16 Feb Front of the House; Being just a Waitress.
I’m a waitress.
“Just a waitress? Are you looking for a real job? Is it ‘just for now?'”
I love being a waitress. I’m so lucky to be able to do what I enjoy every day, hopefully for the rest of my life.
I did study. I do have a masters degree and I did choose to be the waitress.
I had many conversations with my collages and coworkers about how others look at our profession. Yes A PROFESSION. You might not have to go to college and get a degree, but you need to work really hard and learn for the rest of your life to be a good server.
Many people think that anyone can be a waitress/ waiter and that it is easy. Just for the students and young people. Not a career for the rest of your life. Being a waiter/ waitress in other parts of the world often is a profession. Respectable profession. Why? Do you think it’s easy? Nothing special, nothing too difficult? Just bring the food and serve drinks, but it’s a lot more than that.
We have to learn new things constantly. The learning is never ending; food, food allergies, flavours, spices, food trends, beers, wines, coffees, cuisines from around the world…. The list is never ending, and it is not only about the knowledge. It is about the passion – real passion for food. And yet, that is still not enough.
Dealing with “the public.” Customers; the good, the bad, the wonderful and the difficult. Customers are paying our wages, not the owners of the business and we need to treat them with the respect they deserve.
If you are paying for the meal you should be happy to do so! The waiting staff are “the middle guy.” We don’t cook – we just serve. The customers, if they have problem with the food, they complain to the server, not to the chefs. We have to keep the smile on our faces, apologies, stay calm and focus, and keep going. Even if we feel like crying inside…. We have to fix the problem, our job is to give customers what they are looking for and more. A great waitress/ waiter can read your mind, direct you with your orders, drinks etc. A bad waitress/ waiter can ruin your evening…. very easily…..
Keep smiling and don’t loose the “cool” is hard sometimes. We have good and bad days. We are humans. We have personal problems. It’s hard to work with a smile after break up with your boyfriend/having a sick child at home/after an argument with the loved one. But when you are at work, looking after customers, you have to pack it all up, leave it for “after hours” and put a smile on your face and DO YOUR BEST!
It is all about THE SERVICE. Even the best chef in the world wouldn’t be appreciated by customers without wonderful, educated, and well manner staff, which know what they are doing. An experience as customers we have in any restaurant is a combination of waiting staff and kitchen staff. We are THE TEAM. Our job is to look after the customers, guide them, be sure that they have everything they need to enjoy the meal.
We are there when you are really hungry and tired, when you had a long day and want to celebrate life, we are there on Valentines Day, Saturday evening, and Sunday brunch, every weekend, every Christmas and Easter, Mother’s day, Father’s Day…..
I love my job, watching people growing (without being creepy). The first dates, family celebrations, catching up with friends, double dates, birthdays, anniversaries…. I appreciate so much the personal relationship you can develop with regular customers. I know couples from first dates, through out the engagement, wedding, pregnancy, babies…. Meeting people from around the world, talking about Ireland… Seeing happy faces, sound of eating good food, laugh, chat- it is rewarding. Knowing that you help someone to have enjoyable evening- this is all I want.
Couple of weeks ago we won BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE, Irish Restaurant Awards in Waterford County. I’m so happy and proud- it looks like we are doing something right ?
Thank you to our amazing team of waiting staff- Mags, Kevin and Hannah ❤
Lots of love
PS- next time I’m going to write about “The life behind the kitchen door”- where the magic happens ?