So You Want To Be A Waiter

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

Tag Archives: back of the house

New link added

Finally, a blog for the back of the house.

For civilians, back of the house refers to the kitchen and associated workers.

The name of the blog is So Hardy. Here is the link:

This is a new blog, so I can’t really comment much on the content, but it looks like it’s going to be a really good blog to follow.

Waiters and cooks are often at loggerheads. Waiters must walk a tightrope between the kitchen, the management and the guest and we aren’t always successful at it. The kitchen must often times fix waiter screwups, deal with stupid questions, deal with waiter intrusions during busy times, answer to management and react to guests’ unreasonable expectations. And they sometimes respond by do this by abusing the waitstaff. So there’s room for improvement from both sides of the house.

In order to produce food for hundreds of people, procedures have to be streamlined and precise. When a waiter screws up an order and food has to go out on the fly, it messes up the machinery of the kitchen. I have been guilty of this on occasion and I deserve some scorn. And yet, it’s not my fault if the management lets a table eat that comes in 10 minutes after close. And, when I ask about how long food is going to take because all of the food is going out slowly, I’m not asking to be annoying. I really do need to know. And I don’t want to be told what the Chef thinks I want to hear. I need a realistic answer so I can employ strategies at my disposal if I need to. If the food is coming out in 5 minutes, it’s likely that I only have to inform my guest. But if it’s going to take 10 minutes and I tell them 5 minutes because that’s what you told me to tell them, there’s going to be trouble, whereas, I might have been able to do a song and dance, or have the manager visit, or have the manager approve a quick free appetizer to mollify them.

Conversely, I shouldn’t go behind the line, mess with a cook’s carefully constructed mise en place, talk about tips in their presence or demand special favors when it comes to the food that I’m ordering (not to be confused with special requests – no, I shouldn’t ask for extra veggies or extra items that should normally be charged for because I want a bigger tip).

This is just begging for  more comprehensive posts regarding the interactions between the kitchen and the waitstaff. I’m probably going to do that in the future. The kitchen deserves all of the respect that we as waiters can muster.

But, in the meantime, I highly recommend that every waiter start reading this blog. It might go a long way toward rapport and mutual respect.

Plus, Anthony Bourdain must surely love their logo!

New link added – Chef’s Blade

This is’s “specialty site” for chefs and cooks.

There has a always been a bit of a gulf between front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house (commonly abbreviated as FoH and BoH). Waiters should make the effort to learn more about the people who bust their asses in hot and dangerous conditions in order for the guest to get top quality food.

This site can help in that regard, or at least it’s a good starting point.

It’s also good for guests, who sometimes think that the food magically appears from inside a black box.

For any cooks or chefs that might read my blog from time to time, it’s a sueful site because, let’s face it, it’s a site and it’s geared toward networking and career information. Every kitchen person should become a member of this site.

I’ll be adding more kitchen specific links in the future as well.