broadsideblog

Turning The Tables — A Restaurant Critic Works As A (Weary, Frazzled) Waitress

In business on January 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm
City of Vancouver

Vancouver. Image via Wikipedia

Here’s what it’s like when a sniffy — oops, discerning — restaurant critic worked as a waitress for a week in one of Vancouver’s best restaurants:

My legs ache. I’m severely dehydrated. And I still have to help break down the tables in the wine room, lug the extra chairs out to the hallway and do my cash-out before I can drag myself home, crawl into bed and then come back tomorrow to start all over again.

Why did I ever think that being a waitress for a week would be fun?

Not surprisingly, perhaps, she came away humbled by how hard the job is but even fussier than before.

I get it; after working more than two years as a retail sales associate, I know what it takes, and how rarely anyone, anywhere gives even a smidgen of decent service. Much as I loathe the customers from hell, switching roles can head you down that path as you start to see what service professionalism is and how to achieve it.

At least she got tips.

  1. Kind of hard to fully rationalize, but the harder the work, the less the pay, thats just the way it is if we’re honest about it I suppose! Good scoop.

  2. I know exactly how she feels. I became a buser to help to pay bills, as well as gaining insights in restaurant business so I can write about it as a part of my MFA thesis. I have to give a lot of credit to people who work in the service industry that maintains a decent professionalism. That is yet the hardest to achieve.

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