Restaurant Tips

Stay Organized as a New Server : 7 Expert Tips


Being a server is a daunting job, both mentally and physically challenging. They are hosts, guest support, educators, and influencers. And their ability to survive in the business is based on everything from appearance to communication. All those skills directly impact a server’s rep and tips.

Servers need to get organized because when they are not, it becomes obvious and turns guests off. Here are tips to stay organized as a new server if you’re just entering the game.

1. Stay Observant

Dealing with multiple tables and many guests requires being sharp-eyed. You can stop at tables to see how everybody’s doing but even as you walk by you should casually check out the situation. Be ready to ask if they need a fresh glass of lemonade before getting a request. Keep an eye on what may be a discreet wave for the bill.

Believe it or not, it will get easier even as the juggling gets more intense.

2. Know the Menu

It’s not unusual for employers to send you home with the menu and the understanding you’re going to learn it inside and out  (food, drinks, desserts, etc.) before you start serving. If they don’t, you should make it a priority to do so anyway. Guests appreciate servers that can answer questions and make educated suggestions. 

As time passes, you’ll likely have the menu memorized. That’s going to have a tremendous impact on the quality of service you provide. It’ll save time getting orders, make interaction easier, and improve tips.

3. Look for Ways to Manage Efficiency

Efficiency is an invaluable skill. That requires not simply serving but creating good relations with as many guests as possible while providing exceptional, multitasking service. Be productive and strive to be efficient in clearing dishes, setting tables, helping to pick food and beverages, keeping kitchen staff on point, and more.

4. Develop Warmth and Friendliness

The key to server success is being a good communicator. You need to be agreeable, versatile, flexible, and friendly. Always greet your guests and introduce yourself. Smile as much as you can stand it until the act becomes commonplace. A connection that includes laughter and smiles increases the possibility of a great tip. That can lead to guest recognition and future visits to your tables.

5. Stay Stocked on the Essentials

Pencils and working pens are crucial to your performance. Your restaurant server apron should be loaded with straws, writing utensils, and an extra notebook. You NEVER want to discover you don’t have what should be readily available tools when you’re standing at the table.

6. Doublecheck All Orders

We highly recommend cross-checking orders before taking them to the kitchen. If there are questions (and in the beginning, there may be), you can take them back to the table. Better to use other servers or guests to correct orders before screwing the order up. That’s the last thing you want to do.

7. The Guest Is Always Right

It’s one of the hardest edicts to accept in the hospitality business, but you must approach every situation as if the guest’s right. Making a fuss and fighting won’t do you any good. A person spending money will stand their ground. Instead, strive to be humble, polite, wise, and apologetic. Project a need to fix problems, not agitate them.


Being organized is the first step to becoming a successful server. Everything from pens, memory, eye contact, comfortable footwear, and the perfect apron helps you stay on point and reap rewards. You want a firm grasp of the menu and to be comfortable with the kitchen staff. Stay diversified, motivated, and enthusiastic to maximize productivity and create the server every guest deserves.