As a server or bartender, you’re often the first, and last, staff member a customer encounters. Your interactions will set the tone for the evening so you want to greet your customers warmly, and leave them reflecting on a positive experience once they head for the door. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure it’s a great one. Professionalism and competence are very important, but so is projecting a positive image and attitude. There are a few simple steps you can take to boost your image and set the tone for a positive evening.
- Reflect a neat and clean appearance. Your company may have a dress code, or you may be required to wear a uniform, so always follow company procedure. Additionally, a hospitality professional should remember to keep fingernails clean and trimmed if they are handling food and beverages, and keep long hair pulled back or styled. By projecting an air of professionalism, it makes both you, and your company, look great.
- Maintain an engaged and positive attitude when waiting on guests. By remaining focused and attentive, your guest will pick up on your can-do attitude. Take it a step further by providing suggestions and answering any questions from the guest. They will appreciate your tips and suggestions on what’s best if they’re deciding between a few options.
- Remember to check in on your guests. Dropping off a drink or meal and disappearing only to return once they’ve finished is bad form. Check back to make sure your guests are happy, and when you ask, “How’s everything?” listen to the answer. If something isn’t right, do what you can to fix it. If you notice a guest with a half-full drink, ask if they would like another. Just remember to serve responsibly, never over-serve a guest.
- Be mindful of your body language. Service with a smile goes a long way towards putting your guests at ease. For additional easy body language do’s and don’ts for hospitality workers, read our blog post, “Set the Tone and Increase Your Earnings with Positive Body Language.”
Making small changes to your routine to make sure you’re treating each guest like they are appreciated and welcome is the first step toward becoming a first-rate hospitality professional. Additionally, providing stellar customer service is likely to net you greater tips and also impress your manager or supervisor. What other tips would you give someone looking to excel the in hospitality industry?
© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada