Learn How To Master Your Multitasking Skills To Stay Ahead of The Game and Provide Better Customer Service.
In the bustling world of restaurants, where the clinking of cutlery and the hum of conversation create a lively ambiance, your ability to multitask is not just a desirable trait but a fundamental skill for success.
Restaurant workers, from hosts to servers to kitchen staff, are at the heart of a fast-paced environment that demands adaptability, efficiency, and a keen sense of urgency and time management.
We are constantly juggling multiple requests from teammates as well as customers. In the hustle and bustle of the dining room, multitasking is not just a convenience. It’s necessary to help you run your shift smoothly and make all your work look seamless.
Here are some tips to help you develop solid multitasking skills to stay ahead of the game.
Mastering Time Management
Imagine a busy Saturday evening–tables are filled, orders pour in, and customers eagerly await their meals. Whether prepping multiple plates in the kitchen or running the drinks to the 6-top before greeting your next table, you’re never taking care of “just one thing” on the floor.
Whichever your role, ensure your station is organized and properly stocked at the start of your shift with silverware, napkins, or garnishes. Create a routine for yourself during shifts, and set time limits on tasks to better manage your time on the floor or behind the line.
Without proper time management between tasks, the sequence of service for your guests can be disrupted with longer wait times and order mistakes, causing dissatisfied customers.
Learning to Prioritize Tasks
In the restaurant world, every second counts—from the moment a customer walks into your establishment to the moment they leave. Understanding the proper sequence of service can help you prioritize your tasks efficiently and offer a better dining experience for your guests.
Servers can drop appetizers to one table before taking the order of another, ensuring that each customer receives prompt service. In the kitchen, chefs can coordinate the preparation of multiple dishes simultaneously, reducing overall ticket times and expediting service.
Having a more thoughtful approach when maneuvering through the floor ensures a smooth flow of operations.
For example, a server might prioritize their tasks as follows:
- Deliver hot food first
- Drop off drinks/waters
- Greet new tables
- Present the check to tables ready to cash out
- Take drink orders
- Take food orders
- Check-in on customers who have just received their meal
- Bus tables who have left or nearing the end of their meals
Also, a friendly reminder to always ask the table before taking a dish away. You never know if there is a last bite on the plate that they are savoring.
Knowing When To Ask For Help
It’s easy to get overwhelmed during the rush, especially when orders keep coming in and more tables are seated. Your MOD or coworkers won’t know you need help unless you ask, so make sure to ask for help when you get in the weeds.
Learning how to delegate small tasks to others will help you in the long run. Asking somebody to run your food, drop water, or box up some leftovers are easy tasks that a host or busser can do between their lulls.
Don’t forget to reciprocate and help out your teammates when they need it. Restaurants are often well-oiled machines that require the whole team to contribute for it to succeed, so running drinks or food for someone else’s section is not an uncommon ask.
There are a lot of moving parts to restaurants, and chances are you won’t be tackling just one task at a time. Multitasking is not just a skill that you should master. It’s a cornerstone of success in the restaurant industry. It enables us to manage time efficiently in fast-paced kitchens or dining rooms by prioritizing tasks and knowing when to ask for help.