What greater pleasure, than hanging out in a pleasant surrounding, pleasing all kinds of people… , …could there be?
Which other job can give as much instant gratification as waiting on tables? Tell me which one? “As I please it’s my pleasure!” a seasoned waitress says to me and I agree, “It’s my pleasure too!”
I look at those people. The ones I wait on, night after night, each person is so different, most unique in many ways. Yet all are alike. Not one of these guests (in the right frame of mind) would ever like to spend a great deal of money for mediocre service and a so-so meal, unless the choice of dining establishments is very limited. It takes no special reason other then the need to eat to go to any low-priced restaurant. Yet to spend over fifty dollars, per person, per meal, however needs a good reason. The best there is, is pleasure. Their pleasure being my pleasure.
That is where the waiter’s ( and as I said earlier waiter stands for anybody waiting on tables male or female alike) expertise helps to create the extraordinary dining experience worth the money. It is the waiter’s ability which helps to create the fond memories which rectify the guest-check’s total. In addition to the mood set by lighting, music, decor and good vibes, it is up to the waiter to coach the guest along.
The ideal restaurant situation would be that every menu item appealed directly to all the customers’ senses. The service should be friendly, courteous and most of all perfect. All food served should be at least as good as the waiter’s description or even better, namely perfect. The accompanying wines should complement each course perfect. None of the at dinner consumed beverages should ever overpower the delicate flavors of the dishes; they should always enhance every bite of the spectacular food prepared under the experienced chef’s eyes to perfection.
It doesn’t work this way in real life. Perfection in dining is a dream worth striving for. It is as close as the famous pot of gold at the end of each rainbow, much talked about, never found. I have not seen a restaurant yet which was able to provide perfection in every aspect on a day to day basis, week after week, month after month, year after year.
That is where the waiter’s ability to create the illusions of great standards comes in. It is he, who upgrades the restaurant with his clever suggestions of food and wines. It is the waiter’s advice which makes sure items which aren’t so good are downplayed and exceptional quality is praised and pushed to the table. The waiter provides the careful balance of perfect food and drinks.
It is the service which makes the guest comfortable, the way the waiter responds to the diner’s questions. There is not much to it, to create near perfection and a great show once in a while. It is common and part of the hit-and-miss theory that anybody can excel for a few minutes, for an hour or maybe for an evening. However night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year takes a lot more. That is where knowledge, patients and a great deal of diplomatic ability, to get along with people at all times, come in handy.
To create what the guest remembers as the pleasure of a dream dining experience takes the help of everyone working at a restaurant.
From the owner to the dishwasher all play a role in the nightly feeding act. Here the waiter becomes a diplomat who represents the customer’s side while working for the house. A difficult situation, even seasoned politicians have to admit such.
A good waiter should be able to say what the crowds need to hear and limit his gossip to what is needed to get along with everybody working in the restaurant. As long as the waiter keeps his promises to the customer, he will be cheered on, applauded to and well tipped. If anything is different then what the waiter says, his audience will let him know.
I’m often asked “Why do you work as a waiter?” I answer “I am a waiter. I like people. I get along with people. I earn my upkeep by waiting on tables. And most of all, it is my pleasure!”
What greater pleasure is there than being able to work in a pleasant surrounding, to meet pleasant people, to do a job resulting in people pleasing. True there are always a few unhappy ones, they never reach a climax, but just listen to the “oh” and “ah” and “that’s so good…” or “worth to die for…”.
A look into ladies faces lighting up, men smiling while eating, children’s “yummy, yummi” they don’t lie. Which other job can give as much instant gratification as waiting on tables? Tell me which one?
“As I please it’s my pleasure!” a seasoned waitress says to me and I agree, “It’s my pleasure too!”