How to be a Great Waiter.

Congratulations! You've been hired, As a novice you may be asking yourself "now what do you do?". Well now is when you consciously decide to excel. You ask yourself: "how do I become a great waiter?" Even more importantly, "what is great?". What skills should I possess?; here are some tips.


Good communication skills

Organized thinking


Pleasant demeanor

Like people

Thick skinned

Be a team player


Good with numbers



Crisp appearance(uniform, personal hygiene). Leave emotional baggage at home.

Never sit around. If you have nothing to do, stand on your station, there's nothing worse than a hostess or manager having to find you when you've been seated.

Necessary Items:

Pens and notepad.

Good corkscrew.

Lighter for candles, or cigarettes.


Whatever additional tools for your unit. So how else can you become the best? Experience has shown me, who you ask is almost as important. At the end of the day, it comes down to either the guests, or your fellow employees. It's a given the guest is primary, however your first dealings will be with coworkers. Let's start there.

When starting out, you"ll be working closely with a lead waiter to follow and see how things are done. In most places, a overall tour will familiarize you with the areas you will need to know about. During this training period, you will acquire information on the level of service to be provided, which varies from unit to unit.

Information you need to learn in the form of menus, wine, beer, liquor, et. al. will be given. Take note of specialty,and non listed items as well. Some may be new to you, some not, however, don't fret, it will all come together as time passes.

When training, try to remember as many details and particulars as you can. Decide an approach as to how best you would depict menu items. Closely monitor any items not listed or off the beaten path, for later discussion with your trainer.

Whether working with your trainer, or attending guests, anticipation of their needs is always a plus. Take the high road and ask trainer if performing certain basic tasks would be o.k. Greeting a table, taking drink orders, delivering food are all helpful, and may buy needed time.

Table clutter is an often overlooked part of being a waiter, especially when busy. You may or not have bussers with this responsibility. Even so, in the end it's still your territory. Clear all unnecessary items, and place settings for next course. There will most likely be an approach for clearing guests one at a time or all at once, depending on how upscale a venue it is.

Mis en place is another thing to be aware of. This basically means the set up items for a particular aspect of service. Aside from place settings, it can include prep carts(giradons) for tableside service, wine carts, decanters, caesar salads and the like.You need to know when they are needed,and how to use them.

Coworkers, whether of high or low station are to be dealt with courteously. As the "rookie", concentrate on listening, and observation skills. If discussions are not work product, remain uninvolved, except for questions that are germane. Let your bosses take any encountered problems in hand. This is wisdom gained from years of experience, and will help you go far in terms of becoming a team member.

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About The Author, Brent Newby
For further techniques on becoming the best waiter,visit the Waiter Tips|Training blog by Brent Newby, or get additional waiter service basics at this website. This and other unique content 'waiting tables' articles are available with free reprint rights.