How to be a Great Specialist: Your Guide to Server Shifts

As a service industry Specialist, your goal is to make the client happy. This means being professional, showing up on time, and much more. Some Specialists have extensive experience while others are newer, but for many it takes time to become great. This guide will help you become the best Specialist you can be. After all, a large component of being a successful Specialist is making a good impression on clients so they want to work with you again!

Tip #1
Be friendly.

Being friendly and smiling goes a long way. A guest should never feel like they are a burden to you. If you smile, it shows that you are happy to help with whatever your guest might need.

Tip #2
Have good hygiene.

It is important that you are fully prepared and look professional when you arrive for your shift. This means having the correct attire and looking clean. Make sure your hair is tied back and that you don’t have dirt under your fingernails. Part of leaving a good impression is making sure the client is happy even before you start.

Tip #3
Have a positive attitude.

Having a good attitude is so important when you work in the service industry because it determines your personal success and how the client perceives the event as a whole. When other Specialists see that you are lively and enthusiastic they will be inspired to match your energy level, which will also help the event run smoothly.

Tip #4
Don’t touch anyone.

It is unprofessional to touch guests in any way, even if it is just a hand placed on someone’s shoulder. You never know who you are serving, so your best option is to be extra polite. You don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Tip #5
Don’t be a gossip.

You should never talk about your fellow Specialists in front of clients or guests. While you’re on the clock, you should always be professional and keep issues to yourself. If an issue requires urgent attention, then bring it up in private to your Field Manager.

Tip #6
Be proactive.

Being proactive will make you stand out as a Specialist. Make sure you are on top of all your duties and get things done ahead of time, if possible. Offer your assistance if you see that another Specialist is overwhelmed, or ask your Field Manager if there is anything you can do to help during your down time – going the extra mile is always appreciated!

Tip #7
Don’t eat or drink in front of customers.

Every client has a different protocol about food breaks, but no matter the policy, you should never be seen eating or drinking in front of guests. You are not there to enjoy the event, you are part of the team running it; eating or drinking on the job may be perceived as unprofessional. Also, if people see you eating with your hands they might assume that you haven’t washed your hands and are spreading germs.

Tip #8
Toughen up.

Clients can be very specific and want things run a certain way, so if you slip up they might want to address the issue with you. This can be an uncomfortable experience if you don’t find a good way to handle it. Everyone wants their event to go smoothly, and getting everyone on the same page is part of that process. Try not to take things too personally, stay positive, and try to improve yourself throughout the rest of your shift.

10 Tips for Becoming Part of a Team

Becoming part of a team is an important part of the any industry, but especially for those of us who work in service and hospitality. Whether you are interacting with a manager or other Specialists, having good teamwork skills is imperative. The service and hospitality industry requires you to work well with other people whether you are a field manager, cook, server, or busser, and each person is responsible for themselves. The end goal is to leave customers and clients happy and fulfilled and there is no way to achieve this without sharing the weight. When you learn to be a successful part of a team there is no end to what you can accomplish. Follow the tips below to find out how you can become the best co-worker and Specialist you can be.

Tip #1 Show up and be on time.

Being a team player is important in any industry. We’ve all had those off days where the last thing we feel like doing is working. However, dropping a shift on short notice or showing up late results in you being seen as unreliable. The best thing you can do is go into work on time for every shift and show your manager and other Specialists that you are dedicated to the team.

Tip #2 Know how to follow directions well.

This seems to be easier said than done. Always pay close attention to detail and write notes if you have to. This is very important not only for your personal success but for the success of your team as well. Always ask your manager if you are confused by something.

Tip #3 Try not to take things too personally.

Everyone makes mistakes and it is the manager’s job to confront their employees in these situations. A team leader needs to make sure that everyone is executing their responsibilities well so that a shift or event continues to run smoothly. So just remember not to take these conversations too personally and see them as an opportunity to learn and become better at your job.

Tip #4 Volunteer when you have extra time.

Be open to staying later than your shift end time or picking up a shift on short notice — your manager will note this and appreciate your effort. It never hurts to be generous with your time, plus field managers and other Specialists who see you covering all the time will be there for you when the roles are reversed.

Tip #5 When you need help don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you are in over your head. There comes a time (or many) in every employee’s life when they become too overwhelmed with their tasks. Ask someone who is less busy to give you a hand so that you can catch up. In order for a shift to run smoothly, everyone needs to help each other out.

Tip #6 Learn to compromise.

When you work in a close knit team environment there are bound to be disagreements, but you can do something to avoid them. When this happens it is best to compromise and come to an agreement because working is stressful enough even when everybody is getting along. If you have to give something up for this to happen, the best thing you can do is be the bigger person. Coming into a relaxed work environment is always worth it in the end.

Tip #7 Become friendly with the other Specialists.

