So from what region of Spain was this chip on your shoulder harvested? You sound like a pretentious asshole...how are those health benefits and 401K working out for you?
I have been in F&B for 40 years now, with some detours along the way, and I've done everything from serving, shift manager, store manager, operation manager, bartender- you get the picture. My first server gig was at a Jewish Deli in a North Shore Suburb of Chicago, and I started on my 15th Birthday! I also lived in this town, a very affluent suburb, and attended one of the finest school systems in the nation. I am, however, learning disabled, and formal education was a challenge for me. But I am very intelligent. But- the restaurant bug bit me deep, and festered into a real passion for all things SERVICE! I made great money, ($150 for Sat/Sun Breakfast shifts in 1975 at the deli!!) earned the respect of my peers and my superiors, was asked at all levels to climb the ladder, which I did. But- I my ❤️ was always a server, providing MY personal best, even if the other aspects of the restaurant were not up to snuff. I have always thought of myself as a professional. But- like the writer- I was often questioned similarly and treated as a lesser person. And it is very humiliating sometimes.
So please ask yourself this the next time you dine out; would I rather have a server that thinks of his or herself as a professional, providing the expert service I expect, one who has a sense of pride in themselves, or one that thinks of himself as a lowlife, one that doesn't matter? And to the F&B folks reading this; are YOU treating your current employment situation with pride in yourself, and the service you provide? If not, do not be disappointed in your recompense, as people will respond in kind; not always, but we should still have pride in ourselves.
Oh and by the way .....since you want the customers to show you some "love" with a "fat tip"..... maybe you could show some love to the back of the house and share those tips equally
Everyone is so easily offended. It's just a question, for goodness sakes. If that bothers you so much, working with the public is not your calling. I am hair stylist and am asked many questions- sometimes personal, sometimes unpleasant. It doesn't make someone a snob to want to get to know you or to care enough to ask what you do with your time when you aren't working.
You may be a talent out on the floor and and look good for your age.....but your humility could use some work
I found it odd to reference what teachers earn to make your point about the economic viability/purposefulness of your job.
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.
"Stock brokers, lawyers and pharma reps provide no value to the rest of us". That's just inane....
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.
YES! So very well said!! It takes talent to pull off the ballet of service!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
who gave you your first job in the industry and where was that? and do you play golf?
Well said, Phillip. You've got a bright future... Once you graduate school. ;)
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.
"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?
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