Time Management Tips for Servers

You’ve arrived on shift and you’re pumped. The hostess has been seating tables at a steady pace and you’re confident you’re going to have a good night. That is until you realize that your section is almost full and the tables are slightly out of sync. One table is waiting to give a very detailed drinks order for round 2, another table would like to order mains, you have two bill folders to deliver and a table to clean where a couple has just been seated. It’s daunting but you can do this without having a meltdown in the cold room.

All you need to do is keep calm and exercise time management! We have compiled 5 quick tips to help you manage your time efficiently and become a legendary waitron:

  • Learn to Multitask
    Not everyone can multitask however, servers who can multitask can handle larger sections thus are a bigger asset to the restaurant. Doing on task at a time creates longer waiting times for customers resulting in lower tips. Get to know the restaurant well and complete tasks along the way – this could include picking up an order on the way back from collecting a bill or dropping off dishes on your way to print a bill.
  • Make your Guests your Top Priority
    Your sole purpose is keeping your guests happy. They are your most important priority and you need to ensure their needs are met within reason. Putting your guests first and interacting with them before completing other tasks will optimize how you spend your time as a server. Complete tasks pertaining to your guests first so they feel well attended to and you will have a little more time to clear tables and cash bills.
  • Take a Step Back
    It is easy to get sucked and turn into a stress ball during dinner service. Take a step back, think about what you need to do and priorities these tasks. Separate each item as either a static or variable item then complete in order of importance and you will soon be on top of it all. Get into the habit of doing this and watch your stress levels drop. Don’t forget, customers can pick up when you are stressed and this can cause them to stress.
  • Know the Menu
    A simple enough tip but not every server knows the menu like the back of their hand. Knowing the menu will ensure you ask the correct follow up questions at the time of taking the order instead of having to return in a few minutes. Orders will also be taken more accurately and entered faster into your POS.
  • Incorporate Technology
    Technology is forever changing and one of the best time management tools is the handheld POS. Restaurants who have given their staff handheld POS systems see a reduction in time wasted through walking to a POS point and orders are sent to the kitchen faster resulting in customers getting their orders quickly.

Taking charge of your time will make you a phenomenal server which could result in more shifts, more tables and higher tips.