Working long shifts and occasionally unusual hours often creates tight bonds between Specialists. Everyone benefits when friendships are created because it helps the team become stronger. These are the people you will be spending your time with so it doesn’t hurt to be extra friendly and include everyone.

Tip #8 Learn to enjoy and appreciate your job.

When you learn to love your job and stay positive you will perform better at work. Working a long shift can be tiring but when you show up to work with a good attitude people will notice your contagious energy. This not only is beneficial to you personally, but to the overall work atmosphere. Be proud of what you do and it will rub off on others.

Tip #9 Be open to learning new skills.

When you are open to learning new skills you will be more well rounded and become a more productive part of the team. By doing this you can help other Specialists more easily and learn different parts of the business that you may want to get involved with in the future.

Tip #10 Stay busy and make use of your time.

When you work a shift, you’ll be pretty busy for the most part, but there are some instances where you will find yourself with nothing to do. You will be respected for your desire to help the team anytime you can.

Whatever your long or short-term goal, willingness to become a useful part of the team will help you go a long way – both at Shiftgig and with any other job!

Work this way with the new Shiftgig

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You already know Shiftgig connects job seekers with businesses that are hiring for service and hospitality positions. We’re now taking things a step further to empower you work on your terms.

Starting now, Shiftgig offers shift positions in Chicago, New York, and Dallas. We are launching Atlanta and Houston next (with more cities coming soon).

For those who want to work, you simply apply and if hired, you’ll have access to hourly shifts at top employers that match your skills. You can set your own schedule, choose where and how to work. It’s the perfect way to add 6 to 12 additional hours of pay each week!

For businesses, you’ll have access to qualified and vetted Specialists that match the positions and specific skillsets that you need for temporary, short-term, or seasonal shifts. Simply let us know what positions you need, and for how long. Then, we’ll fill those open shifts with no hassle to you.

You can still apply apply to (or if you’re a business, post) full-time and part-time service and hospitality jobs in your area with your profile at Shiftgig Jobs: Shiftgig.com/Jobs.

We look forward to working with you!

Shiftgig Banquet Training in New York

Article by Tim McJunkin

During the spring of May 2015, Shiftgig – New York introduced their first banquet server training, an initiative targeted to improve the skill level of our worker-pool. The two hour training was held at Club 101, an elegant corporate venue located on Park Ave. in midtown Manhattan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specialists arrived early, dressed in black bistro serving attire and eager to meet trainer Alex Hary, Maitre D’. The in-depth training provided attendees with a hands-on learning experience, motivation and a desire to work.

The training focused on ten key banquet service practices:

1. Setup & Breakdown of Banquet Event

2. Plate Handling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Glass Handling

4. Serving & Bussing

5. Polishing Silverware

6. Napkin Fold Techniques

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Synchronize Service

8. Dos & Don’ts

9. Handling Chafing Dishes

10. Setting Tables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the close of the session, specialists completed a training evaluation on their knowledge of each practice. Revved with enthusiasm, the specialists became ready to implement their new found skills in upcoming shifts. Since the initial training, specialists who have worked banquet events have said that “the training was a great help.”

The banquet server training provides a financial incentive to those who successfully attend. As skill level increases, specialists are granted visibility to other shifts and the opportunity to claim higher paying gigs. Reviews from clients have been stellar, noting professionalism and reliability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past months, Shiftgig – New York has continuously experienced significant growth within its client base. In order to meet supply and demand, it becomes necessary to recruit aggressively to effectively support clients and to fill their orders. New York’s team is dedicated to finding innovative ways to remain a leading contender in New York City’s competitive hospitality staffing industry.

Shiftgig Opens Dallas Office

Fast-Growing Startup Enables People to Work When They Want, Make Extra Money and Learn New Skills

Chicago, IL – March 27, 2015Shiftgig, the premier online community for the service industry that enables hourly workers to connect with businesses, announced today it has opened a new office in Dallas to provide on-demand shift opportunities for local workers. The company currently has two rapidly growing on-demand service centers in Chicago and New York.

While Shiftgig has had a significant presence in Dallas since its launch in 2012, the new office will hire and train 300 people in the metropolitan area within its first 30 days for on-demand opportunities at cool venues, trade shows, catered events and even a major country music event on April 19.

Shiftgig will host open calls for interested applicants on Monday, March 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 11 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Shiftgig, 400 South Record Street, Suite 1200. For more information on the open call and applications, visit http://www.shiftgig.com/ondemand.

The Dallas office is led by Shiftgig City Manager Vivian Adams. Adams brings more than two decades of experience in team building, staffing, training, business development, and entrepreneurship, most recently with Legacy Custom Apparel.

“We are thrilled to offer the Dallas community an opportunity to join Shiftgig’s on-demand team,” said Adams. “We’ll bring jobs to you through your phone. Whenever you have extra time or want to make some money, just claim a shift and start working!”

