Hiring experienced servers is hard. This leaves operators understaffed or dependent on hiring people with little or no experience. Serving isn’t always glamorous, but it can build valuable work and social skills that lead to advancement.
Here are five attributes employers can stress to strengthen new hires and retain them long-term:
1. Servers can influence how much money they make.
Outstanding service often results in larger tips. Servers can influence this by engaging with guests, having a positive attitude and appreciating guests for their visit. It’s as simple as asking guests how they’re doing, smiling, having an upbeat tone of voice and thanking guests. Something as small as writing “thank you!” on the bill can make a huge difference.
2. Serving is a great occupation to strengthen skills.
An important part of serving is hospitality. Servers do more than simply get drinks and food for guests. They provide a friendly and generous interaction. Each interaction helps servers improve communication, selling and problem solving skills. These skills enhance the customer experience and build confidence that also shines outside the workplace.
3. Serving provides the opportunity to be part of a team.
Many people view serving as an individual occupation, but each server is only one piece of the puzzle. Servers work with other servers, the hosts, the back-of-house staff and managers to help an operation run smoothly. By working with others, servers build bonds that make work enjoyable. Finding friendships and being part of a team make serving a fun occupation.
4. Servers can create meaningful connections with guests.
Becoming a server is a great way to connect with others, even if the connection is only for a short time. By providing service that isn’t just transactional, servers fulfill a basic need to connect. Encourage new hires to greet customers enthusiastically or say something nice while presenting the check. Guests will notice, and they will look forward to coming back to your restaurant.
5. Servers receive discounts on meals.
Most operators provide an employee discount, and they remind new hires of the delicious, inexpensive meal that awaits at the end of a shift. A discounted meal not only helps motivate and retain workers, but it allows them to afford a meal that they might not normally enjoy.
Review how each of these attributes applies to your business as you explain the advantages of serving to new hires. It’s more than a job – it’s an opportunity to make money, strengthen skills, be a part of a team, and connect with others while working around and enjoying delicious food.