Wednesday 10 February 2010


I worked as a waiter for 7 years. While I was student I was always itching to work. I worked in the flea-market on weekends selling all kinds of things, and about 3 or 4 nights a week I worked in a restaurant.

Waiting on tables teaches you many things. For one, it helps you to understand people, and it certainly guides you when it comes to managing expectations. You learn to repeat an order back to a big table - you literally go through what you have written down and make sure that everything is 100% - if not, you could ruin the evening. Even if you get, say, 9 out of the 10 orders right, if one person is let down then the whole dinner lands up being a mess, especially if that is the person who is paying the bill.

So, I always notice good and bad waiters (probably like everyone else really) when I go out for dinner, and I tell you, I can't stand mechanical waiters in restaurants. You know, those mumsers who sommer walk over to your table, like fucken robots, when your mouth is full of food, and put their hand on your shoulder, and ask you how everything is. Can't you see my mouth is full you moron?! I can't stand this, because alas, I was a waiter, and it is something you learn not to do.

Instead, if you really want to find out how your customers are doing then put your heart into it and wait for the right moment. But don't pat a guy on the back and ask him a question when he has just put a fork full of food in his mouth. As a waiter this was one of things I learnt about looking after people. Pay attention.

But no matter how bad the service is, I still tip the waiters, even the worst of the worse. Yes, because alas, I was a waiter.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker