Daily Life · Family · Relationships · Uncategorized

Are You In A Relationship Hell?

There are several topics that I always try to stay away from. Religion, Politics, and Relationships. I try not to post about these, as it can become a sore point for all involved. However, as the amount of relationship idiocy spreads, I believe that something must be said. This post is written mainly for women. Mainly because I tend to have more female friends than male, but that being said – it will probably have some applications for the males out there. I’ll let them share their own opinions with you.

I want to share why I’m qualified to write this. I’ve been through my share of relationships. I’ve been married and divorced. I remarried. Having said all this, you might be asking why you should listen to someone who has been through 1 marriage and is into her second. That’s fair. Here’s my say – My first marriage lasted 7 years, I did everything I could to keep it going. It ended due to insolvable differences, but this isn’t about that. My point is – I tried hard and I learned a lot from each one.

I’m going to share what I have learned with you. Everyone wants to believe that their relationships are healthy. They have the perfect relationship and its’ true love.

 

  1. They lie. Now please don’t misunderstand me – everyone lies. I would love to say that it isn’t unnatural. It is not right. They shouldn’t be lying to you, but it does happen. What I mean is that if they lie to you about something once, you talk to them about it, then it shouldn’t happen again. When it happens again – that’s when you want to be careful. Lies that are continuous are a sign of a mentality, a predisposition if you will. Allow me to be clear – one time can be considered inadvertent, meaning not on purpose; two is an accident – forgetfulness; anything that happens 3 or more times – leave. They have a habit that they aren’t willing to kick.
  2. They take. This can come in many forms. Sometimes its them taking many things like your time or your money. Sometimes it’s them draining your emotions. Here’s a question – do you feel constantly supported? Or do you always walk away feeling like you gave 100% and they didn’t do anything for you? That is called draining. I had a friend who gave 100% to her relationship. The SO (Significant Other) never invested back unless it was to simply get her to stay. This isn’t healthy and giving it more time isn’t going to change anything.
  3. Your other relationships change. Now again – change is normal. Sometimes relationships simply fade away. You grow out of it or they move away. However, when you start losing friends like flies getting swatted out of the air, you should start wondering why that is. When relationships start disappearing – it’s typically a sign that this person is holding you back. They are keeping you from having those other friends that you need. When all your friends start telling you that something isn’t right. There is a problem. Sometimes it’s hard to see when we are living the moment. But, let me tell you – those butterflies won’t last forever and when they leave – you may be stuck with something you don’t like.
  4. No one wants to be around both of you. This sounds harsh but the reality is with new relationships – many times, your friends will feel like a third wheel. This doesn’t mean they need a relationship. What it does mean is that you need to lay off the PDA (Public Displays of Affection). I mean come on – that couple that makes out in the subway or the ones that take up extra room on the booth side of the table so they can have their hands all over each other – yuck! Get a room. Even married couples get disgusted by it. We all feel that way but keep it private please. My point is, when your friends only want to be around you without him, or him without you – that’s a sign that this relationship is codependent and unhealthy for you.
  5. You are constantly defending them. “Oh, but he’s going to change”. It’s my favorite line to hear. I swear I always have to cover my eyes before they pop out of my head and roll down the street. Let me tell you a little-known secret. He’s NOT going to change. Telling yourself that and others just makes you the laughingstock of the town. No one changes unless they want to and unless you see action on it – don’t believe the lie. It’s a waste of your time and energy. PS – No one changes on their own without help – that’s a lie too.

Look here’s what I’m getting at – People and relationships are complicated enough. You don’t have to be a mastermind to figure them out, but you do need to be equipped with some commonsense and some will power to learn. If you think that the relationship isn’t right – ask a friend. If you are unsure if you should marry someone – DON’T. That whole line about “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends” from The Spice Girls, Yeah, they were really on to something. You can sit here and lie to yourself, but you will end up miserable and lonely. Remember it’s better to want what you don’t have than have what you don’t want – I promise.

 

Have a thought? Share it below!

Daily Life · Work

How to Become the Best Employee in Your Work.

