Whether waitress or waiter, I salute those of you who realize how important you are and deliver the goods at every opportunity.
In the interest of full disclosure, I spent four years as a waitress, both food and cocktails. I actually loved what I was doing and only stopped because with a small son to care for I needed to have health insurance, something that was unheard of in the restaurant business back in the day.
Let’s face it, for most of us going out to eat is as much for the relaxation and enjoyment as to avoid the chore of feeding ourselves. It is especially meaningful to me, because I treasure being waited on. When it’s done well, a sense of calm comes over me and if I’m alone I drift off into space conjuring up new stories and characters. When I have a waitperson with a pleasing personality who is attentive, my experience is complete. In fact, I’ll take mediocre food in a restaurant with great wait staff over a 4-star restaurant with snooty servers anytime.
I think it would behoove parents to urge their children to give the front-line food service a try in their youth. Nothing will teach you respect for others faster than being mistreated by the general public on a daily basis, and unfortunately that’s what happens. I am amazed at the things people will say to someone who is trying their best to accommodate their needs as most servers do.
I once went to dinner with someone I considered a friend, until I watched her order her meal without once looking the waitress in the face and dismissing her as if she was a servant or slave. I no longer see this person.
So to all you hard-working waiters and waitresses out there, I raise my glass. You may not hear it often enough, but there are those of us out here who know you can make or break the pleasure of our dining experience and sometimes even our day. When you deliver the first smile of the day or the last “thank you”, when you help us choose just the right entrée or wine and when you ask if we need anything else, you are doing important work.