5 transferable skills you learn in a waiting staff job

5 transferable skills you learn in a waiting job

5 transferable skills you learn in a waiting job

Rachael Langley our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 13/08/2020

There's more to being a waiting staff than simply taking orders and delivering food. To truly serve up success, you need to have a wide range of skills – but the good news is that you can learn each of these on the job.

We couldn’t deliver the service that we do without our waiters and waitresses, so you could say they bring a lot to the table. But what do you gain in a role like this? We’re going to bring you the top five transferable skills you learn in a waiting staff job.

What are transferable skills?

But first, what are transferable skills? Think of transferable skills as your Swiss Army knife of abilities. They’re sometimes known as soft skills. These are the talents, knowledge, and qualities you pick up along the way through school, work, volunteering, or just life in general. 

And here's the magic: you can whip out this toolkit in any situation, not just your current job or field.

Why are transferable skills important?

These skills are like chameleons - they adapt to whatever you throw at them. Need to communicate effectively? Check. Solving tricky problems? No problem. Working seamlessly in a team? You got it.

Transferable skills aren't just icing on the cake; they're the cake itself. They're the reason why you can go from being a rockstar in one job to acing it in a completely different gig. They're your golden ticket to success, now and in the future.

Working in the waiting team helps you build valuable skills. The skills you bag on the job can be your ticket to success no matter where your career takes you,  because they'll help you thrive in all sorts of work environment.

What are the transferable skills you’ll pick up as a waiter or waitress?



1. Become the ultimate team player

Teamwork makes the dream work, there’s no I in team, many hands make light work. We’ve all heard expressions like these about the power of teamwork but have you ever stopped and wondered how working in a team can boost your career? With 125 years under our belt, we know a thing or two about teamwork.

You’ll come together with fellow waiters and waitresses as well as kitchen assistants, head chefs and general managers. 

So, not only do you improve your peer-to-peer teamwork skills, from collaboration to delegation, but you learn to work alongside people in different roles. You will broaden your horizons by learning from people with different backgrounds, making you the ultimate team player.

 2. Improve your people skills

In a waiting job, you will strengthen your social superpowers. Practice makes perfect, and when you’re surrounded by guests all day, you’ll learn some extraordinary abilities when it comes to interacting with others. People skills are key in the hospitality industry.

Whether working in a Harvester, the nation’s family favourite, or a bustling O’Neills with an electric atmosphere, as a waiting team member, you will have to think on your feet. Customer service can be unpredictable but polishing your active listening skills will often save the day and help you dazzle your guests

3. gain crisis management skills

There’s no denying that working as a waiter or waitress teaches you how to always deliver and even step up as a crisis hero. In a bustling pub or restaurant, you’ve got to think on your feet. Responding to unexpected challenges will help give you the skills to manage each and every situation that’s thrown at you. 

Waiting team members learn early on how to manage all possible situations, whether it’s tracking down a missing drink or talking guests through a more serious emergency.


4. Build unbreakable resilience

Resilience is all about how you bounce back from a difficult situation. On a busy shift, it's not uncommon for waiting staff members to face a few hiccups. As a waiter or waitress, you will first master how to get a handle on a problem and next, you will learn how to recover from it.

Have you ever spilled a drink in a guest’s lap? We’re happy to break it to you that you’re not the first and you won’t be the last.

Luckily, these experiences will teach you the ropes and lay the building blocks for an unbreakable level of resilience. Resilience is a stand-out skill to have no matter which job you move onto next.

5. Master effective communication skills

Communication is key. How many times have we heard this? We all know how important it is to have crystal-clear communication at work and that’s why most jobs list it as an essential skill. In fact, when managers and employees were asked to rank key leadership skills, communication secured a spot in the top five.

Every waiter and waitress knows all too well that each guest needs a different communication style. So, if you stay in the restaurant industry or decide to change up your career you’ll have a transferable skill that will help you to be adaptable and communicate with people from all walks of life.

Hone transferable skills at Mitchells and Butlers

Do you want to become a part of a 44,000 strong work family? If you’re passionate about food and want to build your career in a friendly workplace then a waiting staff job at M&B might just be the right fit for you. And with these five transferable skills, you'll have the right ingredients for a successful career, whichever way you steer it.

Just take Danielle, who made the move from cabin crew to M&B team member, finding there were so many similarities between the jobs.

So what are you waiting for? Browse our current waiting staff jobs, or sign up to job alerts to be the first to hear about our latest opportunities.

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