Working as a manager has been a really enlightening experience. Not only did it teach me a lot about myself, but it also taught me a lot about what managers look for in employees. Accumulating this knowledge was a bit of a painful process. This was my first job as a manager and it really was very difficult learning to deal with all the different facets and interpersonal relationships. The way you interact with employees is different from the ways that you interact with coworkers who share the same status in the work que. All this being said – at the end of the time frame that I worked there, I really sat down and thought about what made a good employee. I want to define a good employee as: someone who you as a manager continue to want to work with, mentor, encourage, and give opportunities to. That being defined, I want to talk about the qualities that I as a manager look for in an employee, an acrynm that I like to call “ACTING PROWS”

  1. Attitude – Attitude makes a huge difference. How many times do you want to be around someone who has a bad attitude? A clue – 0. This goes for work as well. I know that everyone has bad days but please think of it like this – Your manager is dealing with a lot of stress, having to wonder why someone isn’t acting appropriately or stomping around their work space shouldn’t be among it. When you get to work – drop whatever outside baggage you are carrying at the door and walk in with confidence and a great attitude. One of the best workers I have had and one of the few people I really really enjoyed working with was a young girl who was always “Great”. Every time you asked her – she found one positive thing to talk about. You could ask her what was new and she would find something to think about. I watched her walk through a 4 inch puddle of water to provide customer service – her favorite shoes got soaked and the comment she made was “I have others at home I can wear tomorrow…. They will dry.” Her attitude made everyone love working with her.
  2. Communication – Everyone has always heard “Communication is key”. Ok – yes this is true, but so the way in which you choose to communicate. It’s very very important to remember that honesty when you communicate is great, but so is learning to phrase your words so that you don’t place blame on another person, sound aggressive, or being short. I have watched as two seperate people have become their own clique. They were so ademate about being “clear” communicators that they ostracized themselves from the rest of the team and did more damage then good. Please understand – it is important to clearly communicate what you need (both with your manager and your teammates), it is also important not to over communicate. Telling people what they need to do, being short in the effort to be clear, and oversharing what they think about their jobs.
  3. Timeliness – The thing that really drove me nuts was timeliness. When you are scheduled for a certain time – show up for that time. Yes occassionally running late happens. I had several people who would either call-in or show up late on a regular basis. This is frustrating for a manager because guess who is covering your job and theirs? We are. Let me be clear – If you are going to be late – communicate it prior to that timeframe. If you are going to call in – sooner rather than later. I strongly believe that calling in more than 3 days a month – you better bring a doctors note to cover your job. Regularly calling-in or showing up late is unacceptable. It shows a lack of commitment or an amount of burnout for your job.
  4. Integrity – Integrity is more than just honesty. Integrity in the work place while it refers to honesty it also refers to completing your commitments. Honor your word. This goes hand in hand with respect (Point 8) and Timeliness (Point 3). Think about it this way – if I as the manager tell you that I will send in your request for use of Sick Hours in this payroll, and then I don’t because “I had plans” or “I changed my mind” how would you feel? You would feel like I’m not dependable and untrustworthy. That is how managers feel when employees change their plans last minute. It provides them with the sense of not trusting the employees to actually do their jobs. The basic memo – fulfill your commitments and have some integrity.
  5. News reporter – Unless you work for CNN, ABC, FOX, Or BBC News – it is not your job to be a reporter. I’m not talking about telling your manager when something goes wrong or someone does something that is out of line. I’m talking about gossip. Let me tell you – I have heard so many horrible stories about the people I work with. All from the coworkers of that person. I have had gossip spread about me. It creates a disfunctional and toxic waste environment in which to work. Do NOT gossip. We all remember highschool. Gossiping about someone is exactly the type of behavior that puts us right back in the toxic, bullying environment that highschool created. Come in, do your job, don’t create drama. If you need drama watch shows at home like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”.
  6. Guidable – Guidability is similar to teachability. The best employees are the ones that are willing to learn new tips and tricks. One of the girls I liked to work with was the one that I could sit down and talk to about how to change and do things better and it would be done. She would ask for advice and would take what she learned and impliment it. This type of employee is the one that will go far because she is moldable.
  7. Problem Solving – Helping your manager is the best thing you can do. The employees that become close workers with your manager is the one that not only sees the problems within the workplace but searches for solutions before bringing it to the managers attention. I’m not going to lie – I hated having problems brought to me because I would have to find a solution on my own. I did however have one person who would bring a problem and 2 solutions each time. Maybe I didn’t use her solutions but it brought a starting point to the conversation – one which we could bounce around and then find a solution. She was one of the best employees I have worked with ever.
  8. Respect – “Respect is earned not given” – Yes managers must be respectful, they have to earn the trust of their employees. However, respect should always be given to those in power. I have had people refuse to do their job. If they talked to the owners that way – they would have been fired. This really goes back to the attitude point mentioned. When you have a bad attitude you start to be disrespectful. Watch carefully that you don’t follow that track. At the end of the day – you are paid to do your job. If you don’t like it – quit, if you refuse – you run the risk of being fired. There are simple ways to show respect to your boss – don’t interrupt, do your job, be on time. These are simple ways to make a great impression and leave your boss more inclined to give you opportunities for growth.
  9. Organization – The best of employees are organized. They have organized work spaces and they have great time management. They keep lists of things they need to do and they take notes. Taking notes and being organized is a good way for you to start, keep up throughout, and end your day. I’ll be honest – I use Wunderlist on my phone. It’s a great app that allows you to keep multiple checklists as long as you want.
  10. Willingness – This goes back to respect and being teachable. A willingness to being teachable, learning a new way of saying things, or doing your job goes a long way. Like I’ve said the best employees I’ve worked with are the ones that impliment new strategies and show respect in the process.
  11. Service Oriented – When you are working in customer service – that person who is always on top of things. This really comes down to time managment, attitude, and organization. It is important to really focus on your customers when you are with them and pay attention to the little details that will make their experience better. Simple things like making sure that you can substitute an item out for them is important. But having that attitude and making sure they feel that they are the center of your universe is very important.

