So you’re interested in learning what it takes and what skills you will learn by working as a waitress at a local bar.
Maybe you need a part-time job to help make some income while you attend college.
Perhaps you’re interested in starting your own bar one day and want to gain experience in the meantime.
Whatever the case may be, it can be a very rewarding position that’s perfect for those that enjoy meeting new people. You’ll be tasked with making sure everything holds up to their expectations.
Here’s how to get a waitressing job for those of you looking to land your first position.
1. Be a Team Player
As a waitress, you’ll be the one that makes sure all the drinks and/or food your customers order are up to their standards.
In order to do that, you and others on staff need to work together as a team to make sure all customers leave as happy as they walked in.
Bars look for qualities like being a selfless team player as a key factor in who they hire for their waitressing positions.
For example, you may be busy serving your customers and notice that the customers at a table you aren’t overseeing haven’t been greeted since sitting down.
Their table’s waitress might be tied up in doing things like returning an order for another customer or spreading the bill among several credit cards. Regardless, you should take their drink orders and let them know who their waitress will be.
2. Excellent Communication
As the one catering to your clients’ every need, you’ll be the one tasked with relaying key information among several different people.
If a customer has an allergy to something on the food they ordered, you need to be able to communicate that to the kitchen staff.
There’s also the trick of getting your point across as fast as possible and in as few words as possible. You have several tables to attend to, so wasting too much time explaining is burning valuable seconds.
More importantly, your communication needs to stay positive. Anyone can take orders and update the kitchen staff on changed orders. But the most valuable waitresses are the ones that can do so in a positive tone.
The bar scene demands a lot of hustle and bustle from all its workers, especially the waitresses walking around to service customers.
3. Knowledge of the Product
As a waitress, you’ll be asked the question of “What comes with the (insert entree here)?” thousands of times.
Because of that, you need to be knowledgeable about every drink and food item on your bar’s menu. You’re the face of the franchise to your customers, so saying “I don’t know” isn’t an acceptable answer.
Make sure you’re always up to date on things like what beers are currently on tap, the type of cocktails you offer, appetizers and entrees you’d recommend, etc.
The more understanding that you have of the menu, the more customers will trust your judgment and see you as a valuable worker.
In time, this can lead to you climbing up to becoming a bartender. Do you need a license to bartend? Take a look at the attached link and see.
On any given night you could be tasked with serving hundreds of different clients.
All of whom will come in different waves and will need to be serviced based on the order that they came in. However, if an order is up, you’ll have to drop everything to get the order to that table.
it’s useful to develop an internal clock in your head of how long it’s been since you last checked in on customers. Things like checking in for refills, extra orders they want to place, etc. will lead to a higher tip when they go to pay.
Don’t worry too much about having this as a skill before you get a waitressing job.
It’s one of those things that comes with time and repetition. You’ll figure out a system that works with the pacing and clientele you work with at your specific bar.
5. The Ability to Multi-Task
Rest assured: this isn’t an ability that comes naturally to most people, but it can be learned!
As a waitress, you’ll be thrown in a thousand different directions each night. The good news is that your shifts will fly by due to your staying busy.
At any given point you could have orders that need to go out, new customers that just sat down at a table, or drinks that need to be refilled.
The customers don’t realize how much you have on your plate, so you’ll need to deliver as soon as you can. The key is to not get discouraged. While it can be a bit stressful, as long as you’re doing your best, everyone will be happy.
Most importantly, don’t try to take on too many things at once. There’s a difference between multitasking efficiently and setting yourself up for failure.
Knowing your limits will ensure that everyone’s food and drinks arrive with few or no setbacks. That way you aren’t forced to backtrack, thus adding even more to your plate.
How to Get a Waitressing Job: Be Eager to Learn
The most important factor in how to get a waitressing job is expressing your passion and eagerness to learn.
Bars are happy to take on first-time waitresses as long as they’re excited about the opportunity and open to experiencing a learning curve.
Be sure to read our other articles pertaining to helpful information on topics like this and others just like it.