How to Hire Servers that Make Your Restaurant a Booming Success - Fliptable (2024)

Hire Waiters and Waitresses that Get Return Customers & Can Upsell the Right Way and Watch Your Restaurant Grow Fast!

Most restaurant owners understand that great service is a big reason customers return to your restaurant. It can even be more important than the food in some cases. So, if you want to run a more successful restaurant, you need to hire a great waitstaff. How you ask? Just follow these simple tips and advice to hire servers that can make your restaurant a hot spot.

Why You Need to Hire the Best Servers

Your waitstaff really has a big impact on how successful your restaurant is. Just ask several restaurant insiders and authors of industry publications that agree. Simply put servers may have the biggest impact on restaurant success.

Why does your waitstaff matter so much? Your waitstaff is really the “face” and personality of your restaurant. Guests respond to great service and if they don’t like how they are treated, they aren’t as likely to come back.

As a restaurant owner, you must staff your restaurant with servers who make guests feel welcome and catered to.

Define What Your Restaurant Really Needs in a Server

Every restaurant needs servers but not every server is right for every restaurant. A diner doesn’t need the same server as a fine dining restaurant—diners need fast service that is friendly but brief while fine dining restaurants require much more attentive waiters.

Write a list of things you really need in a server before you write your JD. Define both personality traits (things like honesty, friendliness, chattiness, warmth, grace), character traits (honesty, integrity, work ethic, dedication) and most importantly skills (dessert making, bar skills, POS experience). Write down what your restaurant’s top traits and skills are. Then look for these in your servers.

Write Detailed Job Descriptions for Servers

Write very detailed job descriptions for servers that include shifts, pay, skills required and all the other traits you want to have in a server. The job description can be cut and pasted from a website but be sure you add those skills, traits and deal breakers (like shift availability) in the description bullets.

Advertise Your Waitstaff Positions on Restaurant-Specific Job Boards

Use the job boards that are specific to restaurant and hospitality industries to post your job listings. These will attract servers and waitstaff that have experience or know they want a job in a restaurant. This will cut down on the “fluff” resumes you get from the big job listing boards saving time and aggravation (not to mention money).

The big job sites often inundate you with resumes from candidates that may have little or no experience and might just be looking for something to hold them over until they get another job.

So, you may spend more time sifting through the chaff than you do actually interviewing people if you use big job boards to find servers and waitstaff.

Improve Your Waitstaff Interview Process

If you are finding your servers don’t perform or don’t make the grade often, you probably need to improve your waitstaff interview process. Start by asking the right questions related specifically to the role you are hiring for. Then use these waitstaff interview process tips and techniques:

How to Hire Servers that Make Your Restaurant a Booming Success - Fliptable (1)

Use Interview Role Play and Situational Questions

Set up role playing questions and answers. A good waiter or waitress should never shy away from a role-playing opportunity. A complete service role play is a wonderful way to see how a server preforms right away.

Ask Interview Questions Tailored to Finding Servers Who Really Fit Your Restaurant

If you have defined the top traits your servers need this one should be easier. Ask questions that tell you whether the person will fit into your culture and brand. Are they friendly or warm, refined, or casual? Ask what they like to do off work, and what hours they prefer. Find out what tasks they are comfortable doing if you need servers to perform more than one task during their shift.

Ask Them Why They Want to Work for You

Today, so many waiters and waitresses are bombarded with job offers, and simply want to find their next gig. Surprise them by asking why they want to work for your restaurant. If you find servers that really like your restaurant, they are more likely to respect it and perform better for you.

Find More Energetic Servers

Servers must have a high level of energy. It’s a tasking job and you need to keep a positive attitude throughout. People who have high energy also come across as bright, fun, warm and engaging. Those are traits guests want in their server. Presenting a happy, positive face to your guests is one of the most important aspects of delivering great service.

