How to Get Organized as a Restaurant Server: Organizing Your Personal Items

In the fast-paced world of restaurant service, efficiency, organization, and focus are essential for success. Managing multiple tables with unique demands requires a seamless workflow, free from unnecessary distractions like fumbling for a pen or a buzzing phone. Personal organization is more than just a convenience; it’s a strategy, mindset, and skill that can enhance efficiency, reduce stress, and elevate performance.

This video and article explores the art of personal organization during a work shift, offering insights that can be applied by servers and anyone looking to streamline their daily routine. From understanding what you need and where you need it to being present and in control, these principles can transform the work experience, making each shift more manageable and enjoyable.

The Essentials of Personal Organization

1. The Cell Phone Dilemma

  • Weight and Space: A cell phone can be heavy and take up valuable pocket space.
  • Distraction: It’s a gateway to social media and unnecessary communication during work hours.
  • Solution: Turn it off and put it away. Use a watch instead to keep time without distractions. This will also make your restaurant manager very happy.

2. Car Keys

  • No Function: They serve no purpose during the shift and create noise.
  • Solution: Put them away to avoid unnecessary bulk and distraction.

3. Wallet Placement

  • Considerations: Placement may vary between work and daily life.
  • Solution: Back right pocket for work since sitting is rare, allowing easy access.

4. Managing Cash

  • Importance: Cash handling is inevitable, and organization is key.
  • Solution: Front left pocket for easy access and security.

5. Wine Key

  • Placement: Along with cash, without interfering with it.
  • Solution: Front left pocket for convenience.

6. Pens

  • Handedness: Consider whether you’re right or left-handed.
  • Solution: Front right pocket for right-handed individuals, adjust as needed.

7. Server Book

  • Purpose: For writing down orders, an essential tool.
  • Solution: Back left pocket for easy access.

The Workflow in Action

With everything in its designated place, you’re ready to approach a table with confidence and grace. Pen in hand, server book ready, orders taken smoothly, and you’re on to the next task. This system isn’t just about placing items; it’s about creating a workflow that enhances your efficiency and focus.

Being Present at Work

Beyond the physical organization, there’s a mental aspect to consider. Being present at work means disconnecting from distractions like your phone. It fosters better relationships with coworkers and allows you to fully engage with your tasks.


Organization is more than a mere convenience; it’s a strategy that can transform your work experience. By understanding what to carry, where to place it, and why, you create a personalized system that works for you. Whether you’re a server juggling multiple tables or someone looking to bring more order to your daily routine, these insights offer a practical guide to a more organized and productive day.

Remember, the key to success lies in the details. It’s not just about what you carry; it’s about knowing where it is and why it’s there. Embrace the art of organization, and watch how it elevates your daily life.


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