How To Hire Wait Staff
The wait staff at a restaurant or cafe are responsible for serving and assisting customers, and overall ensuring that they have a positive experience with the business. They are the first point of contact for a customer, and will attend to all of their needs, answer questions, and resolve any issues.
Wait staff are responsible for providing great customer service to guests from the moment that they enter the venue, until they leave. They must have a complete understanding and knowledge of the menu, specials, and be able to suggest meals to suit dietary requirements. They need to always consider and execute health and safety measures with the food they are serving, and ensure customer satisfaction is their main priority.
Day-to-day tasks of this role:
- Greet customers as they arrive.
- Set up tables.
- Lead customers to their tables, provide water and menus.
- Take orders, suggest specials, and make adjustments according to dietary requirements.
- Serve meals to customers.
- Resolve any issues and answer questions.
- Take payments.
- Clear dishes from tables.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLE
Skills profile for Wait Staff
There are no tertiary qualifications required to be employed as wait staff, however having relevant industry experience is favourable. There are some common skills required for this role. Wait staff must be comfortable with being on their feet for long periods of time during long shifts. They must enjoy working in a fast paced environment, serving multiple tables at any one time, and going above and beyond for all of their customers.
It is essential that wait staff have excellent customer service skills. They must always provide a positive, memorable experience for all patrons in the venue, and understand that the service they provide will determine the success of the business. They must have a customer centric mentality, and be as accommodating as possible to customer requests.
It is also important that wait staff always have an enthusiastic attitude. They must be positive and engaging in all encounters with customers, and provide a fun and happy experience to every customer throughout their shift. They must display enthusiasm about the venue, menu and services the business provides, and overall about the experience of visiting the restaurant/cafe.
Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position.
Wait Staff Job Description
- Why is this role being filled?
- How does this role fit into the organization and the team?
- What makes your company unique?
- What would it be like to work for you?
- What technical skills are needed for this role?
- Which soft skills are applicable?
- What are the nice-to-have experiences of your ideal candidate?
- Include availability preferences in this section
- What are the key deliverables for this role?
- What does the day-to-day of this role look like?
- Compensation & bonuses
- Employee benefits & perks
- Ongoing training benefits
PRO TIP #1
As this role requires the candidate to be on their feet all day, carry dishes and perform other physically demanding tasks, it is important to include this in the application description so that the candidate is aware of these requirements, and to ensure that your business is hiring people that are capable of fulfilling the role.
PRO TIP #2
Ensure that the entire recruitment process from job description to assessment to interview reiterates your company vision and values. This will help you identify the right people for the role, and applicants will know whether your company is the right fit for them.
Sample skills assessment
Question Type: Document
Imagine you’re serving a large table of loud customers who cannot make up their mind about their orders. How would you manage this? Please outline this on the document below.
Question Type: Text
How would you maintain positivity with your customers when you’re not in a great mood yourself?
Question Type: Video
What is the best customer service experience you have had? What made it so memorable?
Interview guide for Wait Staff
Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The PDF interview guide contains structured questions against each of the competencies for this role.
This interview guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the Vervoe skills assessment. Where a candidate has scored Low – Medium on a skill, focus on asking more questions from that skill to gain deeper insight into their level of competency.
PDF INTERVIEW GUIDE
Get your copy of the interview guide to complete the hiring process. Includes questions against each of the skill competencies for the role.