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The Way to Serve

Most of you already know that I have waited tables before, and I like to think that I’m good at it. I say that I’m good at because I can memorize menus quickly, and I enjoy talking to people about food. Something about talking with a person about what they will be eating and making recommendations about what I like from the menu is just fun for me.

With all of this being said I went in to Table Service class thinking it was going to be a nice easy way to round out the end of Mod 1. I was right, oh yes I had to learn the NECI way to serve tables, but this was really just a few tweaks to the service I had been use to in the past. The biggest change was open-handed service; this is where you present the food item to the person with an open view of the food. It’s not much of a change from the normal way of doing things but it does make for a little bit of a nicer presentation then walking up with a tray.

Now for larger parties this makes It a little more difficult because you can really only take 3 dishes at a time. The problem is easily solved with teamwork, and in any restaurant setting, front or back of house, you are only as good as your team.

With teamwork now on the plate I think it is also important to talk about the people who train us as servers, or our table service teachers. I don’t necessarily want to say anything bad about them, but really I’m still a little on edge around them now. They both could be condescending and rude to all of us. It’s not that they where bad women, in fact they could be quite funny and easy-going at times. It was just that they didn’t so much as teach as belittle and berate us for mistakes that we made as students. You can only get “talked” to so many times before you are walking on egg shells for the rest of class. I never had any problems with them but I could see that other students in my block did have problems with both of them. I think the other managers who were not part of the class could tell as well, because they would take the people who were “walking on egg shells” off to the side and have them get a drink and relax for a second or two.

Please don’t get me wrong I understand the importance of knowing how to run and operate a successful front of house, and think that the class was a useful class to have, I’m just glad that it is over and done with.

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