There has been no detailed exploration as to what personality traits will make a successful server. However, it is incredibly likely that servers will score high on extraversion, as this will give them the skills they need to provide high quality customer service. They will also most likely be conscientious, as they will need to follow rules, regulations and meet deadlines/timelines. Agreeableness may also be useful, as this will allow them to work as part of a team.
Accomplishment and mastery
Although servers will learn their skills very quickly in a short space of time, there still isn’t a huge sense of accomplishment and mastery. Sometimes, servers may feel accomplishment or mastery if they overcome a problem or make a customer exceedingly happy. But, except for this, there is probably little accomplishment and mastery.
Meaning and contribution
I think we can all agree, that the work of a server will not change the world or make a positive change to society. Therefore, it has little meaning and contribution. There is, however, some meaning to the customer – when they are served excellent food and have the opportunity to bond with family/friends/colleagues, they will be thankful for the work of servers.
Many waiters and waitresses will work part time, whilst working another job and/or studying. Typically, they will work early mornings, late evenings, weekends and holidays as this is when most people will want to eat out. This means it can provide a difficult life fit, especially for those who have a family.
Who will thrive in this career?
The first thing you will need to thrive as a server is the desire to interact with others. In order to provide excellent customer service and leave a lasting impression, it is vital that servers are engaging, friendly and welcoming. Similarly, you must be able to work as part of a team, as most restaurants promote a cohesive working environment.
To really thrive as a server, you will excellent communication skills. You will have to communicate with customers and colleagues and must be able to actively listen, understand customer concerns and relay information to the chefs (e.g., orders, special dietary requirements). Attention to detail is also key, as servers will need to remember customers orders with specific preferences and pay attention to the quality of the food.
Who will struggle in this career?
Those with poor people skills, or those who do not like interacting with people all day, will struggle with being a server. This is because servers must be highly engaging and thrive of interaction in order to provide excellent customer service and a long lasting impression. Similarly, those who cannot think on their feet or remain calm in stressful situations may struggle as sever, as it is a fast paced jobs where things often go wrong and need resolving. Finally, if you cannot work well as part of a team then you may struggle with the dynamic of a career in serving. Nearly all servers will work in a close nit and cohesive team.