The little things like these are the ones that are going to make you stand out to your manager. They will bring you more opportunities because people will notice what you are doing. It’s rare to find someone who fits these qualities so when you do – it may take a moment for them to realize that it’s real but then they will reward you.

 

Have questions or a comment? Share with me!

Daily Life · travel · Uncategorized · Work

Basic Restaurant Rules For The Hungry Diner

Let me tell you, having worked in the industry for a while, I have learned that there are somethings that should never be allowed to fly in a restaurant. Unfortunately, most of these are items that the diners shouldn’t be doing. I’ve written some previous articles on how to improve as a dining attendant/mixologist. This one is for the hungry guest that appears at a restaurant door seeking a table at a nice sit down restaurant. I have started with 5 items but I assure you there are plenty more :).

  1. Know the difference between a preference and an allergy. When your dinint attendant comes to take your order and you ask them to hold the onions, the dairy, the wheat – you should always mention whether or not it’s an allergy. It sounds like oversharing but I assure you it is very very important. A preference is because you don’t like it. An Allergy is because it will cause you physical harm. Your dining attendant, the manager, and the culinary staff all need to know this information. When your ticket for food goes to the culinary staff it tells them whether they need to sterilize their tools and station before making your dish or wash them. It allows the leadership to understand how serious any mistake could be and how much attention your table will be needing. I cannot stress how important this bit of communication is and how it will change the experience you have at the restaurant.
  2. Do not let your children run around the restaurant. Parents who have children, aunts, uncles, grandparents who are bringing children in – do not let them run. Restaurants are not play grounds. It is inappropriate and unsafe for you to allow the child to roam the restaurant. Staff are constantly carrying sharp objects, breakable glass, and hot plates to and from places. They are moving fast and they are not looking for something below their normal line of sight – it’s uncommon in the restaurant industry and deemed unsafe (any boxes would be moved before the shift begins for safety). Children do not have fast reflexes or the knowledge of the place to know where is and isn’t safe. Running around will cause them to be harmed and place the staff of the restaurant at risk as well. Keep your child in their chair or don’t bring them in.
  3. Tips – This seems to be one of those issues where people tip poorly now days. Especially around the holidays. Let me tell you a secret – most of the staff there lives off the tips. They make minimum wage (at least in SF, CA) hourly but the tips make the difference between eating cheese and crackers or eating a burger. Many restaurants do not give their staff free food – they must pay for it. In Michigan servers only make $3-4 an hour and then tips. That is half of minimum wage. My point is – don’t skimp on the tip just because you didn’t order your food correctly. It’s hard understanding what a customer wants from the word go and yes good service should be rewarded higher than bad service. However, think about this – many of those employees do that for a living and are working atleast 2 jobs to get enough to pay for life. You are lucky to have a salary and stability – share a little. Great service should be tipped 25-30% of the total bill; good service 20-25%; ok service 18-20%; decent or minimal service 12-18%; and anything that’s considered poor service should be 10%. You should never EVER tip below 10%. That is just rude.
  4. Know that being Vegan or Vegetarian is a life choice. Let’s talk about diet restrictions. Like having allergies or preferences – many restaurants can accomodate vegan or vegetarian requests. However – this doesn’t mean you are allergic to animal biproducts. If you are vegetarian but ok with eggs – please say so. If you are vegan due to allergies – state that. It is common knowledge that these are lifestyle choices and not typically due to allergies. Again – allergies will change the way the food is prepared and handled in the culinary world and is very very important.
  5. Move your hands/dishes/phones out of the way. When someone comes carrying your food to your table – please move your items. The food is hot and so are the plates. Just because they aren’t using a hotpad doesn’t mean their fingertips aren’t burning. It is extremely rude to keep everything where it is and act all put out when they have to move stuff. SHIFT YOUR SHIT. Be kind and move some glasses. Move some silverware. Move a plate. At the end of the night we do need your cooperation to make the experience as nice as it is. Like wise – do not put bags or feet into the aisleway. If you are tall ask for a high top table. Leaving your items in the aisleway will create a hazard and you are likely to end up with wine or food all over you.

