food and beverage underground

Learn Your Server Job Description
Then Sharpen Your Skills

There are many things that make up the finer points of a server job description but in general here is where you should expect to start. We will continually broaden this description and sharpen your skills as we progress through the articles here on the site.

A server job description is intended to give a positional breakdown but a good food and beverage employee never just settles for getting the basics done, nor do they limit their responsibilities to just their narrow job duties. If you want to get ahead in the business your real job description is a compilation of all of the duties and responsibilities in the restaurant.

General Serving Points

Taking Orders

You are responsible for taking the guests orders, keeping them organized, and timing the course of service for your guests. You are also responsible to make sure that you are not just an order taker, but that you are well versed in the products so you can guide your guests experience and sell.

Keeping a spotless working environment

Always make sure your section is well maintained with clean and polished silverware and glasses. The tables are well organized. Chairs brushed off and flooring swept or vacuumed.

Capping ashtrays:

By having an ashtray in your pocket, you can quickly offer one, or easily cap and remove a soiled one, replacing it with a fresh ashtray. This is a very important point of service. Even ONE cigarette butt should be cleared from table, especially if the guests are trying to enjoy their meal.

Lighting cigarettes:

Be sure to “Flick your bic” well away from the guest’s face and allow them to guide your hand to the cigarette. Watching every customer will enable you to “tag” every cigarette in the restaurant.

Anticipate your guest needs:

If you clear a plate with a needed utensil on it make sure you replace the utensil right away. The also is true if an item will be needed; pre-set any such utensils before your guest needs it (such as a soup spoon).Your server job description keeps you on top of every guest need.

Staying in your section:

Always stay in view of your section, it is not the host or hostesses responsibility to come and get you when you have a table they have a job to do to and it is not looking all over the restaurant for you. It's in your server job description not in theirs.

Know your specials and 86 items

This is your job and product knowledge is essential and the items are a special treat for the guests so treat them as that: a special item.

Service Standards are Part of Your Server Job Description

Major Goals

Our idea is polite, professional, fast, and courteous service. The level of professionalism expected is high. As a server, your section is the entire restaurant—the bar, the phone, the food line, etc. This isn’t to say you will have every table to yourself, but if a job description were set for your restaurant people, its responsibilities would be innumerable—from polishing glasses, capping ashtrays, pouring water and wine, bussing tables and resetting tables, to lighting cigarettes, etc. All of these and more define our teamwork and attitude. Your ATTITUDE and how you fit into our team is essential. With that in mind, The restaurant is your house and the guests are your guests. Treat them with respect, and you will receive the same in return. While the responsibility of assuring great service to the entire restaurant is big, with teamwork it becomes easy and flowing.

Customer Super Satisfaction

Above all else remember that you are here to serve your guests needs and everything around your server job description is about this. All else should be put aside when pleasing your customer comes into play. They are the only reason you have a job at all so keeping that job is completely dependent on pleasing your guests!
That is Your Server Job Description!

Thinking AHEAD!

The best ally is yourself thinking ahead, as your worst enemy is yourself not thinking. Anticipate your guest needs. Communicate to your co-workers. If you see yourself or anyone approaching the weeds, prepare each other by arming each other with that information. Forewarned is forearmed. They have the same server job description so they should be ready to help you too.

The Greeting

The greeting of a new table is a critical point in your server job description. Greeting your guests quickly is essential. If you can not get it there right away, communicate to another team member “Greet table 24 for me please” Now take this time to greet your guest in a friendly, polite manner, and ask them if this is their first visit to (your restaurant). This will enable you to identify yourself with the table and what they know and expect. Now is the time for your knowledge and pride in (Your Restaurant) to shine through. Take control of the table from the start. If it is a return experience give a shorter direction through the menu pared with questioning the guest on their last visit and current appetite. This will encourage a friendly dialogue, and allow you to further assume control, and direct the pace of the table. “Reading” the guest will come in time and exceptions will arise. Some want to get in-and-out, while others will stay and relax. Questions give you the information you need. Communication again is the key.

Look, Think and DO!

Another service point to remember during the course of the dining experience, is never ask a guest If her or she would like more water or tea. An inferior server asks the table if they want good service. A good server just gives it! If you ever feel a problem arising, notify a manager. The manager wants to hear both the good and the bad feedback. When the food is served, ask specific questions about each dish. This will allow for more guest feedback. Remember; (Your Restaurant) is possibly a new experience for your guest and we need to know not only what you think, but what our guests are thinking. Through the course of dinner make sure you are keeping all straws, empty sugar packets, and empty glasses off the table. The rule here is; if it looks like an eye sore to you, then it is for the guest as well. Just look and think!

Help Where You Can

Teamwork is part of your server job description so help where you can. Try to keep your feet moving and your hands full. During your normal travels to and from the bar and kitchen you go through your neighbors section so keep your eyes open for areas where you can help and they will do the same.

The Check

When it appears that some of the guest are starting to finish; ask the guest “shall I take that plate for you or are you just pausing?” This “either/or” approach leaves no question in the mind of the guest but it also does not “rush” the guest. After all the plates are cleared offer the guest coffee, desert or possible an after dinner drink. If nothing is desired, present the check promptly this is the time that a great meal can turn to good if the guests last impression is having to wait for a check. Some guest may “lolly-gag” for an hour but when they are ready to pay, they are ready now! If the customer is paying by credit card, thank them by stating the last name on the card when returning their card with receipt. Keep all of your tickets, if the guest takes it print off another.


Must be done by the manager on duty. Put in proper order before bringing to office: staple all of your checks to your server report. Have your money ready. Do not leave until checking out (not cashing out) with a closer and get a closer signature on your server report. The manager on duty will not take your checkout until you have be signed off by a closer. Side work has to be done.

Tip outs

Follow your restaurant policies and procedures and server job description.

From Server Job Description - Waiter

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