Waiting Tables

waiting tables

In my junior year of college, I waited tables at a barbecue restaurant.*

It was terrible. I was terrible. I hated the stress of busy shifts, constantly juggling multiple tables. And even when the restaurant was quiet, I was too attentive and it was hard to wait around for guests to need me. I felt like I should be doing something and would come over to refill their glasses way too often… which sound like a great attribute, but most people want to eat dinner with the people they come with, not their waitress. It was clear restaurant work was not for me.

But despite my distaste for waiting tables, I’m glad I had this experience for three reasons:

1. It made really good money, which I desperately needed that year.

2. It gave me even more motivation to finish my college degree, because I never wanted to wait tables ever again.

3. It made me a really good tipper. There was one time I waited on a table of 9, of which 5 were children, and it was the messiest, most high maintenance table I ever managed. They stayed at the table long after their check had been signed, even though the restaurant was bustling and there were people at the door waiting for an open table. Finally they left and I started cleaning the table. I looked at their receipt and saw “Sorry” written in the spot where the tip was supposed to be. I was so hurt and frustrated. So since then, no matter the quality of the service, I tip no less than 20%.

Has anyone else waited tables? Did it make you into a better tipper? 

*If you are a Boone-native or App graduate and curious, I worked at Bandanas. I prefer Woodlands BBQ, but Bandanas was much closer to where I lived. :)

PS – Cowboy boots are from Target.

DECISIONS I'M GLAD I MADE GRAPHIC

  • maggj14

    I COMPLETELY agree with you on this! I have said so many times I believe everyone should wait tables at least once in their life. You learn so much about yourself and how to deal with stressful situations/difficult people.

    The whole “sorry” tipping type stories are the worse, and we never seem to forget them, but I guess that’s just part of it.

    I waited tables at Outback in Blowing Rock :) never again. (hopefully!)

  • I used to be a server also – its true it makes you a good tipper. But what I miss about it was the interaction with people… especially our regulars. I remember visiting after being gone for so long and they still remembered me. The restaurant is now long gone – but I will never forget feeling so special that time when a couple of our regulars came by and said hi

  • Giulia Lombardo

    Nice boots, well my first real job was during last 2 years of high school s barista, and I came back to work here last year…but I can understand you I had similar experience with catering and here in Italy tip isn’t so considered, but if I go in a restaurant usually I use to give some tip to waiter or waitress,

  • Dorothy Clement

    Thanks for the good laugh. I just read it to daddy. I never liked waitressing either, the pressure got to me. I too am glad you don’t have to waitress except for those children you will have under your feet one day!