So You Want To Be A Waiter

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

Sidework Pt. 2

In part one, we tried to paint sidework with some broad brushes. 

I’m not going to list all possible tasks that you might have to do on a typical shift. Every restaurant has its own unique needs and it would be impossible to list them all. Besides, you’ll find out soon enough what they are. So, why is sidework important? Because it’s so often thought of as an afterthought; it’s thought of as drudgery. Waiters whine about it. Waiters blow it off. Waiters do part of it but don’t finish it. Waiters do a poor job of it. Don’t be one of those waiters. While you can certainly whine about it, do your sidework. Why, you might ask? Why should I do it when I see others getting away with sliding on theirs? After all, you’ll soon identify certain slackers who can’t be relied upon to do their work and they seem to get away with it. Well, all I can say is, don’t be that guy (or gal for that matter).

It’s extremely important that sidework gets done because nothing will put you in the weeds faster than having to break your routine during the rush to go back to the walk-in to grab the half and half that someone else hasn’t bothered to restock as part of their sidework. This is especially grating when you make it easy for them by assuring that they can put their hands on what they need because you did your sidework while you hunt through the restaurant for a single clean glass because they didn’t do theirs. 

Hold your fellow servers accountable for their sidework.

And remember, someday, you will be a closing waiter and you will rely on others to do their work. You already have enough to do without having to do someone else’s job too.

The main thing is for each waiter to pull their weight so that if the waiter gets in the weeds, it’s not because his or her fellow waiter let them down.

It’s hard to do sidework when the rush is on. However, it’s even harder to have to do someone else’s sidework on top of  that. Or suffer the consequences of not being able to put your hands on what you need when you need it.

Sidework is important. Curse it, fear it, hate it, but respect it. Because to respect it is to respect your fellow co-workers.

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