waitress job description

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Restaurant Waiter/Waitress

To waiter in the restaurant, working as a team to take orders, set, serve and clear
tables and deal with the exchange of bills and money.

As a waiter/waitress you are an important member of the team. As you will have
the most contact with the customer during their dining experience, it is essential
that you are polite and courteous when you welcome them into the diningroom,
during the service of the meal and remember to always thank them when they
leave. Any queries or question a customer may have, which you cannot answer,
should be passed on to a supervisor.

It is extremely important that you work as a team member; provide polite and
efficient service at all times to maintain the exceptional standard of service and
quality that we have at the Plockton Hotel.

Daily Work Tasks

Evening meals are served between 6 and 9 pm.

o The restaurant will have already been set at lunchtime but if, on occasion it has
not been possible, here is how to set the restaurant.

o Each place setting will need a folded napkin, a set of starter cutlery and a
polished 175ml wine glass. The fork is placed on the left and the knife on the
right, the serrated side facing inward. The glasses are on the dresser in the
restaurant. These are to be polished using a glass cloth over a pot of boiling

o The tea-light candles in the windows and the church candles on the dresser are
to be lit using the tapers and the matches, which are beside the till in the bar.

o The stereo is inside the cupboard, which takes 3 CDs. The CDs to be played in
the restaurant are in the drawer above the stereo. The CD player must be
switched on, ensuring there are 3 CDs in it. The stereo is just for background
noise and therefore should not be too loud or too quiet. Volume numbers 13-16
are about right for the restaurant. The restaurant is ready for service!

o In the kitchen, there are a few things to be done before service begins. Any
cutleries, which are in pots left over from lunchtime, are to be polished in a pot of
boiling water and placed in the appropriate cutlery trays.
o Saucepots are to be filled from the tubs in the fridge, placing a teaspoon in
each and replacing the lids.

o All vinegar and salad dressing bottles are to be filled up and wiped down and
placed on new plates with doyleys.

o Homemade bread needs to be sliced next, 10 slices per loaf and placed on the
breadboard and covered.

o Baskets and dishes for finger bowls can be placed beside the sink in the sweet
room with a dish of lemons so that they are ready for any seafood orders.

o Every night, certain waiter/waitresses will be allocated to certain tasks, ie taking
orders, setting up tables, taking out meals and sweet person. These will change
nightly and please note that we work as a team and therefore if you have been
allocated a task, this does not mean you can’t help someone else with their task!

o Ensure you have your key for the EPOS machine, a triplicate order pad and a
pen ready for orders. These can be found behind the bar.

o Make sure you have read the specials off the board and that you have checked
with the kitchen if there are any deviations in the menu. It is helpful to write
specials and how many of a certain item are left on the back of your order pad to
avoid memory blanks when you get to the table.

o The kitchen will also inform you if they are running low of any item throughout
the night. It is YOUR responsibility to ensure all waiter/waitresses who are taking
orders are kept informed.

o It is helpful to check the bookings book before service so you know which
tables guests will be going to. This is useful as you can show guests straight to
their table without having to go and check first, it is also more professional. Once
they are seated, give them a copy of the menu and offer them a drink. Some
guests may like to have a drink in reception or the bar before entering the
restaurant. The same applies, give them a copy of the menu and offer a drink.
Make sure at this point that the guests know of any deviations to the menu and
the specials. If they are in the bar you can point out the specials board for them
to read while they are having a drink.

o How to take an order: we use the triplicate order pads, as we need three copies
of the order. The carbon copy sits on top of one copy with the other two on top.
The table number is written at the top and bottom. The number of covers, ie
number of people at the table, is written on the top righthand side.

o Starters are written first and a line is placed under them and the main courses
are written underneath. The starter and main courses can be written any way you
like, within reason, no hieroglyphics please! It is just as easy to shorten words, ie
poached smoked fillet of haddock could be P/S Haddock. All main courses have
the option of chips, potatoes, salad and vegetables. These are to be offered and
written as so - C/P/S/V. Seafood platters and prawn mains come with bread and
salad and although this is stated on the menu, some people may ask for chips or
potatoes, which would be charged as an extra. If a customer orders a steak, ask
them how they would like it cooked, ie rare, med-rare, well done, etc. Make sure
you write this clearly on the order. This order is then taken into the kitchen and
read out. The top copy goes on the tab grabber on the left of the serving area.
The second copy, the see-through one goes down to the starter table and goes
up on the tab grabber. The third copy gets spiked at the EPOS machine.

o More and more recently, there are a number of food intolerances and allergies.
Therefore, more often than not a customer will ask you whether they can leave
something out of a dish or ask your opinion on ingredients in certain dishes. It is
NEVER a problem to do this. So if you are unsure, always ask either a supervisor
or another waiter/ waitress.

o A customer will quite often order drinks with you or wine, etc. On the bar,
beside the bookings book are order pads, which drinks are to be clearly written
on with the table number. A second copy must be spiked at the EPOS machine
also. Although the bar staff will take the drinks out to the table, you should always
keep your eye out for anyone who doesn’t appear to have a drink and likewise
anyone who might like another.

o When setting up an order, the order, which is on the tab grabber in the kitchen,
should be ticked on the bottom. This allows the kitchen staff to move the order
over to their own tab grabber. The cutlery is always placed on a tray with a
napkin and carried out to the table. Every table will already have starter cutlery. If
someone is having soup you will need to take a soup spoon and replace it with
the fork on the table. When setting the table, move the starter cutlery, by the
base, slightly out just enough to fit the main course cutlery inside it. Place the
fork on the left and the knife on the right, serrated side facing inward cutlery,
back on each side. The soup spoon is placed on the right hand side beside the
knife. If someone is not having starters take any excess cutlery back on the tray.

o When serving food, the kitchen staff will keep you right on which table you are
going to and what salad, vegetables, etc you need. Serve to the right, clear from
the left. Once you have taken the meal out, after a couple of minutes ensure you
go back and ask ‘How is everything for you’. This allows the customer the
opportunity to tell you how the meal is or ask for any extras. If a complaint is
made, thank them and then inform a supervisor.

o During the night, always keep your eyes open to anyone finishing their meal,
needing any drinks, etc.
o Once people have finished their meal, always offer the dessert menu, tea or
coffee. Make sure the waitress who is on desserts knows where the menus are.

o If the customer requires their bill, use your key in the EPOS machine to SUB
and CASH their bill. Keep the top copy yourself and give the other copy to the
customer, the bottom of it folded over. Give the customer a minute or so and go
back to the table or you can check at a glance if they have their method of
payment on the table.

o When ringing the bill through the till always remember to separate the food and
the drink, which is detailed on the top copy of the bill, which you have kept.

o Always take the change back to the customer even if you think that it is a tip.

o At the end of the night ensure all tables, mats and cruets are wiped down.

o Breakfasts are then set in the diningroom.

o Ensure all the bread is placed back in the bread bin and that all the sauces are
back in the fridge.

o Remember to wipe down all the surfaces in the sweet room as detailed in the
cleaning sheets and sign them.

o The coffee machine is emptied and cleaned out and switched off always
ensuring no milk jugs are left.

o If the waitresses are finished before the kitchen staff you can always help to put
dishes away, sweep the floor, etc.

o Although these are standard daily tasks there will on occasion be times when
your duties will differ from those on your job description.

o Always work as a team.

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