So You Want To Be A Waiter

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Daily Archives: September 3, 2009

CEOs say how you treat a waiter can predict a lot about character

From USA Today:

CEOs say how you treat a waiter can predict a lot about character

By Del Jones, USA TODAY

Office Depot CEO Steve Odland remembers like it was yesterday working in an upscale French restaurant in Denver.The purple sorbet in cut glass he was serving tumbled onto the expensive white gown of an obviously rich and important woman. “I watched in slow motion ruining her dress for the evening,” Odland says. “I thought I would be shot on sight.”

Thirty years have passed, but Odland can’t get the stain out of his mind, nor the woman’s kind reaction. She was startled, regained composure and, in a reassuring voice, told the teenage Odland, “It’s OK. It wasn’t your fault.” When she left the restaurant, she also left the future Fortune 500 CEO with a life lesson: You can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she treats the waiter.

Odland isn’t the only CEO to have made this discovery. Rather, it seems to be one of those rare laws of the land that every CEO learns on the way up. It’s hard to get a dozen CEOs to agree about anything, but all interviewed agree with the Waiter Rule.

Read the rest of the article here:

I’ve previously posted about Donald Trump’s opinion on this.


Labor Day

Traditionally, the week leading up to Labor Day is a slow one for most restaurants.

Usually it follows a couple of weeks up uptick from the slow summer months (except for those restaurants whose busy months are summer, of course).

Waiters are lulled into a false sense that the slow days are over. They rejoice over fattened wallets and busier, less stultifying shifts.

And then comes “the week”.

What a letdown.

But it’s inevitable. There is a confluence of events that conspire against the hapless waiter. School is firmly back and parents are dealing with the financial and personal shock of getting their kids acclimated to their new environs. The summer is almost “officially” over and people scramble to wring out the last joys of summer without the benefit of the restaurant. and they prepare for the onslaught of the inevitable Labor Day cookout.

So, fellow waiters, don’t get down. It will pick back up where it left off next week.

But don’t get fooled. Remember what I said about the day before a major vacation – it’s often times busier than you might expect. As the day before Labor Day always falls on a Sunday, a day that is traditionally already a bit slower than most, it’s easy to get lulled into a sense of false security. One thing about the Sunday before Labor Day, it can surprise you. This is because some people have family and friends who travel in to participate in the hallowed Labor Day Cookout. Because the grand feast happens the next day, some of these folks will go out the night before because they want someone else cook for them and they want to start their Labor Day in an institutional social setting. And the hosts like to be distracted from all of the prep work that they’ve done prior to The Cookout.

So, if you’re working Sunday, don’t assume that it will be dead. It might very well be, but if you go in anticipating better, you won’t be caught flat-footed.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

labor_dayThanks to for this cartoon…