Wait Staff and Bar Staff Leadership: Effective Event Staffing

Leadership of Waitstaff and bartender staff

Event staffing leadership in the special events industry is an honorable role.  At all levels, whether for private parties, wedding receptions, seated dinners, leaders are needed to instill order.  There are so many layers of event planners, waiter teams, waiter captains, catering staff, bartenders and bar staff working together.  From corporate event planners to catering to event staffing companies, all must bring initiative and leadership to the event.  Even the lone private party bartender, private home  chef or the event waiter working in a private home must exhibit self-motivation.  That is why event staffing companies especially require effective leaders on every level.

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But beyond the requisite charisma, leadership of event staff at special events poses unique challenges because events are always variable and dynamic, and ever-evolving solutions are required.  Therefore, one challenge of an event lead, waiter captain or executive chef is being able to use all of the perspectives of the group to formulate the best leader decision.  In doing so, a leader can ‘lead from among the staff instead of reigning from above them’.

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General MacArthur demonstrated this to his generals by having them each place a piece of string on the table and lead it around with their finger.  Then he told them to instead push the string with their finger, which of course doesn’t work very well at all.  Through this example he demonstrated the merits of “leading others from the front” versus pushing them from behind.  This concept is also found in the Boy Scout saying, “Lead by example”.

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Therefore, a good event staffing leader must be an example and a teacher to others while being wise enough to listen more than they speak.  As well, an effective event staff lead or wait staff captain delegates authority in order to create ‘a company of leaders’ , empower others beyond themselves, and create a positive team morale.  In simple format, the effective event staffing leader embraces and embodies The Golden Rule.

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That is why all effective leaders must possess both a strong intuition and a spiritual compass that governs their decisions.  It is these qualities that embues a leader with direction, and allows them to be a follower to the GREATER PURPOSE to which they have been called.