How to Make Yourself Stand Out in the Sea of Servers

Finding a gig as a server can be a fairly easy task if you are willing to work anywhere and have flexible hours and pay. Finding an excellent gig, on the other hand, can be a bit more difficult. Let me define what my idea of an excellent gig is so we’re all on the same page here.

An Excellent Serving Gig

A job that has ideal hours to fit your interests and responsibilities, pay that can sustain your lifestyle with some room for comfort and fun, products on their menus that you are proud to serve, staff and management that treat you with value and respect, room for personal and professional growth, and a uniform that doesn’t make you wish you didn’t have curves (sorry guys, that one is for the ladies in the house).

It is possible to cherry pick these kinds of jobs, but it is important that you create a background for yourself that stands out on a résumé. A few years of grunt work and a pocket full of credentials (Certified Sommelier, Culinary Graduate, etc.) are unfortunately necessary to land an Excellent Gig unless you know someone; which, hey, go with that every chance you get. There is some good news though. On the Roxi Talent App, yes a great résumé will help you to stand out, but the most important thing you can have on your profile is a handful of glowing reviews from Roxi Hosts. This will trump anything else you have going on. People trust the judgement of other likeminded people, and Roxi Hosts all have one thing in common: they’re throwing a Soirée!

A few simple tips...

There are a few pretty simple things that you can do to personally connect with and impress your Host. Maybe a few of these ideas seem like common sense to some readers, but you’ll be surprised. In my 25 years in the restaurant and catering business, I can assure you that the following basics are on-going issues among working professionals. Trust me, there are a few of these that when go unheard are straight up deal breakers for Hosts.

I am particularly referring to what is in my opinion the most important thing a server can do, and that is to have good hygiene. Please. Rule numero uno. Take a shower, brush your teeth, wear deodorant, tidy up your hair, clean up your nails a bit, don’t chew gum, and wear clothes that are clean, flattering, and that do not have holes. Hosts will most likely not tell you if they think your hygiene is offensive, they simply will not give you a review at all, let alone a good one. They will, however, tell their friends. And word-of-mouth referrals can seriously put a damper on your Roxi swagger. So again, please, consider the way you look and smell before presenting yourself in a professional manner.

Another good one is to put your phone away. Hosts are paying you to pay attention to their guests, not to scroll Instagram and text your people. There are obvious exceptions; perhaps you have a spouse, child, or situation that requires you to be available and on your device. If this is the case, be upfront with the Host before the Soirée starts to cover yourself from appearing rude and unprofessional.

Finally, to round out the deal breakers, be on time. Being prompt is polite, considerate, and professional. It’s always a great idea to map out your route to the Soirée and consider the time of day you’ll be traveling. Will it be during rush hour? Is there construction going on that can delay traffic? Consider mapping out a nearby coffee shop while you’re plotting your route. I always try to give myself enough time to grab and enjoy a coffee at a spot close to my destination. That way I can get focused and reserve a little buffer space in the event that I run late.

Let’s move on to some fine tuning. The following are a few ideas to help you stand out in a sea of servers. When you arrive, the first step is to form a game plan with your Host. Consider that they may not be an experienced Soirée thrower and that they actually need your help. Quickly discuss their expectations for their party and of you. What prep needs to be done? Ask where they would prefer people to stash their coats and whatnot, how intoxicated they want their guests to get, what the food serving schedule is like, and what time they want to start winding things down. This will give you an idea of how to manage the evening while ensuring your Host is happy and stress free. When you know what needs to be done, take over and let your Host relax.

Don’t forget about manners! Say please, thank you, you’re welcome, my pleasure (and mean it!), and make consistent eye contact with every person there. Make people feel welcome, as if they were in your home. Take their coats and offer them a drink right away. Give them the rundown of where to mingle, eat, and anything else that may be relevant to the Soirée while continuing to follow the Host’s instructions. Stay focused and keep moving. The more you move around, the better you can keep things clean and anticipate everybody’s needs.

Pick up dead glassware and plates, take out the trash when it’s full, wipe up any spills, and keep surfaces tidy. If there are wine drinkers, walk around with a bottle and ask people if they’d like a refill. Don’t make people come to you unless you’re specifically told to stay put by the Host, and don’t wait for the Host to tell you to clean things. Anticipating peoples’ needs and taking initiative are easy peasy ways to ensure awesome service, and more importantly, a rave review from the Host on Roxi.

I’m not sure how this can be possible, but customer service is pretty terrible these days, and it seems to be getting worse. I think we all can agree that the world would be a happier place if people were just a bit more attentive and warmer to those they assist. So to all the Roxi Talent out there, go ahead and take full advantage of this situation. Roxi is a remarkable opportunity to quickly excel without spending years waiting tables until the wee hours while your social life goes down in flames. It really is pretty simple to rock that Soirée and sit back and watch your profile start shining with killer reviews. Oh, and please remember to have fun. Always.

If you don't have Roxi Talent, maybe it's time to get it and try it for yourself. Download it here.

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