Waiting as a career? You bet, says upcoming course at CNCC | CraigDailyPress.com

Waiting as a career? You bet, says upcoming course at CNCC

Darian Warden

— Don't let your perception fool you. For some, working as a waiter can be a lucrative and fulfilling profession.

A course at Colorado Northwestern Community College hopes to drive that point home. Beginning March 5, CNCC will offer Wait Server 101 to help anyone already in the industry or looking to get into it.

The course is designed to teach customer service skills, which in turn create a better experience for patrons and, quite often, a better tip for the server.

Course instructor Stephanie Perez, who is co-owner of Carelli's Pizzeria and Pasta, said she thinks people don't realize the potential in a career in serving.

"I've been in this industry since I was 18 years old and I've made a lot money," Perez said. "If you can develop this skill set early then you can fall back on it at any point in life."

The course designed by CNCC, Frontline Training Center and Grand Futures runs three weeks from March 5 to 21. Class meets from 8:15 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in room 200 on the second floor of the CTE building.

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Topics to be covered in the class include qualities of a good server, techniques of table service, how to gain repeat customers and even a lesson on 101 things to do and see in Moffat County to prepare servers to recommend activities to tourists. The class costs $75.

Co-instructor Pam Foster of the Frontline Training Center said the course's goal is to train wait staff to be able to comfortably serve anywhere.

"Most of this is practicum," Foster said. "The actual experience doing this."

Perez said she thinks it's important for the customer service industry to resurge in Craig as well as across the country.

"I think it's really important to focus on customer service. We have training every month in the restaurant," Perez said. "I think it's a dying art."

Perez teaches her servers that it's the little things that matter to the customer.

"They should feel like they're prized, because they're our bottom line," Perez said. "They're our bread and butter."

As well as Wait Server 101, CNCC is offering a one-week TIPS Training course March 26-28. For $15, TIPS training will prepare students to serve alcohol to customers, including teaching them how and when to cut off a patron who's had one too many.

"I think it's great for the girls to not only have the confidence but also the training and knowledge with a little bit of authority," Perez said.

CNCC community education coordinator Mary Morris said those interested in either or both courses should register as soon as possible. For more information or to register, call Morris at (970) 824-1135.

CNCC courses in wait serving

What: Wait Server 101

When: 8:15 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 5 to 21

Where: Room 200 on the second floor in the CNCC CTE building

Cost: $75

What: TIPS Training

When: 8:15 to 11 a.m. March 26 and 28

Where: Room 200 on the second floor in the CNCC CTE building

Cost: $15