While there are many other things that need to be addressed in terms of what the “societally acceptable” behavior in restaurants is becoming – these basic items will help. Be respectful of the restaurant and their staff. They work very hard to make it a great experience and simple things like this will help enhance that for you. Don’t be that customer they talk about for the rest of the year.

Daily Life · School tips · travel

The Art Of Learning A New Language

When you think about it, what’s one of the hardest things to learn? Languages. Now granted some people are naturally born with the gift of tongues, which allows them to naturally learn languages quickly. Not all of us are gifted like that.

The hardest part for me about getting married into a new culture and family was that when they are all together they speak spanish only. Now if you went to a standard highschool you were required to learn a language of some sort. That being said – I’m going to talk about the best way to learn a language outside of a school setting.

I’ve picked up a few tricks – firstly when I learned some Japanese from my coworkers in Hawaii, and secondly when I married into this family.

  1. Duolingo.com – I swear by this website. It’s better than Rosetta stone. This app connects words with images and also teaches you the difference between verb conjugations without making you recite things like you did in highschool. It gives you a better sense on how you should speak in a sentence.
  2. Music/Radios – The best way to learn things is through listening. Music is great at that. Songs in different languages tend to be sung slower than when people normally speak. It becomes easier to hear and understand things in songs.
  3. Watch Movies – Watching movies in another language. It again slows things down. It teaches how to speak in a basic sentence structure. It is also great if you can watch them with subtitles in the same language. This helps widen your vocabulary.
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice – The phrase “practice Makes Perfect” is very accurate. The more you practice something the more you become fluent and the easier it will become to speak in that language.

The best way to learn new languages is to always practice. Always keep notes, and always allow someone to help you/teach you. I have also found that if I talk to myself I improve because it becomes easier to pronounce the words.

Have any tips? Let me know!

Holiday · Reviews · travel

“4 Best” Buffets in Las Vegas – A Foodie’s Review

Working in the restaurant industry is hard. It’s time consuming and really drains your energy. This is a review of the buffers on the Vegas Strip that I have heard called “the best”.

I have rated them on a scale of 1-5. 5 being the best and 1 being the worst. They are rated on culinary options, food quality, customer service, prices, and cleanliness.

1. The Bacchanal Buffet –

My husband and I have eaten at this buffet several times. This is easily the largest buffet that I am aware of in the Las Vegas Strip. It has multiple options and in my humble opinion, the largest seafood and meat selection of all the buffets I have experienced. The food quality has always been stellar (It has the best and largest sushi selection) and it tends to be the place I find myself craving when I think of Las Vegas. The customer service has always been decent. They tend to be the most attentive though I did have an experience where the server asked my husband and I to leave due to her needing the table. Working in the business, I understand needing the table, however, the way it was phrased definitely could have been better. That being said we have always enjoyed our experiences. The prices are the highest at this buffet but it is always worth it. You do need to go hungry to get your moneys worth though. I do have to give The Bacchanal a high five for cleanliness. They have always done a great job clearing tables and keeping the food areas clean. This is super important because no guest wants to eat next to a dirty table or pick off of dirty forks. The overall rating I would give to The Bacchanal Buffet is 4.5/5.

