ATTRIBUTES OF A WAITER
quality of the establishment itself. No matter how good the food and
ambience are, poorly trained, untidy or rude staff can antagonize
customers. On the other hand, if the staffs are well-trained and
efficient, they can, to a certain extent, make up for other
shortcomings in the services provided.
1) Personal Hygiene and Appearance
· All members of the staff should be well-groomed and clean
at all times, as this gives them a sense of well-being and
confidence to do their job efficiently.
· The hands of the waiting staff should be given special
attention, as they are constantly under the scrutiny of the
guests. Nails should be trimmed, and kept clean. Playing
with one's hair and face should be avoided.
· Chewing gum should be avoided in all public areas of the
· Minimum jewellery should be worn by the service staff. A
wrist watch, finger ring and plain earrings (for girls only)
should be permitted.
· If an employee has a skin problem, a doctor should be
· Uniform should be clean and well-pressed. Shoes should
be properly polished and well-fitting.
2) Good Conduct
All service staff should be well-mannered and respectful to
guests, and to senior members of the staff. They should be
calm and pleasant, even in the most tiring circumstances. They
should be able to satisfactorily solve any problem that may
arise. In case of difficulty, a senior and experienced member of
the staff should be consulted. Tact, punctuality and honesty
are admirable qualities among service personnel.
3) Good Memory
A good memory helps to improve performance. It also
helps the service personnel to attend to small but important
details such as remembering a guest's name or his likes and
dislikes regarding food and beverage.
A keen sense of observation and an eye for detail will help
a member of the staff to be more efficient at his job. An ability
to correctly judge people is definitely an advantage. A sense of
anticipation in the service industry is an invaluable quality. The
ability to anticipate what a guest or the management needs,
even before it is asked for creates a very good impression.
5) Concentration and Skill
Waiting at a table requires concentration and skill. Service
staff should develop a sense of urgency in the performance of
their duties. Good service may not be commented upon, but
bad service is surely noticed and talked about. Service should
be prompt without the show of haste.
Food and beverage service personnel are technical
salespersons; hence they should have a thorough knowledge
of the proper presentation and service of all the food and
beverages served in the establishment. Waiters should be kept
informed by their superiors of deletions or additions to the
7) Ability to Assume Responsibility
All service staff should be able to cope up with the
demands of the job and possess the ability to assume
responsibility. They should be loyal to their employers,
responsible to the guests and friendly towards their fellow
workers. They should not consider any job as menial, and
should be willing to perform all kinds of jobs efficiently. This will
help the service staff to grow in their careers and at the same
time enhance the image of the establishment in the eyes of the
8) Maximise Revenue
Cutting down on costs and maximising the revenue of the
establishment should be of prime objective to all members of
the staff, even to those in junior positions.
Punctuality is all-important. If staff is continually late for
duty, it shows a lack of interest in his work and a lack of
respect for the management and customers.
10) Local Knowledge
In the interest of customers, the staff should have a certain
knowledge of the area in which they work so that they may be
able to advise the guests on the various forms of entertainment
offered, the best means of transport to places of interest and
Staff must be tactful, courteous, good humoured and of an
even temper. They must converse with the customer in a
pleasing and well-spoken manner and the ability to smile at the
12) Attitude to Customers
The correct approach towards the customer is of the
utmost importance. The staff must not be servile, but should
anticipate the customer's needs and wishes. A careful watch
should be kept on customers at all times during the service
without staring. Care should always be taken when dealing
with difficult customers. (There is really no such thing as a
'difficult' customer – they are normal people whom one is
uncertain how to deal with.) Staff should never argue with
customers as this will only aggravate the situation. All
complaints should he referred to someone in authority in the
food service area.
This is all-important for the staff in dealings with both the
customer and the management. If there is trust and respect in
the triangle of staff, customer and management relationships,
then there will be pleasant work atmosphere which encourages
efficiency and a good team spirit among the food and beverage