Waiting Tables Video Masterclass Here:
As a waiter or server, if you can learn how to talk to a customer and make small talk, then you’re well on your way on increasing your check average and making good tips. Better tips come from customers who are happy and feel like they got great service and treatment.
How to start a conversation with your customers | How to make small talk with a customer
1. Know your restaurant and your surroundings.
What is the location of your restaurant? Are you in a hotel? Are you in a area with a lot of tourism? Is this a regular neighborhood restaurant with regulars? Is this restaurant inside a large mall or shopping center? Is this the kind of large corporate chain restaurant that’s on the side of the freeway?
2. Every customer is different, with a different personality, and experiencing different emotions that day.
Part of having empathy is understanding that human beings are complex but are usually motivated by simple things. You will have to test the waters and adapt.
3. Be prepared to smile. Be prepared to talk. About anything.
Readiness is spontaneity. Human communication should not be scripted, because we know the difference. Walking around with a forced smile is strange and people will often view it as fake. But if you are prepared to smile and prepared to laugh and prepared to engage in spontaneous conversation, then you are ready to communicate and connect with another human being.
4. Look for a easy opportunity to ask a genuine caring question about the person, like when you are dropping their drinks.
It should be relevant to here and now. For observational. You can ask them how is your day going or getting some good shopping done today if they have bags. Make the comment positive, innocent and harmless, this demonstrates that you are open to talking with them. Now even if they don’t engage in conversation with you, You have at least tried to meet them halfway. This is enough for most people.
5. Be confident.
This is always easier said than done if you’re like 80% of the Earth’s population. But your confidence can come from knowing and understanding how to make small talk work for you. This takes the courage to try and to try consistently. The majority of communication is nonverbal. So if you feel good about your self and you are happy, and you genuinely have feelings of concern for your patrons, and if you will make even the slightest attempt at small talk if nothing else for fun or practice, you will open your tables to a world of potential conversation and it will happen effortlessly.
This is a good book I have read for confidence and anxiety:
For other tips on how to be a good server watch