Something they don’t tell you about when you’re filling out the application, sitting through orientation and going through training is about the fan club you can get while serving. But don’t worry, I’m here to share the secret.
One of the hidden perks of serving is the fan club you can build. These members of your fan club are commonly referred to as “regulars.”
Regulars are easily one of the best parts of serving. They make you feel special by asking to sit in your section, ask about your life, and consistently leave 20%. You could even go as far to say that they make you feel like a mini-celebrity.
I have one couple that followed me from the last restaurant I worked for. They still text me every weekend to ask me when I’m working just so they can come see me. When they come in they immediately question me like a pack of eager paparazzi (“So this is what being a Kardashian feels like!”). If I ever direct the conversation to ask them how they’re doing, they give me curt “everything’s fine!” and ask me more about my last trip to Vegas.
I recently developed another regular at the local bar I work at. She always wants to hear all about how I’m doing and rains more compliments on me than I can count on both hands. She reminds me every time she sees me how sweet I am, just for treating her like a human being. She genuinely makes me wonder, “Why don’t all people think I’m this great?” (This is one is still in debate by philosophers.) She loves gossiping with me, comments every time someone is rude to me and consistently leaves a 50% tip.
Essentially, regulars are your own fan club. This is a group of people that seek you out, give you an unnecessarily large sum of money for being you and sincerely adore you.
Obviously, this development doesn’t happen overnight. It takes some kissing ass, stellar talent, and a charming personality.
Kissing ass is step number one. The thing about people is they love to feel as though the only person at your bar/in your section that matters. People are well aware they are not the only people in your care, but going out to eat is often an experience for them. It’s your job to make them feel like they are the only people in your section. Whether it is for business or pleasure, people like to know that you’re sincerely concerned about their well-being. Acknowledge their needs efficiently (whether you’re faking it or not) – they’ll notice.
Once you’ve secured their attention as a guest, use your stellar talent to keep them coming back for more (even if they don’t love the food). Memorize the order, name, and drink – again, they’ll notice. I like to refer to this as stellar talent because only good servers recognize potential regulars and know how to woo them. Gaining regulars is like dating – super awkward and uncomfortable until you get to know the person. The more you know about them, the more you learn about the right and wrong buttons to press in order to gain affection and loyalty.
In the midst of your kissing ass and stellar talent being put to work, you need to top it off with a little bit of charming personality. Just be yourself with a sprinkle of confidence. A little bit of you will clarify your sincerity and keep them entertained; confidence in your serving will help you gauge appropriate times for banter, curious questions, and overall integration of your personality (if you’re anything like me you need a filter).
Then you’re in! Fan club status initiated.
What kind of awesome things does your fan club do?
The Serving Doctor