2. The Wicked Spoon Buffet-

This is one of my personal favorites. While it isn’t as large as The Bacchanal Buffet. It has great flavors. The items that are features in the buffet are well seasoned and flavorful. The customer service has always been really good. Drinks have been consistently refilled and the server was always there when needed. The price for the options and the quality of food is not unreasonable by any means. The tables and food buffets have always been clean when I have attended. Overall this buffet has always impressed me, my only qualm is that it is a bit off the beaten path and can be hard to find. The overall rating for The Wicked Spoon Buffet is 4/5.

3. The Buffet at The Bellagio-

This buffet is one of the smaller ones. While it has a decent size carving section, it has always impressed me with the amount of vegetarian options. They have more vegetables that have been cooked and a salad bar than some of the other buffets. The quality has always been great and I haven’t had a bad meal there once. While the customer service is good, you are in charge of getting your own drinks and for the price it kind of leaves the customer wanting. This particular buffet is probably the one that always has tables cleaned and reset the fastest. I attribute this to the fact that it’s the smallest and the “servers” do the least amount of work out of all the buffets. The overall rating of this buffet is 3/5.

4. The Buffet at The Aria-

While this buffet had the largest seating possible and was in one of the newest hotels, I was disappointed. If you go before 12 am you will not find many options. It had the smallest food options and for the options given it was probably the priciest. The quality was decent but lacked flavor. The customer service and cleanliness of this particular buffet was poor. While the food buffet area was clean the tables needed desperate attention. I watched the table next to us remain dirty for close to 20 minutes. I also had to ask our server for a drink 3 times prior to getting it. This happened not only on our first visit but on the second one as well. The overall rating for this buffet is 2.5.

Over all, I would highly recommend The Bacchanal Buffet or The Wicked Spoon Buffet. I would say the best one for breakfast is The Buffet at the Bellagio. I would not recommend The Buffet at The Aria.

Daily Life · Family · Relationships

5 Of The Best Relationship Tips

Everybody has trouble with relationships. Most of the best movies or books revolve around this fact – interpersonal relationships.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I haven’t had my share. I’m not perfect, I’ve failed miserably at times. I won’t lie to you – I’ve been divorced, in failed relationships, fights, remarried and still have battles.

Many people would say that this makes me inqualified to speak on relationships – why listen to someone who couldn’t do it right the first time? I’ll tell you something – something everyone knows but no one says aloud. The ones who failed the first times are the ones we listen to on a daily basis – they know what mistakes not to make.

Think about this – Humanity learned from people who made mistakes: 

Benjamin Franklin found electricity due to a failed attempt of putting a key to a kite.

Thomas Eddison – He had over 1000 unsuccessful tries at making a light bulb. He finally found one.

Amelia Earhart gave her life trying to fly across the atlantic and failed – other people learned, followed, and succeeded.

My point is – I may seem unqualified because of 1 unsuccessful attempt but learning and growing is part of my nature. It’s made me who I am. All this to say – I’ve learned what I’m about to share with you. 5 basic relationship tips to help you succeed.

  1. Not Every Battle is Worth Fighting –

Fighting takes a lot of energy. It drains you dry. I’ve learned that peace is better in my household. There are some battles that I will fight out right but most of them, if I sit quietly long enough, my husband will fight in his own mind. Sometimes it’s more worth it if I simply allow him to figure out he is wrong than blatently saying he is, please don’t misunderstand me – when he asks – I will honestly tell him what I think. This doesn’t mean that I need to vocalize it at every moment though. Save your energy – ask questions that prompt introspection from them and they will figure it out on their own.

2. Basic Respect – 

Everyone wants to be respected. Basic respect comes in several forms – some I’m still learning. Listening instead of talking over, not correcting in public, and following someone elses lead are great ways to show respect. Even when my husband is wrong and I know it – I try to listen and not talk over him. I try not to correct him in public – even in front of his own family, and when he directs me to something – I try to follow his lead (as long as it’s in a decent and correct direction). When he asks for my opinion in public I try to word it as politely as possible so that he can understand where I’m coming from and that I don’t agree with him.

3. Compromise – 

Life is compromise. Give and Take. Yin and Yang. Everything is about balance. When it comes to relationships – it’s important to compromise. Sometimes it’s about housework, sometimes it’s going out. For us it’s about purchases, items that we can enjoy outside of work. My husband encourages my good habits – blogging (I got my own domain last night!!!), I encourage his gaming or collecting of figurines. Everyone has their own hobbies and it’s important to find balance and make compromises so that each person gets to keep theirs.