Shiftgig not only offers great gigs, but makes it easy to build an entire schedule with them. Through a mobile app, workers can find open shifts, access the details with one click, and then claim the ones that fit their calendar. And most importantly, they can work as often or as infrequently as they want. Shiftgig was recognized for this innovative solution by being named an Up-and-Comer winner at the 2014 Chicago Innovation Awards.

About Shiftgig

Shiftgig is an online marketplace that connects workers with jobs.  Shiftgig collects client requirements, worker skills, and real-time shift data to provide smarter and timely matches.  With over 1,300,000 registered members and 27,000 businesses, Shiftgig has built the largest online community where members connect with business to access jobs and content in the restaurant, nightlife, hotel, and retail verticals.

Shiftgig Announces Record Growth in 2014

Revenue Growth Following a Year of Innovation, Key Hires and Industry Recognition

Chicago, IL – March 16, 2015 – Shiftgig, the premier online community for the service industry that enables hourly workers to connect with businesses, announced record growth in 2014.  The company’s revenue grew over 10X year-over-year signifying that more and more businesses are turning to Shiftgig to augment its labor force.

2014 was a banner year for Shiftgig on numerous fronts. In addition to record revenue growth, the company grew its member base to over 1.1 million users, grew its client base by 5X, increased shifts worked 13X, and added 45 employees in product, engineering, marketing, sales and operations.  Among the hires, Shiftgig brought on three key members to the executive team: Jill Erickson joined as Chief Revenue Officer; Dan Miller, as VP of Talent; and Michael Yoch, as VP of Product.

Additionally in 2014, Shiftgig secured $10 million in its first round of institutional financing, opened an office in New York City and released an on demand service that connects businesses with qualified, vetted workers.

Shiftgig’s on demand service enables service industry workers who have been accepted to the program to find and learn the details about open shifts on a mobile app, access shift details with one click, and claim shifts that fit their schedule. Businesses have access to the profiles of each and every staff member working an event, one-click text and communication options, and the ability to log hours and rate workers from their mobile devices or online. Shiftgig was recognized for this innovative solution by being named an Up-and-Comer winner at the 2014 Chicago Innovation Awards.

“We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish the past year, both for our company and for the industry,” said Eddie Lou, co-founder and CEO of Shiftgig. “The hard work of our team has been instrumental delivering a superior product to our clients. We look forward to continuing this momentum through 2015 and beyond.”

For more information on Shiftgig, visit www.shiftgig.com.

About Shiftgig

Shiftgig is an online marketplace that connects workers with jobs.  Shiftgig collects client requirements, worker skills, and real-time shift data to provide smarter and timely matches.  With over 1,100,000 registered members and 25,000 businesses, Shiftgig has built the largest online community where members connect with businesses to access jobs and content in the restaurant, nightlife, hotel, and retail verticals.

At Shiftgig's All Staff Meeting, CEO of Cars.com Alex Vetter Speaks to the Growth of Company

On Tuesday during the monthly All Staff Meeting, Shiftgig hosted its second Barside Chat, featuring Cars.com CEO Alex Vetter.

Alex gave a great perspective on the growth of a company. He had started out as one of the first three employees at Cars.com in 1998. Over the course of 17 years, he helped take the company from their first $1000 dollar to a valuation of $2.5 billion.

Alex Vetter, CEO of Cars.com, and Shiftgig CEO Eddie Lou

“I remember being here, talking about month to month plans. Now we are making 5 year plans,” he said. “Keep focused and the momentum will kick in.”

Speaking on the challenges of building offices in other cities, Alex emphasized the need to keep satellite offices connected and in the loop. “Keeping everyone connected to the mothership should be something everyone should make a priority,” he advised.

He had a few key rules for succeeding in scaling a business. First, Alex said to make sure your company is solving a real problem. There has to be a core issue that you are improving if your business is to survive. This is definitely a strength he sees in Shiftgig, which is finding solutions to staffing problems in the service industry.

Second, he advised that companies should “be quick, be nimble, and build a moat.” It is important to move and adapt quickly so you can get out ahead and own the category before potential competitors.

Finally, Alex suggested that you should spend less time trying to win over detractors. Instead, build up your supporters and make them successful; they will become evangelists for your brand and help develop the change needed for your company to gain new ground.

On a personal level, Alex said he found success in always being curious. He held many roles in Cars.com, starting in product, then moving to sales before taking an executive role. “I never wanted the easy jobs – I chased the biggest problems. I knew if I could fix that, I’d get the next job.” He advised the group to listen more than talk; in the end, you’ll have learned a lot.

He was excited to have seen the growth Shiftgig has made. With offices now in New York and Dallas as well as Chicago, Alex encouraged the team to keep up the momentum and keep doing exciting things for the service industry.

Good advice from a great businessman. Thanks, Alex Vetter!