So You Want To Be A Waiter

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


Waiters are often confronted with the issue of vegetarianism.

I’m sure the term “issue” would be considered a pejorative term by vegetarians of all stripes. And I sympathize. But it’s the “all stripes” part that makes it an “issue”.

So, let’s stipulate that I’m not calling vegetarianism itself the issue, only the different ways that people categorize themselves as vegetarians and how restaurants that don’t primarily cater to vegetarians accomodate those that have different needs than what the menu was designed for.

This was brought home to me just last night.

I had a guest who said that she was vegetarian and wondered if we had something other than seafood or meat as an appetizer. We have a side dish that we can prepare that would work great in that context. The thing is, there’s cheese on it. So I asked her, “Is cheese a problem”? She said no. So I mentioned this special side dish that we can do and that I’ve incorporated into my normal spiel. I also asked if she’d simply like a small plate of freshly steamed or grilled vegetables. She said that she would get back to me.

What was her final choice?

Crab cake.

Yes, my head literally supn 360 degrees on my shoulders and driblets of pea soup starting dotting the walls.

In the next post, we’ll explore the different levels of vegetarianism.

After that, we’ll talk about ways that you as a waiter can help a vegetarian of any stripe receive at least an acceptable meal.

So stay tuned kids – excitement will ensue.

Thanks to for this nice image.

One response to “Vegetarian?

  1. wolfshowl November 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Ugh, yet another reason why I can’t stand those pescetarians who call themselves vegetarian. I mean, really, you’d think people would at least check the dictionary definition before they went running around calling themselves vegetarians. They’re just making it harder for us real ones.

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