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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Service with pride & dignity

Being a server can either be a job to pay bills or a fulfilling, satisfying journey. The day I announced forty years ago that I would start an apprenticeship to become a professional waiter brought me a lot of sceptical looks. People had pity with me. The following forty years brought me a wonderful time in which I learned a lot, travelled the world, met fantastic people and fantastic assholes. Service is not bringing the plate from the kitchen to the table – this only applies when you just do it as a job to pay bills. We all know that service is a combination of techniques, psychology, physical demanding work and flexibility. You don’t love it you can’t do it right and you will never enjoy it. It is a pleasure to make guest happy by just doing what you have learned and perfected over the years. Anticipating their needs, judging their moods, improving their days. I feel pity when I see the student serving when he actually believes that he should sit on the table. When he runs empty handed double the mileage that is needed because nobody showed him – nobody organized him. I lack understanding for the owner of a restaurant who doubles the amount of waiters to compensate for inefficiency. But I agree – he should pay for it. There is a lot to improve, a lot to teach and coach to make people understand that this is a respected profession and different from the part timer and student that we meet more often than a professional waiter. Once you master the techniques it will allow you to concentrate more on the other aspects of service. Douglas Adams said once: “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” I can work with my head held high as a honest, good waiter with more pride and dignity than a banker or an Insurance salesman who’s goal is to make as much money out of his client as possible. Who does care about you as a person which I can easily afford to do. A Maitre’D Hotel is the perfection of a waiter. Experience and knowledge combined with the ability to coach, guide and lead guest and staff to enjoy another satisfying day.

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