So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Daily Archives: June 2, 2009

Trust pt.2

In part 1 of Trust, we examined the importance of establishing trust between the waiter and the guest.

In this part, we talk about the importance of trust between the waiter and fellow staff.

In order for a restaurant to run efficiently and provide the level of service that the guest has come to expect, it must rely on the best efforts of the team. This is a two-way street of cooperation between the point person of the restaurant, the waiter, and the rest of the organization.

First, the restaurant relies on the best efforts of the waiter. It must trust that the waiter is going to show up to work on time in the proper uniform and the proper frame of mind. The waiter must be prepared in terms of knowing the food and beverage that he or she is going to be offering. He or she needs to have a crisp and professional appearance. This means that aprons are starched and stain-free, shirts are pressed and clean, shoes are either polished or, in the case of tennis shoes, new-looking, and the waiter must have all of the tools that are required for the work (at least 3 pens, crumber, wine tool, lighter, bank, etc.) The waiter must have left any personal problems at home and must be ready to focus all attention on the guest. The waiter must be prepared to do all necessary sidework in order to get the restaurant up and running for the shift, as well as continuing the running sidework that is required while the shift is in progress. The waiter must be ready to work with the kitchen in order to ensure the proper delivery of the food, and this includes being able to order properly, interface with the kitchen in a friendly and cooperative manner and assist the kitchen anyway that is required.

In return, the waiter must be able to trust the staff to support him or her with their best efforts. Fellow waiters and backwaiters must do their sidework and be similarly prepared to hit all marks. The kitchen has to have done their prep work in order for dishes to come out expeditiously and correctly and to reduce the possibility of having to 86 an item. The management team needs to communicate clearly any changes in policy, be available to assist the waiter in solving any customer issues and they need to be able to do it without throwing the waiter under the bus.

When either the waiter or the staff abuses this trust, it erodes the cohesiveness of the operation and endangers the ability to provide the highest level of service.

If everyone takes this trust seriously, problems are reduced. There will always be snafus – that’s just the nature of the business. The idea is to reduce the number of problems to a bare minimum and the easiest way to accomplish this is to be able to trust that your fellow employees have got your back, as you have theirs.