Serving last fall and this summer had been a nice break from teaching and also gave me another perspective being on the other side of the menu. It is also a sneaky way to make friends and I’ve heard rumours of servers not claiming all tips on their tax returns but I wouldn’t have experience with that personally.
But Bert, you say you don’t like talking to new people or making new friends? Part of that is true yes but I also don’t love sleeping in a sleeping bag next to a statue in the park. We do what we have to do in order to do what we want to do.
But Bert, what have you learned? That’s a great question friend and thanks for asking. I like you.
1-Kids are going to destroy your section with food everywhere, crayons scattered on the ground, extra attentive moms who care about the overall wellbeing of their children for some reason and one less human to laugh at your jokes that may or not be hilarious. (They probably are though)
2-While it’s easy to complain about people being the worst and not liking certain people who walk in based solely on a gut feeling of how cheap they are, people are generally good and will tip you well if you deserve it or in my case, feel sorry for you.
3-One time, I had a table who ordered a bunch of things and another server was running their fry order and dropped them on the ground just before giving it to them. Second server brings over fries but immediately drops them on the floor so I need to explain to the table why it has been over 10 minutes and they still don’t have their fries. Third try I waited at the pass and decided I was the only one ready for this gigantic task. I get the order and immediately drop two orders of fries all over the ground. THREE TIMES! I don’t think the table believed me once I went over for the third time. Their fries were free.
4-During Christmas market, a guest asked my main man and manager Ryan if he could turn off the air conditioning. Ryan informed the gentleman that he was sitting outside during the winter and suggested he move inside if he was cold.
5-I am not what you would call a great server. I don’t love having tables, having a busy section, working doubles or having large tables. I couldn’t work a double if my life depended on it. Some people solely work doubles. Those are crazy people. Some people making serving their career and enjoy describing + selling food to guests and get a real sense of joy from it. I am not one of those people however it is nice recommending a certain beer or an app to split and people love it.
6-I won’t tell you what kind of tables I would secretly and not so secretly wish hostesses would sit in my section.
7-Here are some tips to know if your table won’t tip you in a very well meaning, non-discriminatory way.
-if your guests are wearing backpacks used for travelling, you aren’t getting tipped.
-if your table is filled with kids under 19, no chance.
-if they have just run, biked or competed some type of race, no dice
-if your table can’t speak English, it’s a real roll of the dice.
-Many cultures don’t embrace tipping so if you have guests from Europe or India, better luck next time for the most part
-If you drop someone’s fry order three times, get a manager.
-If you forget to put in their order and then casually just blame the kitchen for it, they are probably on to you.
8-Here are some tips to know if your table will tip you:
-usually guys on dates trying to impress their lady friend.
Side note: Word is apparently out that women notice how you treat other people, specifically staff at a restaurant so people have gone way overboard on how nice they are when you bring them salt or more water. A lot of thank you’s and over the top politeness.
-if you like your table and give them a free brownie and say it was their birthday so they don’t need to pay for it. Classic Bert move.
-if you actually care and put a lot of effort into your beer and food knowledge and care about their experience, you will do great.
-if you are a woman and attractive. Start counting that tip out early.
-when giving the cheque to a family, give it to the youngest kid and ask how they are paying. Parents love it and laugh each and every time.
-showing extra care to older or younger people goes a long way as well.
-being fun, normal and just doing your job correctly.
-masking how hungover you are.
9-Getting 50% off staff meals really makes paying full price hurt. Long live 50% off!
10-That serving makes you sympathize with other servers when you are a guest at another restaurant. I won’t ask servers what the wifi password is or ask for hot sauce or coffee because I know how annoying it is. Or being more patient when you see their section is slammed with people and aren’t getting helped. As long as a server is up front and explains the situation, everything is normally fine.
11-Working at a restaurant that has either great food or beer people love a thousand times easier. Work in a crappy place, you will get a crappy experience. Work in a great spot with fun clientele, it will make your life more enjoyable.
12-Serving can be a party. Servers are usually younger and like to get after it after work. A lot of servers date other servers and it usually ends poorly. When I go to restaurants, I like to guess who is kissing who after the shift ends; odds are they have, are or are going to kiss one night. It’s kinda romantic.
13-People able to handle a busy section, angry guests and anything else a shift can throw at you, is a good show of your character. If you can still laugh and be positive when you are getting destroyed, you are going to be successful at life.
14-Kids love popsicles.
15-Straight cash homey.
16-Christmas market in the distillery district is no joke.
17-I got hit on way less than I had imagined. My imagination had run wild.
18-Have a few go-to lines/jokes and make it sound like you are saying it for the first time.
19-If you bring a princess sippy cup to work, people will notice and make fun of you.
20-Flexible schedule, ability to work another job or go to school, serving will make you friends, teach you lessons and usually make time pass quickly. That server life.
“Love is a serious mental disease." Plato
Did you know it’s called Platonic love because of Plato? I did not.