These aren’t formal reviews because I never review a book that I don’t already own. This shouldn’t even be considered a recommendation per se because, once again, I haven’t had the pleasure to personally check them out.
Paul Paz runs a site called “WaitersWorld.com”, a clearinghouse for waiter resources, including a news area and a forum. It has been around for a long time and is part of WaitersWorld, a commercial training program utilized for staff training. Paz has been in the field for 30 years (next year) and conducts seminars and training programs.
Here’s is the most admirable mission statement:
The mission of WaitersWorld is to elevate the status of waiters in America to a professional career level. by craft is a career of choice offering unlimited opportunity! http://www.WaitersWorld.com is designed to offer terrific tools and training; to give waitstaff the opportunity to network with other professional waiters and hospitality peers around the world. Above all, WaitersWorld aims to serve other professional waiters all over the world by providing current information to achieve professional, personal, and financial success!
Obviously, this dovetails with my own desire to bring professionalism into the job of waiting tables, whether the waiter works at a meat and three or in a high-end establishment.
Paz has co-written a book called Service At Its Best: Waiter-Waitress Training: A Guide to Becoming a Professional Server. It’s published by Prentice-Hall (Pearson Educational) and the ISBN is 0-13-092626-4.
The price is $65.
Bernard Martinage was trained in France and has taught at the Culinary Institute of America, specializing in the service aspects of the restaurant. He is the founder of The Federation of Dining Room Professionals, another training organization that focuses on certification of food service standards. http://www.fdrp.com/
He has written The Professional Service Guide, published by his organization. The ISBN is 10: 0972039902. the cost is $85 and if you join the organization, they’ll sell it to you for $65.
In addition to the two main books mentioned, here are some adjuncts:
Martinage has written what I presume to be a companion volume, Dining Room Associate Student Workbook: Third Edition (Vol. 1), published by ClearSpace. The ISBN is 10: 1448681294 and the cost at Amazon.com is $49.
He also has written Associate Handbook: Certification Manual (Vol. 1), published by the FDRP, ISBN 10: 0979104998, priced at $79 at Amazon.com. Presumably, a discount is available for both books for Federation members. But I don’t see any of these additionalbooks at their website.
Dining Room Apprentice Student Workbook (Volume 1), published by CreateSpace, ISBN-10: 1448681294 is a book with the same ISBN as the “Dining Room Associate” book, so I presume that it’s the same volume, only retitled.
Obviously these books are designed to be textbooks and aren’t cheap. I assume that there’s a lot of information about the art of hospitality, but, as I said, I haven’t seen any of these works. If the authors wish to send me review copies, I’ll be happy to review them here.
I am hesitant to recommend them as “gifts”. I’m not sure if this might send an unintended message to the recipient about the level of their service. Even if my own book ever gets finished and published, I doubt that I would recommend it as a gift for that very reason (letting a waiter in your life know about this site isn’t out-of-bounds since the recommendation can be phrased as “Here’s an interesting site that you might enjoy” sort of thing). And, of course, there’s the price thing. These aren’t cheap books.
I welcome books that promote professionalism in the industry and I will be striving to promote the same ideals myself if and when my book is completed. My goal is to provide an accessable source of information to everyone working as a waiter, and part of that accessibility is to make it affordable and available in the local bookstore. Based on the interest that I have seen in the first 9 months of this site, I think that there’s definitely a hunger for self-improvement. As I approach the 15,000 views per month level, I’m betting that there’s a place for a more informal guide. There are various books out there, some not much more than pamphlets, but you really have to seek them out and it’s hard to judge content based on an internet listing. It’s also hard to determine the relevancy to the waiter toiling in the mall. I hope to fill that niche one day.
I will be adding links to both authors in by blogroll and I hope that everyone will check them out. Paz’s site in particular has a lot of “free” information about the art of waiting tables, while Martinage’s site is pretty much commercial only.