Do you need to learn waitress etiquette? Did you recently accept a waitress position at a fine dining establishment? Are you in a panic because your former employment was a diner? Stop panicking! Yes, working for a diner and a fancy restaurant is different but at least you have waitress experience. You are one step ahead; all you need to learn is the proper waitress etiquette.
Working in a diner is very relax, chaotic and a lenient atmosphere. You have a uniform that doesn’t require to be pressed. Most likely you can chew gum while taking customer’s orders. Oh my! Well, this is the total opposite of what is expected from you when working in a fine dining establishment.
Let’s begin by briefing you on what customers and your managers expect from you. They expect you to look clean and presentable. That means no exposed tattoo or piercing. You should smell good but don’t overdo it with your perfume or cologne. We don’t want a trail of your scent, customers might get a headache. Always press your uniform it would be nice if its wrinkle free. Take it easy with the make-up, go with the natural look. You don’t want to look like Betty Boop.
Speak to your customer in a polite demeanor. Be careful with the choice of words you use. The last thing you need is to offend your customers. Show respect and kindness.
Now that you smell and look presentable please be sure the proper shoes. No heels, you will not survive your shift. Purchase a pair of flat shoes that matches your uniform. Normally the common uniforms are a white polo with black pants and a black apron. Don’t wear bright red sneakers. Or don’t use your stinky old sneakers that you use to workout at the gym. Instead buy a cheap black sneaker that is comfortable.
When faced with your customers never lean on their table or squat to be at their eye level. This is not a diner. You should be one step behind the table. Hand the menu to the female customers followed by the male. Before you disappear ask for their choice of beverage and announce the daily specials. Then give them a few minutes review the menu. At this point you should be well educated with the menu.
This is important, starter meals or appetizers are always served before the entré. When your customers are finished with their starter then followed by the entré, dessert, coffee or tea. Throughout the process you should be refilling their beverages. Never remove their plate without asking for permission. Some customers are slow eaters while others eat fast. You never know.
At the end of the meal try your best to de-crumb their table. This will allow your customers to expend their arms on the table as they enjoy their dessert and coffee. No one wants a messy table after eating. Clear everything expect for the water glass.
You are all set! You are now well versed with waitress etiquette. Once you are familiar with the proper etiquette of fine dining you can work at any upscale restaurant of your choice. It would be best if you immediately apply what you’ve learned at work while it’s still fresh in your mind. Good Luck!