordered something they might disapprove of.

Help parents with their arguments, such as saying that soda is all out when the kids are insisting on having it.


Stay polite, friendly and helpful, even towards angry customers

Address your customer with respectful terms such as madam, miss, and sir. Make them feel comfortable with your positivity and friendliness. Always start with asking if they are new to the establishment for first timers, give them a brief recommendation of the menu.

Be friendly, but it should strictly be limited to service. Never join in the conversation of a customer, as they have their right to their little privacy.

And no matter what, never forget to smile. Suck up all the irritation that your co-workers or customers will throw, just give them a pleasant looking face. Avoid the drama and you will be golden.



Instead of walking back and forth doing one thing at the time, try accomplishing two or three tasks in one trip. It will save you a lot of trouble and keep you from getting overwhelmed. Clear some of the empty plates when you are on your way to pick food up on the kitchen. Carry condiments, drinks, etc. in a tray to cater to several tables at once.

Take down orders immediately unless you are experienced and know what you are doing confidently. Write short notes for the tasks you need to do if you don’t think you can remember them.


Give customers a little something extra

A little extra service goes a long way. When you treat them a customer well, they will feel a need to pay back this generosity. You can exploit this by just a simple hand written “Thank You” and a smiley face on their check, then watch the tips roll in. It does serve as a gentle reminder that a human is serving them.

Treat them well during their meal for the same effect. If a customer spill something, immediately went hand them napkins. If an order does not go the way they usually expected, then offer to fix the situation at your best ability.


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