Locally Grown

Servers, Critics Think You Have It Easy.
2011/03/01, 10:09 am
Filed under: Local Food Commentary | Tags: , , ,

Ahhh...life without Locally Grown has been picturesque for many of you...

Welcome back, Awesome Tens!  I trust that your one week vacation was relaxing, maybe even invigorating.  But all good things, as they say, must come to an end, and this is the end of your good thing.  I am back from my not-vacation and ready to pollute your eye-streams.  Hank the Chimp has fired up the popcorn popper, Bathory has brewed the World’s Third Worst Pot Of Coffee, and the tiny keyboard of The Thing On Which I Write This Blog has been properly warmed up by a thick layer of hot towels.  Vacation is over, it’s time to get back into the swang of thangs.

What Do Critics Know About Waiting Tables?

Yes, Tens!  The Datebook Diner has doped done it again!  Winni’s Wisdom regarding working in the restaurant industry overflows its thimble-sized vessel every so often, and this time her vast experience working as a county club server in the (judging by her polyester uniform) Late 1070’s has inspired her to belittle the servers of this century with a piece titled “Why Waiting Tables Today Is Better Than It Used To Be.”  Servers Of This Century should take great offense at being told by someone who hasn’t seen the “other side of the counter” for a few decades that what they are doing today is a far easier profession than in days of old.  But HOW is it easier? Let’s take a look…

5. Computers have made everything easier.  Yes, modern day computer systems have made handling large amounts of menu information and ticket computations much easier, but in using a computer or POS System you have invited in a larger number of new problems such as printer failure, credit card systems going down (not like that), system failure, improper programming, mis-priced items, and the classic, “still life with server standing in front of the computer trying to figure out how to key in special order.”  Now, when used properly and in working order a computer system is “better” than the old way, but I work in a place with handwritten and computed tickets and we have an incredibly low rate of mistakes. I think that computer systems aren’t worth the headaches in full service restaurants.

4. Automatic Tip (for large parties).  I agree.  One luxury afforded to the modern server that cannot be argued with is the “Auto-Grat.”  I spent 8 year in front of the house positions, managing, bartending, and waiting,  and would say that the large party automatic gratuity saved my ass from angry servers (and a few days of financial ruin).  BUT I have also seen the AG policy allow lazy servers to give diners a less-than-tip-worthy experience.  Auto-grat is a policy that will be debated until the day servers become obsolete.

3. Respect.  People are just as demanding and demeaning as in years past, and more so in the upper echelons of diners.  Maybe the general mystique of working in a restaurant has been elevated a few steps, but people are still assholes.  The level of respect for CHEFS has definitely been transformed into a cushy cloud, but those who deliver the food are looked down upon almost equal to their peers from the past.

2. Tipping Percentage. So normal tipping percentage has gone up from 10% to 20%. Cost of Living has increased WELL beyond the 10% increase in tip percentage.  Do servers make decent money?  They make liveable wages most of the time, but they are still at the mercy of the Owners, the Customers, and the financial climate of the time.  During the financial crisis of 2009 many of my friends who were waiting tables felt the crunch of a failing economy as much as, if not more than, the general “9-5” public.  When times are bad, people cut out expenses such as eating out in a full service environment, which eats away at the financial stability of restaurant owners and staff, most notably the tipped employees.  But that is worthy of its own diatribe.

And Now To Bring You the #1 Reason Why Waiting Tables Is Easier Today Than It Was In The Past:

No More Ugly Uniforms.Evidently she hasn’t eaten at Noah’s Ark recently.  Suggesting that the quality of workplace life due to lack of polyester content of the uniforms is a tad ridiculous.  Not totally baseless, but a bit ridiculous.

Personally, I don’t think Winni looks bad at all in her old polyester, in fact she looks adorable.

you can see why they need that fire extiguisher handy (photo via Des Moines Register Datebook Diner Blog)

I invite you to go to her blog and read for yourself. 

Well, yes.  That is it for now.  Welcome back from your vacation from this blog.  Time to get back to the ocular toil of belonging to its readership.

The Cook


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