4. They Only Get One Family-

This may seem strange but I’ve had two mother-in-laws in my life. The first, while I tried to be nice and respectful was a real trial for me. The second (My current mother-in-law) is a fair woman. She is my back up. Many times I don’t need to correct my husband because my MIL (Mother-in-law) does it for me. He listens to her far more avidly than he listens to me (not in a bad way) but she is his mother. Many times I can go to her with the problem I’m having with him and she will interceed and help him understand when I can’t. I try to encourage him to spend time with her and also with all his family. You only get one and then it’s over. Family is important and it’s important to keep those relationships up evern when you are married.

5. Stop Expecting…… – 

This is probably the best advice I can give to you – stop having expectations. Life isn’t built on them and you will only be disappointed. I had a revelation the other day when I was irritated with my hubby. I was mad but I was mad because he wasn’t acting the way I expected him to, he was acting the way he had always acted. At some point – you need to stop being irritated because the person is acting the way they always have and not conforming to what you want. It’s kind of freeing – they might grow and change but it won’t be through your expectations and when you stop expecting than you can start forgiving. Forgiving brings healing and healing brings you closer together.

Conclusion: 

I’m no expert. I have, however, found that these tips make all the difference. I have a happier, simpler marriage than some of the others I see. Following these steps and find a simpler form of living. Enjoy the relationships again and hey – if after practicing all these it still isn’t working – maybe it’s time to think about other things…. But that’s another post.

Have tips and tricks? Drop me a Note:

Daily Life · Family · Work

4 of The Best Housekeeping Products

I don’t know about the rest of the world but I barely have time for housekeeping. I work a job that demands the better part of 60 hours a week and I attend school for nursing. That being said, I am a busy woman. Besides having little time and energy for cleaning, I have little desire. I despise cleaning. Laundry, bathrooms, floors – I only clean when I’m irritated. That’s when my house is the cleanest.

Here are a few products that I have found that make it easier.

  1. Windex – Windex is a miracle cleaner. It’s something that will disinfect and make the house smell nice. It works on bathroom counter tops and is great for cleaning sink fixtures. This is a great way to make silver items, windows, mirrors, and the exterior of toilets shine. It also makes a great surface dusting agent but you have to be sure to spray it on a
  2. Toilet Bowl Cleaner – This is an obvious must have for a multitude of reasons. The first being because every toilet needs to be cleaned on the inside regularly. The second which is a trick I picked up for my mother, is that it cleans tubs fabulously! I severely dislike products like Scrubbing Bubbles – I find that they leave a ring around my tub. Toilet bowl cleaner however – Always removes stains and all sorts of rings. It also removes the grime and gritty feeling of the tub. I’ve never had to use anything more than a brush and the toilet cleaner.
  3. Lysol– Lysol really is the amazing. I use it to mop my floors and to white wash my cabinets. It always leaves my house smelling wonderful and removes all the stains. It also is great to use in the tub to leave it smelling fresh and clean.
  4. Dish Soap– This stuff is great. Not only is multipurpose but it’s also a great degreaser. I have used it for the traditional purpose of cleaning my dishes but I have also used it to clean my floors, degrease my stove top, and clean my fridge.

I have found that these products with a brush or cloth and some hot water have gone a long way. If used properly these products can increase the span that your house stays clean. Of course dusting is a regular issue due to weather but other than that – this will help you. If you have any product reviews – I would love to hear them, please fill out the form below.

*I have also found that there are some simple tips to using them. Tune in next time to hear those. *

Work

9 Tips to Increase Your Performance as a Server

Previously I have discussed a few tips to increase server performance. While these still hold true – I’m going to expound on them. I work as a manager in the restaurant industry, these are based on things that I see my own staff doing or things I have discussed with them. Not only will these tips impress your manager but they are sure to impress your guests as well.

