So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Heading into the weekend – 4th of July

4th of July is a strange weekend for servers. You never know what’s going to happen. For many restaurants, it’s a total bust. People are planning barbecues, spending time at the lake, traveling to see family and friends, and those restaurants might be normally slower during the summer months because they’re not tourist destinations. For some restaurants, it’s a big deal because they are smack dab in the middle of tourist ground zero.

For the latter restaurants, it’s easy to get with the program – you just know that you’re going to be busy; you’re going to have lots of multi-generational families, and you’re going to deal with sunburned drunks and low-tipping tourists.

For the former, it’s trickier. It’s easy to assume that you’re going to be slower than usual, especially when the 4th falls on a weekend as it does this year. However, don’t let your guard down. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that even with gathering type holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving), a strange phenomenon can happen.  Sometimes you’ll get a late rush the night or two before (or the day after), even as the restaurant has been dead for the rest of the night. and these late tables can oftentimes be larger groups. This happens because of a couple of things – people have been gathered from the airport and they want to get together to visit in a social setting outside the home. Also, people get a little “prep fatigue” from pre-cooking and party preparations and they just want to go out and let someone wait on them. The day after the holiday can also be unexpectedly busier than expected as well. Some people are just plain tired of hosting and cooking and dealing with everything so they want to go out and hand it over to the pros.

So, if you’re in one of those restaurants that is slower during the summer, don’t let your guard down too much, especially tonight and Sunday night. If you’re looking to make some money, try to be a closer. You’re not guaranteed that you’ll get a late pop, but you never know. If you’re not all that motivated and you want to get a start on your festivities, best to cut your losses early if you can.

Everyone enjoy your holiday weekend and remember – the cops will be out in force with checkpoints. Don’t be like one of our barbacks is having to do at the moment and be spend your next holiday in jail because of a DUI. Designated drivers all around!


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