Beginning work as a server in a restaurant can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never worked in the hospitality industry before. If you are getting ready for your first day working in a restaurant, here are a few things you should know before you get started.
On your first day of work, plan to arrive early. This will do a few things for you. First of all, you’ll show your new boss that you mean business and that you are a reliable employee. This will also set the tone for the rest of your career at the restaurant because you’ll already be getting yourself in the habit of showing up early. Next, it’ll give you plenty of time to get oriented and meet your coworkers without the pressure of your shift starting in just two minutes. Starting a new job is challenging enough; no reason to add more stress by not having enough time to get settled in.
You’re the new person in a place that already has a rhythm going. Do your best to get involved with the team by introducing yourself to others. Make sure to take a moment to meet the bartender, if there is one, the host/hostess, and the other servers. Make eye contact and do your best to remember their names. That way, if you need help, you’ll have a number of people you’ve already met to help you.
Even if you’ve worked in a restaurant before, you’ll have to learn the table arrangements. You will most likely be assigned a section that you are responsible for, but it’s worth it to learn the other sections as well. When you are assigned a different section, you will already be familiar with the setup. Getting accustomed to the layout before you start working will give you an edge on your first day.
As a new employee, you will probably go through a few different trainings to get you used to how the restaurant is run. You’ll most likely be given a taste of the menu, so you’ll know how dishes are made and what they are made from. This will make answering customers’ questions much easier when you begin working.
Your first day is the day to make a great first impression. Now is the time to be proactive in your work. Instead of waiting around for instruction, take initiative. Look around and notice what other employees are doing when they aren’t busy serving. If that fails, ask your supervisor or manager what you can do when you don’t have a table. There’s no shortage of work to be done in a restaurant, so your boss will be happy with your active approach to work.
It’s easy to be a little bit anxious about your first day working in a restaurant, but if you follow the previous simple tips, you will be that much more prepared. And if your ultimate goal is to work in the hospitality industry long-term, working at a restaurant is the first step to knowing how to own and operate one.