“I’ll be with you in a second.” I’m carrying five dinner plates, five bread plates, seven glasses and enough silverware to feed and army.
It’s Saturday night and I just got triple sat. This means that three families have been seated in my section at the same time. Yes, I am a waitress. I just started my new job a little more than a month ago and it’s my first time being a waitress. It’s a lot of fun except on the Saturday nights when everyone goes out to eat. These are the nights when there is a half hour wait just to get a table. The customers are hungry and they want their food now! Friday and Saturday nights are the nights that servers pray to god that three of the five table sections do not finish at the same time because you will be given three new sets of people at the same time.
The rule is that the server has to great the guests with silverware, beverage napkins, and bread plates with in the first couple of minutes that they sit down. Once you introduce yourself you take the drink orders, you head on to the second table and then to the third table.
“Justine,” the pizza cooks are calling my name. One of my other table’s food is up. Do a quick greeting tell the table I’ll be back shortly for their order. Go to the pizza station. One chicken margarita pizza waiting for me. Ok now I have to cut it, put oil on the crust, add the basil, grab the dinner plates, the tray stand, the pizza server and get to the table. Set everything up.
“Would you guys like me to serve your first slice? Alright here you go enjoy.”
Run to the back. Get the drinks for table one and two. Get the rolls. Oh no there’s not enough rolls.
I leave the back and drop off the drinks to the two tables and take their dinner order. Go to the third table take their entire order. Check on the other two tables that were already there. I run to the back of the restaurant to get the rolls and the rest of the drinks bring them to the table and now it’s time to relax. I go to the computer and enter in all the new orders and I just wait for the food to be ready.
This is how weekend nights go for servers. We have to be able to do at least three things at once and when it is busy it gets the best of you, and sometimes gets confusing.
What I have learned in the month I have been a waitress is that I need to take my time. Yes, the customers might not be happy with you for taking your time but if you rush around you are going to screw up all of the orders. There is always going to be the pain in the butt customer that wants things to appear magically, but all you have to do is explain what is going on. Believe me, I wish that I could get the food out as soon as it is ordered but it doesn’t work that way. I will do anything to avoid a customer getting angry with me for something that went wrong. I know that the customer is the one who is paying my bills. I get $15 every two weeks in my paycheck and that is not going to help me with my bills.
For those who are not servers, remember the next time you go out to eat that serving is a hard job. If your server is not happy and cheery, or might take a long time, notice how many tables she or he has and how many times they stop to check on their section. Then realize that the server is doing the best that they can that day.