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Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

I found it odd to reference what teachers earn to make your point about the economic viability/purposefulness of your job.

3 of 9 people like this.
Posted by Dunn Woods on August 31, 2016 at 6:16 AM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Well said. I learned a lot working with you at Hank's Phillip, the mentality and patience needed to deal with guests of all walks, opinions, and various demeanor. The proper way to use communication and even humor to navigate the weeds, how to quickly handle unforeseen difficulties as they arise, whether self created or totally out of ones control. But perhaps most importantly how to conduct myself and consider myself as a professional. You keep your guests happy, never let them be disappointly surprised with what they receive because you're knowledgable about what you're selling. And you may just be in the F and B Hall of FAME when it comes to boosting staff moral. You know....cause you're funny and shit.

2 of 3 people like this.
Posted by Elliot Miller on August 31, 2016 at 5:38 AM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

"Stock brokers, lawyers and pharma reps provide no value to the rest of us". That's just inane....

9 of 13 people like this.
Posted by Wingman on August 31, 2016 at 1:00 AM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

I used to go to Charleston every year with my mother and daughter for eating and shopping. We usually had one dinner at Peninsula Grill during our three-day stay. We also loved Carolina's, which I hear has closed. We also dined at Fig. And many other fabulous eateries. Never touristy places. We researched before we went and always asked locals. We always had great servers. One visit was particularly spectacular. We dreamed about going back to PG for a whole year. So the next year we went. Our waiter looked me straight in the eye and said "Welcome back. It's been a long time." Or something like that. He remembered (and God help me, I can't remember his name) me. He even remembered some of the things we ordered, especially my daughter. He remembered us from the year before. He made us feel like the most valued customers ever to walk through the door. I, of course, remembered him, too. I wish I knew his name b/c he was as professional as any person I've ever met in any profession. He made the cost of dining at Peninsula totally worth it. I always tipped him on the total tab, alcohol and tax included, 25%. Why? Because without him, the experience would never have been so memorable. He deserved every penny and more. We haven't been back in several years. My mother is now 96 and can't travel. My daughter is a mother of two young girls, two and five. But my daughter and I are planning to take my granddaughters to Charleston and reinstate our Mother-Daughter-Granddaughter(s) tradition. We will definitely return, on one of those nights, to Peninsula Grill. It would be amazing to see our favorite server again. If I see him, I will know him. And I bet he will know me and say something like, "It has been so, so long. Welcome back." And I will hug him and tell him that he is part of our fondest Charleston memories.

13 of 13 people like this.
Posted by Nancy Rose Vance on August 31, 2016 at 12:44 AM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

YES! So very well said!! It takes talent to pull off the ballet of service!

3 of 5 people like this.
Posted by Cathleen Thomas on August 30, 2016 at 11:44 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Preach!
I happen to freelance in my spare time (when I'm not too tired anyway) but it still annoys me when people ask when I'm graduating.
"I graduated 4 years ago Gary, but funnily enough as you've noticed I'm pretty good at my job so I'm sticking with it mate."
And it's not small talk, servers are legit the main people asked this question because people see us as part timers, that because we work evenings and weekends we have sooo much spare time or that we sleep too much because unfortunately we don't always get to bed before 4 am so naturally miss the morning.

3 of 5 people like this.
Posted by MelikusPrime on August 30, 2016 at 10:30 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Thank you! I knew the question before I even clicked on the article. "Are you at the college?" I used to lie just to give them what they wanted.

5 of 7 people like this.
Posted by Kelly Rae Smith on August 30, 2016 at 9:39 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Philip, thank you for writing this. I am sharing it, so I may read it as a guide to step up my game. I am a professional server, and, I know my food very well. I do not know the sources for ingredients of our crafted cocktails, and I do not know our 100 bottles of wines to the degree you have learned. When I advise my guests in their choice of wine, I speak more generally.

You, sir, are the consummate professional, and I intend to work at your level of expertise. When my guests are paying more than $50 per person, they deserve more than a generalist with a pleasant demeanor.

I am proud of my chosen profession, and I am more than competent. Thank you for your written contribution, so I, and others who care, will continue to raise the bar.

27 of 30 people like this.
Posted by Christopher on August 30, 2016 at 8:43 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

For years I got the "are you in school?", then it turned to the, "Are you in a PhD program?"
It's bittersweet now, I must look too old to still be in school, so now I get " Do you live around here?"
Still all the same questions around the same theme..."you could not possibly be a productive, profitable, home-owning member of society by working in hospitality" Little do they know.

10 of 18 people like this.
Posted by HR on August 30, 2016 at 8:41 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Maybe they just want to know if you're in school or wanted to make small talk? If you're working with the public, aren't questions--sometimes bizarre, expected? If someone asking those questions offends you, you certainly would be offended by corporate America.

16 of 41 people like this.
Posted by amac on August 30, 2016 at 8:20 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Perfectly worded!

5 of 9 people like this.
Posted by Suzanne Marando on August 30, 2016 at 7:10 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

who gave you your first job in the industry and where was that? and do you play golf?

12 of 12 people like this.
Posted by Lee Ivey on August 30, 2016 at 5:54 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Well said, Phillip. You've got a bright future... Once you graduate school. ;)

11 of 19 people like this.
Posted by Josh Mueller on August 30, 2016 at 4:56 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

I think the vast majority of people have worked in f&b, realized it is hell, and decided that they would never ever touch it again unless they had to do it while being in school or working on a slowly building good career. More power to ya if you wanna do that for life, but most people would not be able to come close to fathoming your motivations, and so will ask those questions, naturally.

26 of 44 people like this.
Posted by Aaron Page on August 30, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

"The reality is I’m making about double what we pay public school teachers in this state."
And just how far does your pay outstrip the wages of the kitchen staff who make your job possible?

32 of 83 people like this.
Posted by ImFromHere on August 30, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Entertaining, enlightening and informative. Well done.

People just need to think before they open their mouths. Myself included....

19 of 24 people like this.
Posted by Brad Creger on August 30, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Amen. I have friends who serve by choice. They are making double and triple what their degree in history or marketing would bring them, either teaching or in the marketing field. How about the turnover at the Peninsula Grill? There is none. Someone needs to die before a spot opens up. Why? Because they can actually afford to live downtown very comfortably on what they make. A good server is a highly skilled profession that is not as easy as people seem to think. I always leave a generous tip, I like to be remembered by my servers and bartenders as a friend and not as a cheap asshole. I wish I could of been diplomatic enough to do this but my bad language, bad attitude, short temper and the inability to know when to shut up kept me in the back where I could be amongst compadres. Kudos Philip for making the right choice and will you be graduating soon?

30 of 36 people like this.
Posted by Cia Culinarykid on August 30, 2016 at 3:33 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

This is just fabulous.

10 of 15 people like this.
Posted by charlestonfoodie on August 30, 2016 at 3:18 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Bravo! Albeit I have to say there are very few restaurants that have the in depth staff that Fig relishes. That is because management is doing there job with training staff to perfection & staff are happy to be a part of this program it seems. I was at Fig a couple of weeks ago & was overwhelmed with our server who could not have delivered any better service. She was an expert on wines, preparation, details of the cooking of certain dishes & knew exactly how long to linger.

18 of 26 people like this.
Posted by pdome on August 30, 2016 at 3:05 PM

Re: “Charleston diners, stop asking servers this question

Brilliant Phillip, loved every single word. Bravo, friend.

30 of 34 people like this.
Posted by jmstenn on August 30, 2016 at 2:43 PM
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