Focus on Attitude and Character

Try to get a good sense of your interviewees character. You want to hire servers with better character because they are more likely to perform better long term and less likely to do negative things like skip shifts, present a bad attitude at work or leave for another higher-paying gig as soon as the opportunity arises. They also lift the character of everyone else on the team, so they are a great addition.

Test Servers for Competency and Skill

You can hire more competent servers by testing them at the interview. Simple tests will tell you a lot about a server’s skillset. Memorization tests are great ways to get a sense of someone’s skill and experience. If you have specific skills you require already, give them a pop-quiz on proper table settings for instance. Or, on how to handle unruly guests. Or, how to use a POS system. Don’t be afraid to test your servers you may find out they lack in some areas you truly need someone to excel in.

Align Your Restaurant Values with Your Servers

Your restaurant has specific values. They are present in your atmosphere. Whether it’s family values, or high-end dining, each establishment has a core set of values. Assess whether your server possesses these. You can find out by asking what they value. Is it family? Do they value gourmet food and finer things in life? Are they interested in specific sports and other things related to your restaurant?

Check Your Server’s References

Always, always, always check references. Ask questions of the reference to find out about their job performance. Did they show up on time? Did they handle busier shifts well. Again, ask questions that relate to your restaurant’s key needs for servers.

We know restaurants need waiters and waitresses but many managers do not take the time to understand what exactly they need in a server. Make sure you have a list of things you need in a server up front before you write your JD and your hiring process will run much more smoothly!

How to Hire Servers that Make Your Restaurant a Booming Success - Fliptable (2024)


How to Hire Servers that Make Your Restaurant a Booming Success - Fliptable? ›

Ask questions that tell you whether the person will fit into your culture and brand. Are they friendly or warm, refined, or casual? Ask what they like to do off work, and what hours they prefer. Find out what tasks they are comfortable doing if you need servers to perform more than one task during their shift.

How to hire good servers? ›

How to Hire a Server
  1. Assess your needs and budget for the position.
  2. Craft the perfect server job description.
  3. Screen applicants and narrow your candidate pool.
  4. How to hire a server: Ask the right questions.
  5. Before you hire a server: Run a background check.
  6. Make an offer and negotiate a start date.

How to flip tables as a server? ›

Four Tips for Faster Table Turns
  1. Refresh Your Shift Settings Often. For restaurants using a reservation system, it's easy to adopt the “set it and forget it” mentality from Day One. ...
  2. Prepare for Each and Every Guest. ...
  3. Speed up the Start and End of Service. ...
  4. Create and Follow a SOP.

What makes a successful server? ›

Restaurant servers should be well-organized. Being well presented, keeping track of tables, and remembering orders requires focus and concentration. Waiters and waitresses inform the kitchen and bar of customer's choices, as well as of any special dietary needs or special requests.

Do attractive servers make more money? ›

Female servers wearing something in their hair such as a flower or barrette often receive higher tips as well! One reason for this may be the simple fact that more attractive women tend to get more tips, and both men and women, interestingly enough, find women with ornaments in their hair more attractive.

What is good pay for a server? ›

How Much Do Server Jobs Pay per Hour?
Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$48,500$23
75th Percentile$36,000$17
25th Percentile$21,500$10

How many servers do you need for 100 guests? ›

A very general rule of thumb is 1 server for every 25 guests, but here are some more specific guidelines to help you determine how many servers you will need: 1 Bartender for every 50 guests. For seated dinners, 1 server for every 2 tables. For a buffet, 1 server for every 40 guests.

How to increase restaurant turnover? ›

Let's talk about some specific steps you can take to grow your restaurant's success.
  1. Get Efficient with Tech. ...
  2. Offer Signature Packages. ...
  3. Get a Handle on Inventory. ...
  4. Make your Menu Shine. ...
  5. Themed Events Attract Customers. ...
  6. Engage on Social Media. ...
  7. Sell Branded Products. ...
  8. Increase Speed of Service.
Mar 15, 2024

How to increase table turnover in a restaurant? ›

10 Tips for improving table turnover rate
  1. Train your servers. ...
  2. Streamline your kitchen operations. ...
  3. Keep your menu simple. ...
  4. Don't seat incomplete parties. ...
  5. Serve guests as soon as possible. ...
  6. Play around with design and ambiance. ...
  7. Assign more servers to larger parties. ...
  8. Optimize overall operations.
Aug 23, 2021

How to flip tables fast? ›

Limit menu size

Large menus often lead to decision fatigue, and customers will take longer to order. A small menu makes the process more efficient, which helps limit the time a party occupies a table. A smaller menu can also mean your kitchen operations are more efficient and cost-effective, helping drive sales faster.

