'They look too exciting for so early in the evening'.
I was probably 35 before I stopped having one particular recurring nightmare. Scene: a restaurant. I’m a server, and the hostess has inexplicably sat my entire section at once, meaning that six separate tables are needing cocktails, then apps, then entrees, dessert and checks……simultaneously. Because I have only 2 hands and 2 feet, I fall behind. Food is piling up, tables need clearing; the kitchen AND the bartender are annoyed. I’d wake up in a cold sweat. PTSD, restaurant style.
And yeah, there were concrete reasons behind that nightmare. I’ve had that exact scenario happen to me-multiple times- but even that doesn’t compare to the time a patron threw up…on the table, himself, and me. Or the day two small children running wild in my section tackled me at the knees while I was carrying 2 pitchers of coffee and an armload of plates.
But I also learned invaluable lessons in time management, multi-tasking, creative problem solving, and sheer hustle. In fact, I believe so strongly in the value of restaurant experience that it’s a prerequisite for working at Pour Richard’s. The late Anthony Bourdain summed this up perfectly: “You can always tell when a person has worked in a restaurant. There’s an empathy that can only be cultivated by those who’ve stood between a hungry mouth and a $28 pork chop, a special understanding of the way a bunch of motley misfits can be a family. Service industry work develops the “soft skills” recruiters talk about on LinkedIn — discipline, promptness, the ability to absorb criticism, and most important, how to read people like a book. The work is thankless and fun and messy, and the world would be a kinder place if more people tried it.”
Restaurants and restaurant workers have had a rough year. Months of unemployment, followed by underemployment, followed by a constant scrambling to adhere to ever-changing guidelines, all while trying to create an enjoyable experience for their guests. And the CDC’s newest guidelines will doubtless mean many servers will have the unenviable task of questioning patrons about their vaccination status. I think they deserve a break, so we’re giving them one. We’re creating a special discount for restaurant workers. From now on, servers, bartenders, barbacks, whatever…if you serve food or drinks, you get 10% any non-sale items*, every day. Stop by, try what’s on the tasting table, check out what’s new, and let someone else serve you. Then collect your well-earned discount. Just ask.
Here’s to that kinder place.
*Excludes online specials, bargain boat, and previous sales.