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Tips for First Time Waitresses

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Job opportunities for waitresses are expected to grow 10 percent by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Waitresses take customers' orders, serve drinks and food, and answer any questions about the menu. The restaurant industry is a fast-paced environment, and requires employees to be on their feet most of the day. If you are a new waitress, make the effort to learn the basics of serving customers.

Wear Appropriate Clothes

Waitresses must always look presentable when they work. They should make sure their uniforms are always clean and wrinkle-free. Comfortable shoes are also important because waitresses have to be on their feet a lot. Additionally, waitresses should pull their hair back if it is long and wear minimal jewelry and makeup.

Memorize the Menu

Memorizing the menu can make a waitress' job easier. When taking orders, customers may have questions about certain menu items or may ask for recommendations. New waitresses should take the menu home each night and study it until they know all the items on it.

Have a Good Attitude

Having a good attitude is an important part of being a waitress. If a customer sees his waitress always frowning, he may assume that she does not want to serve him. Waitresses should leave their problems at home and always remember to smile in front of customers.

Check on Customers

After serving a customer her food, a waitress should wait about five minutes to check up on her. She should ask the customer how the food tastes and if she needs anything else. If a waitress never checks up on her customer, she may not know if the food was prepared correctly until it is too late.

Be Honest with Customers

Restaurants often become busy, and waitresses sometimes have to serve more tables than they can handle. When this situation arises, a waitress should tell the customers at her new table that she will be there in a few minutes to take their order. If a customer has been waiting a long time for his food, a waitress should apologize for the delay and assure him that his food will come out shortly. Most customers will understand if the service takes a little longer than usual if you are honest and do not ignore them.

Bring the Check Promptly

Waitresses should bring the check to the customer after checking up on him at least twice. Some customers are in a hurry and may become angry if they have to wait a long time to receive their check. When a waitress brings the customer a check, she should assure him that there is no rush.


Katya Gordeeva began writing professionally in 2009. She has had several news and feature articles published in "The Chronicle," "Northwest Indiana Times" and "Gary 411" newspapers. Gordeeva is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Purdue University Calumet.

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