Working in the restaurant industry during the holidays can be both a blessing a curse. It is one of the few times when being a server can really pay off, because there’s no need to play casino slot machines to try and get your bills paid for this month.
That is, of course, if you’re willing to put up with both the good and the bad…
Large Parties – The holiday season is not complete without, you guessed it, holiday parties. Be prepared to push tables together, clean up wrapping paper and offer coffee for hours after the meal is over.
Out-of-Date Diners – Holiday parties can also bring out some people who only go out to eat a few times a year. There’s always a possibility you’ll have the older customer who is trying to use an expired coupon from 1985, while tipping 10% because it was the norm back in the day.
Separate Checks – When you start putting tables of families and friends together, be prepared for the following situation.
Server: “Hi, can I take your order?”
Customer: “Sure, first off, we’re on separate checks, the two on the end need their bill split, add the lady next to them on mine, the gentlemen across from me is on his own and gets a senior discount, what are the soups today?”
Working Long Hours – When you’re scheduled during the holidays, it’s usually a pretty safe bet that you aren’t going to get cut early.
Not seeing family/friends – This was a huge one for me, and probably the worst part about being a server during the holidays in my opinion. While your friends and family are making plans and getting together, there’s a good change you’ll be working while they’re having their parties. Nothing was worse than carrying a tray of dishes back to the kitchen while looking at the clock and saying “Happy Freakin’ New Years!”
Generous tips – Most of the time being a server, getting a great tip from a table can be like playing a game of roulette. Although you may think your chances are good, sometimes you get shafted. This is usually not the case during the holidays, however, when 20% tipping becomes the norm, and some even choose to go above and beyond that. I know that I always try and tip over 20% during the season because I’ve been in my waiter’s shoe’s before. Pair this seasonal generosity with the increase in business, and servers can leave feeling like millionaires after a good night.
Large Parties – I know this was also listed as a downside, but when you get a nice family who appreciates the work you’re doing, you’ll get a generous tip on top of the gratuity added.
Nicer People – The holidays can bring out the best in people, and whether it be the music, booze or presents, a happy customer is the best kind of customer.
-Originally appeared at servernightmares.com
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