How to Be Successful in the Service Industry

How to Be Successful in the Service Industry

Ottawa has a booming restaurant community, and it’s no secret; there is a lot of money in the restaurant business. With so many restaurants offering different atmospheres, dining experiences and food and drink options Ottawa patrons are spoiled for choice. Between large clusters of restaurants found in places such as the Byward Market or Little Italy and the many hidden gems found in the suburbs the options are endless. The service industry offers employment opportunity for many of Ottawa’s residents and it’s clear that it’s a lucrative business to be involved with. However success doesn’t come naturally to every server. Here are five things a server needs in order to be successful.


Serving is a customer service based job and dealing with customers all day every day is how you make your living. If you aren’t what is classified as a “people person” you may not make is successfully in the service industry. Being approachable and relatable makes the dining experience enjoyable for the customer and in turn an enjoyable experience for yourself!

Good management

The restaurant management has a direct correlation to the success of the business which trickles down to the success of the serving staff. Managers are responsible for having the best processes, tracking systems, and restaurant inventory software in order to maximize staff productivity. The more efficiently a shift runs the better the experience for all parties involved.

Good clientele

Since your customers are your bread and butter it helps to have a loyal list of clientele. Customers that enjoy your service and that you build relationships with overtime make great patrons and tend to be generously gratuitous.

Knowledge of your products

As a server you are a salesperson and your inventory is the menu. Knowing the ingredients of each dish can save you a lot of time running back to the kitchen to check with the cooks. Knowledge of the menu also allows you to answer any questions regarding allergies and you can help to avoid any allergic reactions. Menu retention an important part of serving and shows that you are committed to your job.

Positive attitude

We all have bad days, days where we just wish we could stay in bed all day and not face the general public. As a server, having days like this can directly affect your bottom line. The ability to turn on your positive attitude on command is a huge skill any server worth their salt has learned to perfect.

Being successful in the restaurant business is not as easy as it may seem. Hard work, manners and many hours on your feet are only part of what is required to be successful. Restaurants always have been and always will be a team environment, and if teamwork is properly executed can yield job satisfaction and high pay days for everyone.


Faith Murray is a stay-at-home Mom and former law clerk from Ottawa, ON. Her passions include country music and beating her husband at Scrabble.

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