Waitress Tool Kit: Top 15 Items Every Server Should Have At Work And Why
It still amazes me when coworkers come to work not prepared to do their job. When a new server joins our team, they spend many days training with a few of us on our different shifts. During these “training days” you are shown the ropes, the box and everything you need. While these new girls are training, they are using our pens and calculators. This is when we insist that you need to bring your own tools. It’s always me who shakes my head when the same person keeps showing up empty-handed, turn after turn.
I’ll give you a list of the top 15 items I think every waitress should have on hand, in a locker, or in a bag at work with a brief explanation as to why.
1) handful of thoughts– yes, a handful would be useful. You have to write something for this job. Perhaps typing out a food order, a customer or two need to sign a credit card, a pen runs out of ink, a customer needs to borrow one to jot down a phone number or message, a pen mysteriously disappears, and of course , keep one. Useful for the new coworker who comes to work empty-handed every shift!
2) Calculator– useful for calculating cross-server tips in one tab. It’s also good to double check your calculations.
3) Scissors– always handy for something and when they’re not around, this is the time you seem to need them the most.
4) Tape– the tape is used to match a torn ticket, an out of order sign may be needed to be placed on the cigarette or lottery machine. How are you supposed to stick the “kick me” sign on the back of… just kidding!
5) felt bookmark– I use my marker a couple of times a week to lend it to a dancer to sign her posters. It is used to mark names on reservation signs and sign T-shirts for bachelor parties.
6) Aspirin– to get rid of headaches so you can get through the rest of your shift without pain.
7) tumos– for stomach aches.
8) gum or mints– It’s good to have on hand after eating stinky foods like garlic or onion. If you have a cold, it helps reduce bad breath. If you tend to chew gum like a cow, stay away from it and have a mint instead.
9) Lipstick or lip balm– You know why.
10) extra black skirt– in the event of an accident, such as a spill or a broken zipper.
eleven) additional top– in most cases an accident like a spill or something like hot sauce.
12) Sweatshirt– especially useful in the winter months. Put on a sweater and don’t play with the temperature gauge on the bar. Keep it in the comfort of the clients in the room and not for you.
13) additional footwear– a sole breaks or a zipper breaks on the boots. Sometimes a change in footwear is a welcome change to relieve pressure points so you can finish those last two hours of a shift in some comfort.
14) tampons– Yes, I did.
fifteen) “Serving It Well” Card– keep it in your bag at all times and even a photocopy of it at work. This card is required for any server serving alcohol to customers in BC, Canada. Find out about your local liquor law regulations.
This list is just a start. Over time, you’ll add items you feel are necessary to your work. By being organized and ready to tackle any shift, you’ll feel in control and look professional. In the end, you will be handsomely rewarded if you tip well!