Training for Waiters

Elvis Elvis

What exactly is the waiter training process like?

“So what do they make you do?? Memorize the menu?”
“OOOh sounds soo hard.”

Frankly, it sucks. And yes, we have to learn the menu.

Waiter training in a restaurant is a very challenging process. It lasts anywhere from 1 week to 3 months in some cases. Also a lot is expected of you from a group of people who don’t have the patience to help you. However, I’ll show you a few shortcuts to impress and challenge your ego driven co-workers.

You will start training by being given a copy of the “official” training manual, or folder in mom&pop places. You will be expected to study the information, commit it all to memory, and test on it before you can interact with any guests. The amount of tests vary from 1 or 2 in some restaurants, to 20+ in others. Don’t fret.

Take all the information they give you home and pick up a pack of 3×5 index cards, preferably yellow(the science of NLP shows color aids memory retention). Read all of the information once through. Scan at your own pace and feel free to stop and focus on anything you find interesting. Then go through your information once more and create flash cards with the yellow 3×5′s.

!!Test yourself constantly!! You’ll notice anything you stopped to browse during your first scan is already easily remembered.

Training for Waiters

***Expect some of your training materials to be out of date. Items such as signature salads or particular brands of alcohol change all the time to keep up with an ever changing consumer.***

Show up to your scheduled training shifts at least 20 minutes early. It’s always better to show ‘over-excitement” than under.

Plus, you’ve now bought yourself free time to mingle with whomever else shows up early. I guarantee you it’ll be your bosses and top waiters. As Susan RoAne says in her book, “How to Work a Room. Your Essential Guide to Savvy Socializing,” learn to redefine the term “stranger.” Don’t be afraid to spark up some conversations with these people. Preferably about subjects not work related. Try to create positive rapport. A simple conversation could mean the world if you bomb on a test or drop a plate of food on someone!

During these first few days as you keep breezing through the tests, different restaurants will hold “classrooms” on the foods, products, and standards of their restaurant concept. Again refer to the flashcard method to build lighting speed memory recall for the questions you will commonly be asked by your trainers.

Fish Sandwich

What is a toasted raisin bun with special Ranchero sauce finished to perfection with finest fried catfish and tomatoes Maine has to offer.

And always, always have an answer during waiter training. If you absolutely don’t know something the safest answer to disarm any irritation by your superiors without actually saying you don’t know something is “Sir/Madam that is a very good question. I will find somebody to answer that for you right away.

The Final trail of fire of waiter training is to “shadow” or follow current employees and begin to take control of their tables as your training progresses.

!!!Note: These people don’t like you very much right now. From your trainers perspective: you, a stranger whom may not even work here tomorrow, now has complete control over my financial earnings for the day. Take a deep breath, and try your best. Remember: always over-communicate with your trainer, especially on items or concepts you’re having trouble getting. As well as a have handy joke or 2 on hand to quell any anger from mistakes that you are going to make!!!

After the approval of the boss or head wait you are all set to go and make some cash. Good Luck!