How to stand out as a server? ›

15 waitstaff tips for success as a server
  1. Maintain friendly professionalism. ...
  2. Entertain nearly all customer requests. ...
  3. Become an expert on your menu. ...
  4. Greet customers with enthusiasm. ...
  5. Communicate authentically. ...
  6. Anticipate customer requests. ...
  7. Check on customers at appropriate intervals. ...
  8. Upsell with courtesy.
Sep 26, 2023

How to be a good server in a busy restaurant? ›

7 Server Etiquette Tips to Getting More Tips
  1. Introduce Yourself to Every Guest (and Write Thank You on Every Check) ...
  2. Learn How to Upsell. ...
  3. Always Tell Your Guests the Specials. ...
  4. Handle 'Campers' with Care. ...
  5. Leave A Token of Appreciation. ...
  6. Ask Your Manager for Consistent Feedback. ...
  7. Seek Out Hospitality Skills Training Opportunities.

What are the most important goals for servers? ›

Customer service excellence goals are paramount for Servers, as the quality of service directly impacts guest satisfaction and business success. These goals might include mastering the art of upselling, improving table turnover rates without rushing guests, or becoming adept at handling difficult situations with grace.

What type of server makes the most money? ›

High Paying Waiter Jobs
  • Head Waiter. Salary range: $38,000-$85,000 per year. ...
  • Fine Dining Server. Salary range: $24,000-$51,000 per year. ...
  • Food Specialist. Salary range: $26,000-$43,000 per year. ...
  • Buffet Steward. Salary range: $40,000-$42,000 per year. ...
  • Cafe Server. ...
  • Restaurant Worker. ...
  • Cafeteria Assistant. ...
  • Food Service Worker.

Who gets tipped the most? ›

According to the study, bartenders are the most likely to get a tip, with over 50% of respondents saying they either do or would tip these workers. Just under that, restaurant dine-in waitstaff and restaurant delivery people came in second and third place, respectively.

Which restaurant servers make the most money? ›

Top Paying Companies
  • Outback Steakhouse. $56,182/yr. ...
  • Olive Garden Italian Restaurants. $55,789/yr. 8K open jobs.
  • Red Lobster. $55,233/yr. 5K open jobs.
  • Chipotle. $50,942/yr. 6K open jobs.
  • Denny's. $50,415/yr. 9K open jobs.
  • Hilton. $50,395/yr. 7K open jobs.
  • Hyatt. $49,387/yr. 4K open jobs.
  • Marriott International. $46,974/yr. 61K open jobs.

How to handle multiple tables as a waitress? ›

The thing to start with is to acknowledge the other tables by at least walking up to them and saying “Hey everyone I have 1 (or 2) other table(s) to see before you, but I will get to you as soon as I can”. Move with a sense of urgency and stay focused.

How to handle more tables as a server? ›

  1. Combine trips and tasks to save time. If one table needs drinks and the adjacent table needs a check, bring both together. ...
  2. Anticipating needs- if a table orders something that commonly comes with a sauce or side, bring it ahead of time or ask if they need it when taking the order. ...
  3. Be a team player.
Aug 5, 2020

How to do rotation as a host? ›

It's the host's job to memorize every floor plan, choose the right floor plan for the shift, and know which sections belong to which server. Rotation - Seating rotation refers to the order in which each server's section is seated. Because there are multiple servers on duty, the host must seat each section in turn.


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