“Hi, how are you today?”
“I’m good and yourself?”
“I’m doing pretty good, what can I get for you?”
…. and so the order begins
If you would have told me five months ago that the job behind the above conversation would teach me lessons, I would have just given you a blank stare and said “Seriously?? Uh huh …. suuuuure.” I would have silently called you crazy, or maybe would have thought you were running low on sleep. However, after being a waitress for five months, I totally understand now. Waitressing in and of itself is a perfect opportunity for learning valuable life lessons.
Lesson 1: Attitude
Your customers can sense your attitude even when you can’t, which will affect how they treat you … and the tip they leave you. So make sure to reevaluate yourself, wear your gorgeous smile, and be happy :)
**I haven’t experienced this lesson yet … nor do I ever want to. But I have witnessed it with two co-workers, and one was actually fired for his bad attitude.
Lesson 2: Conversation & Connection
I’ve read countless stories from waitresses who say that the greeting part is their least favorite, only because it gets old really fast. The thing about it is, is you have to be willing to make conversation and make a connection with your customers. I will change up the conversation depending on who the customer is.
If young guys walk in I may say “how are you gentlemen today?”
If a family walks in with their adorable 2 year old, I’ll greet the parents and then start a conversation with the two year old. (Thursday, the two year old and I talked about his favorite teddy bear <3)
Connection is key, because they can tell if you’re there to only make money, or if you truly love your job. Making the customers happy isn’t only by bringing them their food, it’s about giving them the best experience they can have.
Lesson 3: Phone skills
Before I started working, my phone skills were awful. I couldn’t really carry on a conversation with a random person. If you weren’t one of the three friends that I talked to on the phone, yeah well … forget it haha.
Answering the phone to take to-go orders has tremendously helped me in this area. I can finally carry on a conversation with a random person, and there not be an awkward silence! (okay I take that back … there still is, but it’s only when they can’t decide on something to order. For reals, what am I supposed to say? Haha)
Lesson 4: Confidence
When I first started my job as a waitress/counter-person, I was not confident in who Alisha was. I was always wanting to please those around me. However, I have learned that in order to really succeed at this job, you need to have confidence in yourself. If you are constantly worried about the job you’re doing, you’re bound to make more mistakes (trust me on this one).
Be you ... not who someone else thinks you should be.
Lesson 5: Laugh at yourself
Mistakes are bound to happen. Especially if you are slammed and everyone and their long distant relative decides to either dine in, order take out, or call in a delivery. Whether the mistake is sounding as if you cannot speak, ringing someone up wrong on the register, totaling up a delivery order wrong, etc. So what are you to do in a situation like this? Easy ... just laugh at yourself.
This is a recent lesson I have learned. It seems kinda weird at first, but after a while it almost becomes like a second nature.
Before, I would worry that the customers were judging me (this kinda ties into lesson 4). Five months ago, I would apologize profusely for any mistake I made around them. Now, the conversation goes something like this:
"Uh oh ... ooops. Well ... will you look at that, another void needs to be made, I think that makes the second one today. Let's try this one more time! After all, they say 'third time's the charm', right?"
When you take on this attitude, it helps relieve the stress you're feeling, it calms everyone else down too, and I have personally found that it actually increases tips. Why's that? Because the customers see that you have a great outlook on trying times ... and it helps make their experience enjoyable!
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What are some recent life lessons you've learned?
I'd love to hear what you have to say ;)