From job searching to getting along with new coworkers, being a restaurant employee demands dedication, creativity, and a hospitable attitude. The path from the first job application to an experienced employee is long and often rocky, but take heart! The following tips guide you through the whole process: the search, training and continued improvement, interaction with coworkers, and finally interaction with guests.

Job Search ABC’s

  • Assertive: Nothing gets you nothing, so go for what you want and keep after it. Apply for as many positions as possible – we have a ton of great job opportunities on Sirvo!
  • Believable: The best way to appear trustworthy when interviewing for a to be a restaurant employee is to be honest — if you lie, it will become apparent quickly. Need more interviewing tips? Check out how to answer the 5 most common interview questions.
  • Careful: If at all possible, talk to past or current employees before taking a job to see if it will be a good fit.

How To… Know Which Position to Accept: Look at factors such as location, hours, flexibility, salary, coworkers, and of course, if you like the food you would be preparing or serving. Pick the one that fits your schedule and personality the best.

Do… Apply at Different Locations: Different kinds of food, different atmospheres, different sizes — you never know where you will find your perfect fit.

Do Not… Make Assumptions: You know nothing about a place until you do your research, so never assume you know something based solely on what it serves, the tables it uses, or any other peripheral factor.

The best way to appear trustworthy when interviewing for a job is to be honest.

Job Performance ABC’s

  • Ambitious: Take your progress into your own hands, show interest, and look for ways to take steps forward.
  • Busy: No orders? Ask someone to teach you something — a new plate, an off-menu special, a new drink, etc.
  • Creative: Step out of your box and try something you know nothing about — what do you have to lose?

How To… Get Feedback: Correctly made orders are good feedback, but if you are looking for something a bit more in-depth, take some time to talk to a manager or trainer — most are happy to do either a formal or an informal evaluation and go over your strengths and weaknesses.

Do… Take Advantage of Opportunities: If someone offers to show you something, take them up on it.

Do Not… Act Like a Know-It-All: So maybe you have experience and nothing feels new, but that does not mean you know everything about being a restaurant employee — stay open to learning.

If someone offers to show you something, take them up on it.

Interacting With Coworkers ABC’s

  • Agreeable: You spend a lot of time at work, be nice.
  • Bold: Experienced coworkers may intimidate you initially, but they are one of your biggest assets in learning and improving, so go after them.
  • Considerate: Pick up a little slack and clean up after yourself before you leave — your coworkers will always be happy to see you.

How To… Work With Even the Most Difficult: There will always be people you cannot stand, so when it comes time for your shift with them, ignore their snide comments or complaints and just focus on your own work.

Do… Try to Fit In: This does not mean following along with a mob mentality, it means learning names, going along with inside jokes, and doing your part without complaining.

Do Not… Let People Walk Over You: Stand up for yourself, even if you think people may not like it.

You spend a lot of time at work, so be nice!

Customer Service ABC’s

  • Approachable: Guests who know where to find a listening ear become repeat visitors, so do your best to be personable and friendly.
  • Bulletproof: People get picky — and angry — about their food. Shake it off — at the end of the day, it is just food.
  • Circumspect: Stay aware, always.

How To… Calm an Angry Guest: The first step is listening and sympathizing, next offer a plan of action that goes above and beyond what they expect, and finally make sure the guest leaves happy. Here are even more tips on dealing with angry guests.

Do… Make Friends: They come for the food, and come back — or not — for the service.

Do Not… Share Work Drama: What happens at work should always stay amongst coworkers. People come to eat, not hear gossip about their second favorite server — their favorite is you, of course.

Throughout your journey in restaurant service, your work ethic, attitude, and people skills will determine what kind of experience you have. While this ultimately depends on you, following these ABC’s, How To’s, Do’s, and Do Not’s will set you on the fast track to a successful, fulfilling, and lucrative career. So go get started!

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