After getting home from working a lunch shift I began reflecting on the afternoon I had. Introducing myself while greeting/approaching new tables, dropping wine lists and menus off, timing when I should revisit/ re-approach the tables, having to tell customers we are out of menu items, and dealing with unhappy costumers are some parts of the job. I’ve been waitressing for about six years now and I’ve have had nothing less of an experience. Thus far I’ve worked in the restaurant/hospitality industry, I’ve learned a lot about people, and I’ve developed plenty of valuable skills. I’ve learned that I do love working with people and making sure they are happy. I like to radiate my positive energy off to strangers.
I believe that waitressing has helped me become a better and stronger communicator in my personal and professional life. I recall Professor Scheckel sharing a story as a server in class, which I was able to relate to. Waitressing has helped me deal with many different personalities. I’m able to get a feel for strangers (customers) when first greeting them, and judging on how they respond, I decide what type of communication approach I’m going to use. I’ve learned how to talk to many different people. Its easy for me to understand different personalities, what makes people happy, and what makes them unhappy. Crisis management is a huge part of working in the restaurant industry as well!!! Customers can be unsatisfied with their dishes; the restaurant sometimes runs out of their most popular menu items. Other waiters and bosses fight and yell at each other when things go wrong in the kitchen, and being able to stay cool and collected is very important, and a huge challenge for some. I’ve also learned time management and organization skills, which go hand in hand. Time management comes from knowing the right time to approach a table, when to clear away plates and cups, when to refill glasses of water, when to ask if they need anything else. I’ve had to maintain organizational skills by taking care of several tables at a time, still having to consider all the other new tables that can walk in at any second! Teamwork is just as important in the restaurant industry as it is in the classroom. Learning how/when to help other employees is greatly appreciated. It also means that the same employees know how and when to help you back. Customer service is extremely important; we have to know how to please an unsatisfied customer. This can get tricky and frustrating, but as a waitress, the customer is always right, and we need to know how to treat them.
Even though waitressing has been a temporary job for me, it has taught me a lot of valuable skills that will follow me forever. I work at The Cove, which is a Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant in Long Island, NY. I’ve included a picture that I took last week of the outside dining area. ☺
Have any of you worked in the restaurant industry before? If so, how was your experience?