Advice for Waiting Tables

When waiting tables, how do you handle 10 big tables when they walked in all together at the same time? When this happened I was by myself on floor.


By ahmad from Dearborn, MI

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September 10, 20090 found this helpful

The best thing to do is SMILE! If you look like you are in the weeds, they will feed on it and you will be miserable. Treat all ten tables as if they are one. Smile politely and make eye contact with as many of those waiting as possible. Say, "I'll be right with you" or something to that effect. Take all of the drink orders first, from everyone. Then as you deliver them, smile again and say, I will be right back to answer any questions and take your order.
Good Luck!

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September 11, 20090 found this helpful

Ditto with DJest but I have to ask where in the heck you work that does not have enough help that you're stuck with ten tables all by yourself :-o Most restaurants only expect seven at the very most and are rotated between two or more servers :-o Again, ditto to what DJest said!

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September 11, 20090 found this helpful

Smile, laugh, say "Welcome", pass out the menus and suggest they decide before you come around to take the orders so no-one has to wait a long time (hah). Speed to the kitchen and warn the chef.

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September 13, 20090 found this helpful

My mom waited tables for years, although her wait-staff career was spent in bars for the most part, rather than a restaurant. She handled crises like yours with humor and a little light flirting. She made everyone feel a little special that way, so even if there was a wait, they didn't mind so much.


One thing you might do if this happens again is ask if it's one group, since they all came in together. If it is, they can entertain each other while you're working on orders and such.
Most importantly, never let 'em see you sweat! That "deer in the headlights" look brings out the worst, even in the best of us. Handling the situation with humor and a calm attitude could earn you some really nice tips!

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May 9, 20160 found this helpful

I had 15 tables my first night ever working as a sever. They all came at once and all stayed for hours. (, it was during a special racing event). It was crazy. I lost focus, time and patience..but I kept smoking and got great tips. I explained it was our opening night, and my first night ever waitressing. Keep calm and ask for help.

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