  1. Pay attention to the details –
    • Details are everything when you are serving a guest. They make the difference between having someone send something back to the kitchen or them loving the dish.
    • Attention to details encompasses knowing:
    • what ingredients the kitchen uses
    • checking your section for wobbling tables
    • making sure your station is filled and ready to go
    • doing your side-work properly so you set the next shift up for success
    • clearing the table when ready (this is not just the busser’s job)
  2. A great server Introduces themselves –
    • I had one of my servers recently tell me that they didn’t want to introduce themselves because it felt a bit much like working at Chili’s. I told them – You should introduce yourself because it gives a warm and welcoming feeling to your guests. This is the basis of starting a connection to up-selling.
    • When someone is standing overtop of you – you are already feeling a bit prickled ( you are uncomfortable because you are placed in a vulnerable position), the introduction makes you feel a bit more at ease.
  3. Smile –
    • Smiling does a lot. I’m not talking about looking like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland but you do need to smile when you take care of people. It makes them feel important and that you are there to help them.
  4. Preferences, Sensitivities, and Allergies –
    • It seems like everyone has an allergy of some sort. I tell my servers when they introduce themselves always start with “Welcome to ____________, my name is Hannah. I’ll be taking care of you tonight. Are there any preferences, sensitivities, or allergies I need to be aware of?” This immediately sets the tone for guests. They know you, they can trust you, and you have attention to detail. I have seen an increase in my servers tips when they use this on tables vs when they don’t. To be clear – a preference is like a diet – the customer is adhering to it but will not have an allergic reaction, a sensitivity – they may have a minor reaction but it won’t be bad – they can handle cross-contaimination, an allergy – they cannot have any cross-contaimination – it will result in a severe allergic reaction. This needs to be stated on the ticket to the kitchen as well and the manager should be made aware.
  5. Know your menu –
    • Make sure that you as the server know the menu. You know what is going into the dishes, what the kitchen can change. Be aware of the time frame – if it’s a rush – the kitchen may not want to change it. Make sure you know the bar menu. If you are still learning that’s fine, always say “I’m not sure but let me check for you.” It tells them that you don’t know but you are willing to go the extra mile to find out.
  6. Mis en place –
    • I know I have mentioned it before but it bears mentioning again. ALWAYS make sure your table is prepped. This means dropping dessert spoons as soon as they order, dropping a bowl for those seafood shells, or getting a chiller set up for white wine. The bussers/runners don’t have time for it and it is your job as a server. These little things are again – attention to details that make the difference between you and other servers.
  7. Good Wine Service –
    • This is more important to me because I live and work in California. This means that almost everyone out here knows about wine and how it should be served. That being said – good wine service starts from the beginning. You should always show the label and the bottle (cupping the bottom with your hand) to the person who ordered. When they say it’s alright hold the bottom and cut below the lip. Place the trash in your apron (never on the table) – do not twist the bottle when you cut it and never hold it by the neck (even when you are removing the cork). Pour a taste for the person who ordered. When they give the nod – you can pour clockwise, ending with that same person. Place the bottle and the cork on the table (or in the chiller if it’s a white). If you are nervous about the whole process and they are quite – ask them questions that force long answers “Where are you from?” “How do you like the area?” etc. It forces them to talk and takes the pressure off you.
  8. Know How to Up-sell –
    • You don’t need to pressure anyone to buy anything, but you should know how to up-sell. If they buy two glasses of the same wine, say “I noticed you want two glasses of the same wine, would you be interested in a bottle?” When it comes to dessert – always drop the menu with a recommendation. “The Churros are my favorite – they are like eating a baby angel.” I know it sounds weird but it sticks with people. When you describe the food – describe it in such a way that it makes their mouth water. Use words like:
      • decadent
      • moist
      • full of spice
      • hints of _______
    • basically you need to act like you are a Food Network star describing the food. That’s how you sell it. People want to know what’s the best. The items that I eat all the time I say are “_______________ soul food” (Insert whatever cultural restaurant you work for – example “Mexican Soul Food”) People know terms like that and they love hearing it.
    • You eat first with your ears, then your eyes, finally you eat with your mouth.
  9. Check the Food-
    • Make sure when the food comes out it is up to their liking. As soon as it’s dropped “Everything looks ok?” and after two bites “How is it tasting?” These prevent a guest from sitting there waiting like an idiot for the server to come back, just to say it was bad.
    • If they order a steak always – ALWAYS – ask them to cut into it to make sure the temperature is correct. Wait until they have done so and it is good before you walk away.

The reality is small things like these, which might seem large at the moment, make all the difference to your guests. They are bread and butter of a servers life. These will make your guests happier – they are more likely to return to you and that restaurant, they will increase your tips, and they will increase your standing with your manager.

Remember Good service isn’t an accident – Good service is on purpose.

Have tips or tricks? Please Share!